Thanksgiving is one of those face-stuffing holidays in the Western world that brings friends and family together in celebration of the autumn harvest. Of course, since most of us aren't farmers these days, it's more of a symbolic harvest - but it still means a crazy carb party, which you can always count me in on.
It's also a turkey-eating party for many people, too, but not us kooky vegans! I love the creative element of coming up with awesome, non-turkey main dishes, especially main dishes that smell way better and are significantly more aesthetically appealing (come on, corpses ain't pretty).
But I don't like to stray from tradition too much - there's something to be said for the goodness of perogies, cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, homemade buns and stuffing. While we might tweak something or other each year, the menu stays basically the same, and is a meal we all look forward to and enjoy creating together.
Now let's check out the food!
All good Thanksgivings are precluded by a tray of veggies and dip, since the real deal food doesn't usually get served on time, and people have intense appetites to satiate. My mom made a vegan sour cream dip with dill, which made me a super happy gal.
This sweet potato casserole is so, so good, and I've actually managed to insert it into my family tradition the last couple of years, since we never grew up eating sweet 'tatoes. Topped with Dandies marshmallows, this dish always receives tons of kind words, even from people who don't like the tuber. Go sweet potato casserole!
What would Thanksgiving be without cabbage rolls? My mom and I made these in a somewhat traditional Ukrainian style, and I'll be sure to share the method and recipe this week, along with some of our other dishes. They're very basic, filled with rice and topped with a tomato sauce (and butter...lots of it), but can be infinitely altered.
The cabbage rolls are happily hanging out with some stuffing, which was cooked in a slow cooker instead of a bird, meaning I actually like stuffing now after a childhood of avoidance. It was a simple bread and herb stuffing, but incredibly flavorful and delicious.
More food! Fresh homemade buns, fried onions and perogies, and a cute little container of Tofutti sour cream hanging out and being awesome, by virtue of being significantly more empty than the dairy variety. Score one for Tofutti.
Of course my Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Orange had to make an appearance! I enjoyed it on my bun and on my savory galette, and it added a nice tart contrast to all the super hearty food.
Slow-cooker mashed potatoes? Yup, we did it. There's so much food and chaos happening in a Thanksgiving kitchen that the more you can keep away from the stove, the easier things tend to be.
Check out the loot! Buns, sweet potato casserole, cabbage rolls, savory galette, mashed potatoes, stuffing and salad, alongside some tasty garden tomatoes, made for a super happy plate, high in the rankings of Best Thanksgiving Meals Ever.
And before we move on to glorious desserts, here's a big kitchen time-saving tip: if you're spending the entire day in the kitchen, it's invaluable to constantly have a sink filled with soapy water, and another sink to put the washed dishes. There will always be two minutes here and there to wash or dry, and it saves the kitchen from becoming an unmanageable war zone.
First up: apple pie, a holiday classic. This was made by some family members and was the most ginormous pie ever - nearly double the size of a typical pie. I'm so wonderfully spoiled during the holidays, and there's always at least one vegan pie hanging out, waiting for me to devour it!
But there's more! Pumpkin pie is a holiday staple, I don't care who you are. Every holiday needs a little pumpkin pie. Next door to that guy is a raw fruit pie with a creamy coconut filling, which is another recipe I'll be sharing sometime this week!
So that there's my Thanksgiving roundup - it was definitely droolworthy to relive this meal. And now I'm off to work - on my birthday! Yup, happy birthday to me, I've hit the quarter century mark, and without much fanfare. I can hardly complain about working though, seeing as I've got some pretty groovy piano students to be hanging out with on my birthday. And cake awaits me at home tonight!
Take care, and hope all you Canadians had a great Thanksgiving weekend.