It’s amazing how time flies these days. It’s already November!
Even though my favorite time of the season is fast approaching, I find myself a little sad, because I’m caught up in this whirlwind of “adult” things (this will be reserved for a separate post… if I ever find the time for it). How did Halloween sneak up on me?? Then again, I really didn’t do it much justice – instead, I scheduled our family’s Thanksgiving 2014 Dinner the very next night.
This was mainly because I would be leaving the country the week of the actual Thanksgiving Day and I refuse to not have Thanksgiving Dinner this year. My family didn’t really care too much – they just enjoyed the fact that we would be getting together over food so they were pretty excited. Who am I kidding? I was most definitely excited as well. Food: the magic word. Now, I wouldn’t say our Thanksgiving Dinners are terribly traditional, but they are most definitely epic on their own level. Okay, quite honestly, they became more epic starting last year, because it was my first Thanksgiving with me married (Hah! That still rings odd in my mental ears.) and I wanted to have a legit Thanksgiving Dinner. Plus, it turns out that my other half never had a real Thanksgiving celebration and I was determined to change that. Before this, they were small, normal dinners with my immediate family and we might even have dessert (I live in a family of health nuts). Even before that during my childhood in California (and before my family became completely vegetarian), my parents would buy ready-made Thanksgiving Dinners and we would eat at home.
Last year’s Dinner was ridiculous. I put it together so I did most of the cooking and, of course, I insisted on making everything from scratch (except for the veggie “meat”). I don’t quite remember the menu but I remember cooking from the day before up until the actual dinner itself. There was vegetarian “turkey” (it was disturbingly in the shape of a chicken mold including the head), biscuits, mashed potatoes with gravy, veggie meatloaf, Cornbread stuffing, Grapefruit tart… my Asian family also brought over more Asian fare.
This year, we all had our roles, which is a big relief when you work full-time and my family Thanksgiving dinners means you cook for around 15 people. (The sad thing is that if we had one with all of my family members not in town, we might as well be a restaurant.)
My mom was in charge of the spanakopita and protein (in this case, it was vegetarian ham that she pan fried).
My sister was in charge of the roasted Brussels sprouts, the cranberry sauce substitute of Rutabaga and Pear Puree, the Endive Salad Boats, and buying the hulking Pumpkin Pie from Costco.
My friend, Lisa, was in charge of Potatoes au Gratin.
I was in charge of the Cornbread Stuffing, the Pumpkin Bread, and the Non-alcoholic Sangria. Pillsbury’s Flaky Biscuits also came on sale so I threw those in last-minute as well. Plus, I’d never had them before and I wanted to try them out!
My mom assured me my aunt would be bringing something most definitely not American. It was to be a surprise because even my mom was in the dark. She ended up bringing a number of items: the vegetarian Bò Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew) with personal sized French baguettes, Vietnamese Shredded Salad with Herbs, and an Agar-Agar Dessert.
My grandma also made a savory Agar-Agar-based dish that featured bits of wood ear fungus, tofu, and veggie meat.
My mom surprised me and brought over a tray of French Macarons she got from Sam’s Club. Awesome!!!
The verdict? Let’s just say that we were very, very full. Everything was a hit (well, once I told my family that you eat the puree with the stuffing) and I’m already wondering about next year’s Thanksgiving menu!