Thursday, November 22, 2007

How To Celebrate Thanksgiving Without Turkey or Tofurkey

Today was thanksgiving. It is not a Dutch holiday, but that doesn't keep us back from celebrating it anyway. The first few years, when we had just moved to the States, I would buy a turkey, and go through the whole process of trying to figure out how the heck to cook this creature. And what to do with the so called giblets. And how to not eat dinner at 10pm when my turkey finally was done. I never have been much of a planner I guess.

It was interesting, and it was a good learning experience, but I have to admit that I am not missing it much. When I turned vegetarian, there were so many other things I could make instead, that the turkey never was something that I missed. Of course, there always was the tofurkey alternative, but somehow that felt wrong to me. I was curious about it though, so one day I got some in the after-Thanksgiving sales in the supermarket and tried it.

It was ok, but not something I felt very strongly about. I tried it once, and haven't had the urge to get some again. It is not cheap.

Last year, we had the brilliant idea to get take-out chinese at Thanksgiving. I mean, Chinese people don't celebrate thanksgiving, right? So we drove to one Chinese place. Closed! That was just a fluke for sure. Next place. Closed! Third place. Closed! Hmmm, was there a pattern here? What about pizza instead? Italians don't celebrate Thanksgiving either, right?

Wrong! They do if they live anywhere within a 42 miles radius from our home.

I threw my hands in the air and said 'FINE! We'll have McDonalds for Thanksgiving!' Guess what? Yes, McDonalds was closed too. Home we went and we ate pizza from our freezer, and I don't know what else I scrunched up, but it was fun anyway. We now remember this as the Thanksgiving where we kept driving around and EVERYTHING was closed. I bet you are jealous that your Thanksgivings aren't as exciting.

This year, I was more organized, and planned a variety of non-traditional thanksgiving food, in such a way that everyone would have something they liked. We cut up organic potatoes from our CSA, and oven fried them. We made cranberry sauce, partly from our own cranberries (see first picture). This was the first year our cranberry bushes produced cranberries, so that was exciting. We had pizza. I made pad thai. I had baked bread. And the best, we had three pies, since you can celebrate Thanksgiving without turkey, but for sure not without pie.

I managed to get everything ready around the same time, which is pretty darned amazing. And the turkeys, we'll just leave them outdoors.

During dinner, we did talk about gratefulness, and people were grateful for things like the new kittens, videogames, our own cranberries, and more. We sure do have a lot to be grateful about.


Keppy said...

LOL We had that "driving around" holiday TODAY!!!! We had planned all along to go to Bob Evans... closed. Ok, across the street was an open Cracker Barrel - nearly a 2hr wait - no thank you it was 3pm and we were STARVING. So we kept driving - we finally came to Ryan's (a buffet) and ate there. It was fun though! :-)

april said...

I thought they were cherries at first, but when you said! They are beautiful.

txmommy said...

sounds like a fun thanksgiving!