Thanksgiving…Vegan Style!

by Cynthia Adler

 It was the first thing I thought when I saw that dark looking lump on the table when I got to my friend’s house last year for a Thanksgiving dinner.  I didn’t know what that was.  I just thought it would be the traditional, you know, Thanksgiving feast.  So when I asked her what that lump was, she smiled at me and said, “it’s the ‘Turkey. What did you think it was?”

I was silent for a moment.  “It has no legs and no wings and no tush,” I said.  Now this made her laugh hysterically.  It’s a Vegan turkey, girl.  We’re meatless this month.  Weird I thought.  The month of Thanksgiving she and her husband are going meatless? But I didn’t say anything.  The table was filled with yummy sweet potatoes and green beans and cranberry sauces and homemade breads, etc, but the lump was there.  And it sat there, waiting.  So I asked her what that turkey was made of.  She said it was a Tofurky Roast with rice stuffing. I was quiet.  “It’s made from Tofu,” she added. I said nothing. There were six other guests at the table who were chatting away, while my attention was only fixated on the black lump. 

I tried to make peace with the fact that I wouldn’t experience the joy of chomping down on a moist and fatty leg this Thanksgiving. That I couldn’t slice some of the skin off the top of a turkey when everyone had finished taking their portions, and that I had to endure a “cousin” of my soy milk as my Thanksgiving dinner.

No one else said anything about the lump.  We drank some wine and toasted what we were all thankful for. But the “lump” kept dragging my eyeballs back to its place in the middle of the table.  When it was time to cut into that thing, my friend looked excited, licking her lips in anticipation.  Anticipation of what, I thought?   Her husband made the first cut into this round whitish thing that was stuffed in the middle with rice.  We passed it around and took some on our plate.

At first I just stared down. But then I tasted it. 

I was in shock.  It was great! Yummy! It went so very fast that everyone wanted more and there was no more to be had.  We all looked longingly at our hosts, who started to laugh and said, ‘’Well, we have a surprise for you”  and they went back into the kitchen and brought out a real turkey!! At least I thought it was.  It looked just like a real turkey. It had legs and shoulder-like wings and was chubby and moist looking.  I was a little disappointed, until they cut it open. 

It was a soy protein bird, (if you can imagine,) made to look just exactly like a turkey!  The meat was firm and moist, just like a real turkey, and it had Vegan stuffing and Vegan gravy.  Yummy again. 

So maybe I’ve learned a lesson or two about Thanksgiving.  Stay open and don’t judge.  Even if you see a dark lump taking up space on a table somewhere you have agreed to go for this holiday.   Give it a shot.  Who knows …you may decide to go meatless yourself next year and give some of those turkeys a longer life.

Happy Thanksgiving Hip Silvers.

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