Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving report card

Thanksgiving was super-fun as always. I went to my aunt's house, as is tradition, and saw a random sampling of cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. Now about the feast: I found that not eating meat was the easy part. The turkey did smell good, but even seeing it come right out of the oven, golden brown, I had no craving for it. Staying away from dairy is the hard part. Not because I wanted to eat it, but because so many dishes are made with butter and cheese it's not easy to avoid. But, I think I did pretty good.

Here's what I ate:
  • Snacking: Raw celery, broccoli, and radishes. And a couple beers.
  • Crescent rolls (maybe had butter in the dough)
  • Green beans (tasted like they were tossed with oil, but maybe butter)
  • Cranberry-horseradish sauce (I think I'm OK here. I heard about the recipe on NPR recently and really wanted to try it)
  • Mashed potatoes (Can't I fantasize there was no milk or butter to make them silky smooth?)
  • Sweet potato bake crunch thing (OK, I knew there was probably some butter in this, but I ate it anyway. After dinner, I overheard the guest describe what was in it and it was almost comical how much dairy there was. "...frosted flakes on top...and there's butter and a lot of evaporated milk, and then even more butter, and cream..." My cousin who knows I was trying to be good got a good laugh out of it too.)
  • My contribution: Apple pie (It was a hit. There were only a couple slices leftover. I found a place in my neighborhood that makes vegan pies, and they came through with very little notice. I highly recommend them. Sante La Brea. The pie was amazing, and I can't wait to go back and try their vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

What I didn't eat:
  • Dip for the raw veggies
  • Appetizer mac and cheese
  • Dinner's mac and cheese with bacon
  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Butter for the rolls
  • Other pies
  • Cool whip
I learned my lesson here. From now on, I really need to bring my own meal to Thanksgiving. My brother-in-law (vegetarian) cooked a pea pot pie for him and my sister to eat at their friend's Thanksgiving. I need to do something like that. I really didn't miss any of the things I didn't eat. And I would have been fine without the things I did eat. I gave myself a pass this time to do my best under the circumstances I put myself into, and I did.


  1. It was great to see you at Thanksgiving - your pie was great. I looked at all of the dishes with you in mind. How many families have mac and cheese for appetizer and also for a main dish on Thanksgiving?

    And you are right, I was laughing so hard when the other guest was describing how much butter, cream, and milk went into her dish. As if sweet potatoes aren't sweet enough.

    You are inspiring me to talk a look at my diet and my choices around food. I was a vegetarian for 10 years and I was leaner and felt better than I do now. It is hard to come up with a reason to eat animal products. I don't even like meat that much - it is just convenient to accept when offered. I don't like milk either but I do like cheese...

    Keep it up - I enjoy your blog.

  2. I was concerned about my family christmas last year too, so I made chickpea cutlets to bring. My family were pretty cool, and my aunt even made veg version of one of the appetisers and bought some falafels for me. I did eat pavlova (meringue) and quite a bit of cheese, but that was back when I was just newly vegetarian.

    I find I'm not wanting cheese so much anymore. I remember how I feel bloated and gross after eating too much of it, and it just doesn't seem worth it. Although it is difficult to get all traces of dairy products out of your diet, since they're so ubiquitous. I mostly try to avoid obvious sources of it like cheese on pizza, or quiches etc.