Dec 25, 2008

On Cooking for My Non-Vegan Family

I have the unique experience of having complete vegan holiday dinners every year, because I am the one who traditionally hosts them. Yes, I usually plan and prepare everything for these "events," including decorations, activities, etc. Needless to say, I am usually WAY too tired to photograph anything (unless done beforehand), and I do a lot of this type of cooking without recipes and eyeball stuff- which doesn't lend very well to writing down recipes.

Anyway, I was just thinking of how unusual it is to be at a party where someone asks if they can bring a meat dish to an all-vegan meal (it's usually the other way around, right?)... From my perspective, I feel like, what's the big deal? It's only once (or twice) a year- they can do without meat for 2 outta the 365 days, can't they? Well, apparently they can't. Why? Because of Vegan Prejudice. There, I said it! Or... let me be fair, maybe it's better named, Meat Addiction. And for those who are really defensive, you can call it Holiday Tradition. Either way, it does leave one a bit vulnerable when there is more skepticism than enthusiasm in the room. I have realized that I worried WAY too much about pleasing people that are just not into fully appreciating it. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE surprising non-vegans with how good vegan food can be. And my family is not unsupportive (they brought delicious desserts from their local vegan bakery). But I do realize that people cannot be coerced into enjoying foods for which they are a bit... fearful? Note: Faux meats are scary to flesh eaters. I sometimes feel like a little kid and get all down about it, but I know that's just my bruised ego talking! Next year, I'll do everything as usual, except worry about the meat addicts... 2nd Note: Worrying helps no one. And, is probably the reason for my first white hair that I found yesterday! UGH! Who knows? Maybe they'll be more open next time, or not- ultimately not my choice. The upside, is that I have a ton of leftovers which we vegans are happily devouring today.

Here was my Christmas Eve Menu:

-Cashew Cheese Skewers with grape tomatoes and fresh basil
-Giant Seitanic Italian Meatballs, browned until crisp and smothered in red sauce.
-Home-Made Spinach and Tofu Cheese Raviolis
-Freshly-Baked French Bread
-Cheezy Garlic Bread
-Roasted Cabbage, Zucchini, and Broccoli drizzled with garlic infused olive oil & truffle oil.
-Decadent Chocolate Yule Log, with vanilla "cream" filling and chocolate "buttercream" frosting.

Email me if you're interested in any of these recipes, and I'll try to get them down on paper!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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