My Thanksgiving Dinner

I want to start this with a shout out to the staff at the Bedford MA Whole Foods. You guys saved the day on Thanksgiving. I had ordered a holiday vegan “turkey” en croute from Whole Foods at another location for my Thanksgiving. My mother was kind enough to pick it up while I was working only to find a goat cheese log in the bag as a substitute. First off anonymous grocery staff that so lovingly tried to put a sub in for the missing vegan meat, goat cheese is not vegan. Second, why didn’t you call? I know that sounds like a wounded ex-girlfriend but honestly this is a major holiday and I am always plugging Whole Foods since you are the vegan guru’s of the Northeast as well as I help out writing recipes locally. If you don’t have a product tell the person who ordered it. Don’t just toss in a cheese log and hope for the best. The Bedford Whole Foods got a call from me in a panic and not only gave me many options, they gave it to me for free because they felt bad about what had happened. All I can say is you are amazing. I tweeted how amazing you were that day but I wanted to write about it formally. It made my day and the next day it made my dinner.

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The Field Roast en Croute was delicious. The instructions were easy to follow. I was in heaven and leftovers were easy to reheat with a little water added to the bottom of the bowl. I topped leftovers with a little Daiya Havarti and was in heaven!

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I made the rest of the holiday meal vegan except the Turkey. Yes, I cooked a turkey. It was from Whole Foods and organic and local and all that jazz. I did feel bad but I am the only vegan and I try not to take things too far. My husband eats mostly vegan these days and my mother is vegan or at least vegetarian until dinner time so I feel like I have made such a huge impact that one day a year I will make them something non-vegan on a table that is completely vegan otherwise. They appreciate the effort and I appreciate their effort all year long.

 

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All I can say is that the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and drizzled with maple syrup were my favorite but the potatoes au gratin were the show stopper for the rest of the group. They loved them and I mean LOVED them. I got more compliments than I could’ve imagined. Especially seeing as only my dad and I ate them last year. I kinda regretted it because I love them and had only a tiny portion left over.

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Dessert was also an amazing success with vegan chocolate chip cookies, cranberry upside down cake, apple caramel pie, and a vegan pumpkin pie my mother bought at Whole Foods in Boston.

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All in all it was a great success and I cannot thank my friends in Bedford enough. So from my Family to yours. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

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(From the left going clockwise: Isaiah my husband’s closest friend, his children, his wife Kristin, my husband in orange in teh center, my father, moth, Aunt’s boyfriend Tim, and finally my Aunt.)

 

Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

 

IMG_2659 (I’m on the far right, My mom is the center, aunt behind, and sister in law on the far left. Her son my nephew Nolan is the beautiful baby! I even named a dish after him!)

Thanksgiving and Holiday Decorating Vegan Style

I think there is always a lot of interest in decorating for the holidays. Thanksgiving is usually a more mellow version of the Halloween and Christmas Decor that can appear. On the Exterior of one’s house you usually see very little but the dining table is where most people focus. Cornucopias, pumpkins, decorative china, and candles. Teh good news about thanksgiving is that as much as it is focused around the inevitable turkey it is a very vegan friendly and focused holiday. We decorate with pumpkins, gourds, corn, stalks, husks, candles, and raw materials. These are all things that favor our compassionate and healthy lifestyle so I definitely want to help you embrace these ideas.

Exterior Decoration

Focus on the obvious seasonal waste products. That sounds bad but it isn’t. Corn has ripened and cornstalks and husks are readily available as are the corn cobs that didn’t quite make it this year. Use them all as Thanksgiving decor. Wrap your posts in them. Make wreaths from dried husks and hang dried out corn from bows of dried out fabric and burlap and garnish with fallen leaves. It will look beautiful. When the holiday is over move on to the garlands of evergreen trimmings from your Christmas tree and yard. Take the burlap trimmings from wrapping any bushes and plants up and use them to make bows. You can even garnish them with fallen acorns and some ribbon. The icicles will be a glittering finishing touch that only Mother Nature can do!

Interior Decorations

Start with will your house with natural decor. I use cottons and burlap this time of year. It is warm and generally ecofriendly. I then garnish with root vegetables, pumpkins, and gourds. I plant cabbage in containers and that way everything is usable on the holiday. You can place dips in hollowed cabbages, pumpkins, gourds, and even fresh baked bread bowls. Try for minimal waste and more compost. It will be great when the spring comes. I keep my composter in the back yard just for this purpose. Starting now will get your ready for the spring and with the cold you will not have the odor you would in the summer.

Right before it gets too cold, go to a nearby park and dig up some moss and gather stones and shells. Make a terrarium. I did this last year and it kept all winter. Fill the bottom with stones for drainage and top with lumps of moss. This is a great centerpiece and will stay green with a little misting and water all winter long. If you live near the ocean make a terrarium of seashells and sand. My stepdaughters add to our with every visit. We even wash out the large clam shells and use them to hold soap in our bathrooms. If you can gather enough shells you can make garlands, wreaths, and even small Christmas tree stacks. Take a look at my pinterest for some ideas!

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As for Christmas time. I wash off pine cones and take tree trimmings and fill glass jars, bowls. and vases with them. I even make ornaments out of seashells and sea stars that wash up. I did a project with my stepdaughters where we glittered pine cones with some glue and sparkles and bedazzled starfish leftover from the summer to hand on the tree. All very simple but very beautiful. Make it fun and easy and people will be awed. You don’t need a fake blowup snowman on your lawn to show you are in the spirit!

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy