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"Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody"

Samuel Pepys, 1633-1703, British Diarist


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Ask The Savvy Vegetarian: Thanksgiving At Grandmas's House - What to Feed the Vegetarian

Savvy Vegetarian News

Vol. 1, Issue 7, November 2003

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Dear Savvy Vegetarian,

We are having Thanksgiving at our house (again!) for the extended family. There will be about twenty-five people here, including children. One of my adult grandchildren doesn't eat any meat at all. Do you have any advice about what to cook for her?

Grandma Bev

Dear GB,

You don't say whether you are cooking the whole meal yourself for all those people. I certainly hope not! My advice is to cook the turkey, and ask each family to bring one or two dishes, including the adult vegetarian grandchild. Ask her to bring a vegetarian dish that everyone can enjoy, and which would blend with the traditional Thanksgiving fare. That limits her choices, obviously.

It's safe to assume that most of the other guests won't enjoy anything made with tofu, or tempeh, or such vegetarian delicacies as lentil loaf (I've never been attracted to it myself). Rice & vegetable casserole would work, with toasted cashews and perhaps a few chickpeas. Or a green salad, or pasta salad, with some feta cheese, chick peas, or roasted sunflower seeds. Or vegetarian 'stuffing', made with roasted chestnuts or walnuts. Whatever she brings should be nicely seasoned. and salted, but not too spicy.

Keep in mind the quantity and variety of food at a typical Thanksgiving dinner; even if your granddaughter doesn't bring anything, there'll be plenty for her to eat besides the turkey. If you're stuffing the turkey, it would be easy to cook some of the stuffing separately from the bird. Or to offer some toasted nuts or cheese (unless she's vegan) as a side dish.

You're a wonderful Grandma for wanting to accomodate your vegetarian grandchild, and include her in your family's traditional Thanksgiving feast.

I wish you and your loved ones a blissful Thanksgiving.

Judy Kingsbury,
The Savvy Vegetarian

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