Monday, November 9, 2009

A vegan giving thanks

No one else is vegan in my family, which is kinda surprising when you consider what great vegan chefs they all become when Johnny and I are around.

Ridding one's diet of all animal products has never been the easiest of undertakings, but having family support can make all the difference in the veg experience. So this post of thanks goes out to my extremely tolerant, understanding, and helpful family. Y'all go out of your way at every gathering to make sure we have plates full of healthy and tasty, animal-free food. And we really appreciate it!

Accomodating us vegans at the Thanksgiving dinner table has never been too much of a stretch because my parents themselves converted to Earth Balance (vegan butter) years ago. (That one was an easy sell!) So most of the side dishes are automatically vegan. Then my mom always makes a vegan dressing in addition to her traditional one, and uses Tofutti cream cheese in the spinach casserole. My dad makes a small batch of vegan mashed potatoes in addition to the milky batch. I bring some kind of faux-turkey. And we all pig out. This year, we stuffed ourselves silly and then drove up to visit Johnny's family, who had also prepared Thanksgiving dinner, and proceeded to pig out a second time!

But even on the less-momentous occasions, my family is on top of things. Most Sundays, we eat dinner at my grandmother's house. This past week it was red beans and rice -- with a separate, meatless pot of the beans for us. My aunt "M" is highly trained in cooking with dietary restrictions. She gives me assurances like "We'll wrap your burger in foil so it doesn't touch the grill that was formerly touched by meat!" I'm like "It's ok, the grease was cooked off long ago!" -- but she doesn't buy it.

A few weeks ago, my aunt "C" held dinner at her house, and went all out: Creole white beans with bell peppers and onions, brown rice, salad, and crispy, buttery (Earth-Balancey) French bread with artichoke hearts baked on top:

I don't know what I did to deserve such support, but let me tell you, my peeps are amazing.