A Vegan/Meat Lovers Thanksgiving Gala!

Hello my dear friends! It’s that old chestnut, my Thanksgiving blog!

So here it is- my special shout out to all you fellow cooks getting ready for the big game meal next week.

Is your menu written on a napkin all set? Is it like a peace treaty between warring countries fluid like mine?

Are there some nutty new additions and I don’t mean just to the guest list. Has plant based eating hit your extended family like a tornado like it has hit mine?

Yes, here at the farm we are all wondering what great grandma is going to make of all those vegan sides!

And what WILL the sides be here at the farm? Two of my adult children are just back from a bachelor party in Nashville so we know what sides THEY would like.


(And we do make a good one- see page 142 of our farm cookbook The Things We Cook for the recipe).

Here’s my copy of The Things We Cook– well loved and with a fair amount of penciled in vegan adaptations in the margins also very decorated as we realized this cookbook makes a great coloring book no matter one’s dietary persuasion.

Cookbook aside,  while various people lobby for their choice of sides, I, as the person elbowing my way into my own kitchen in charge of the Thanksgiving kitchen, pretend I have no plan so no one can complain in advance continue to craft the perfect menu in my head.

Full disclosure: I have informed the twenty one people who are coming to our shindig that they can expect some unique and festive dishes that may only appear once on the menu but will live on in infamy expect the unexpected.

I have intimated to several of those particularly near and dear to me that the menu is going to be a complete break from anything ever cooked here veer towards gluten free, dairy free and animal free. They have had a strong reaction to the news upped the ante in their corner by volunteering to do more cooking.

So…..there may be a shepherd’s pie with vegan mashed potatoes and smoked paprika, sunflower romanesco and lentil filling on the table but according to the meat police traditionalists there will also be TURKEY, GIBLET GRAVY, DUCK,  SALAMI AND CHIPPED BEEF.

My question about these meat demands suggestions: Has there EVER been a traditional Green Hope Farm Thanksgiving with Duck or Salami or Chipped Beef LET ALONE ALL THREE? I think this is a BIT of an overreaction to the news of my plans for a semi-vegan Thanksgiving.

In any case, it has all been pretty light hearted so far with no actual threats as no one is too righteous in their choices. And I find it fun to explore new cooking directions. It’s somewhat like diving into the water at the arctic circle for a refreshing dip while a crowd of thousands watch.

No seriously, I love a reckless crazed bold adventure. And perhaps this year will have especially bold, might I say dangerous moments…. As everyone will attest who has even breezed through the farm in the last few months, I am infatuated with my new pressure cooker, and it is ALWAYS going. I promise that I am usually vaguely moderately super attentive and never leave the room when the pressure is up. THERE IS NO CAUSE FOR ALARM.

And thanks to My Precious, aka my pressure cooker, when beloveds come through the kitchen looking for snacks, there is heartbreak that the formerly endless stash of cakes and cookies has been replaced by tamari almonds and rice crackers there are vast quantities of yummy superfoods including soooooo many beans and ancient grains pressure cooked to perfection and ready for someone to quietly compost savor with great enjoyment.

Exhibit A- What pantry snoops hope to find.

Exhibit B- What they are apt to find.

But back to the Thanksgiving feast in all its glory!

This year at the farm, there is one thing we can all agree upon: Potato chips this is the fact that there is so much to be grateful for even if for some of us it’s a thing with feathers and for some of us, not so much.