Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. The rest of them I can do without, but Thanksgiving, with all of the delicious food, is the one I try not to miss, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. The sentiment behind it, expressing gratitude for the abundance of nature, also resonates, though the official story of the pilgrims having a nice dinner with the native Americans after their first successful harvest is somewhat overshadowed by the subsequent extermination of those native Americans.
The official centrepiece of a traditional American thanksgiving is turkey, but my Thanksgiving is turkey free, of course. For years I have been making vegan feasts for friends in and from many different countries, introducing them to the gluttony that is the true hallmark of an American Thanksgiving dinner. This year was no exception. The feast was about half raw, half cooked, all vegan and all delicious. Here’s the menu:
The nibbles (all raw except the pumpkin): crudités with raw hummus, raw sushi made with parsnip rice, filled with either cucumber and strawberries or cooked pumpkin, and raw hazelnut tarts filled with herbed cashew cheese, marinated mushrooms and “caramelized” onions.
The three main courses: vegan shepherds pie- lentils and veggies topped with mashed potatoes,
Baby gem squash with a wild & brown rice, apple, fig and pecan stuffing,
Raw vegan “turkey salad” in lettuce boats, served with a raw cranberry sauce
The side dishes: green beans with baby leeks,
Vegan baked corn bread,
and raw corn bread.
And of course, the desserts. A cooked pumpkin pie,
A raw pumpkin pie (with no pumpkin in it),
and raw chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Clearly, after eating such a delicious feast we all felt appropriately grateful (and stuffed). Luckily we only celebrate this holiday once a year.