Thanksgiving Without A Turkey And Still Thankful


Vegan Thanksgiving
photo credit: Velo Steve/Flickr

As a vegan Thanksgiving is not about the turkey. There are so many wonderful things we make to eat that we never miss that bird in the middle of the table. We will have dressing (husband and daughter like to call it stuffing, though we never “stuff” it into anything) made from my grandmother’s recipe, except that I use vegetable broth instead of chicken. I learned a killer way to make cranberry relish (with orange juice, pears, apples and dried cherries – yum). My daughter’s favorite thing is the mashed potatoes with the sage gravy. She has also started the tradition of making a signature banana bread each year. My husband always comes up with a pumpkin pie recipe that never tastes the same from one Thanksgiving to the next. One year it even had a cherry jam glaze on it. It is a real dessert adventure.

The thing I like most about this holiday is that we make all of this stuff together. The kitchen is over crowded and over heated. We have to fight for elbow room at the counters. It always seems like a mad scramble to get everything on the table, but it is so much fun.

When I was a kid Thanksgiving was my least favorite holiday. It always meant cleaning the house and great-aunts taking your spot at the grown-up table. At my house we only clean off the table and make sure there are no jackets on the couch. If company comes (which we LOVE), they are treated like family…and put to work.

This is a holiday about being together and being thankful for what we have. Whether you choose to  have a bird or no bird as an entree at your table, I think we can all agree on that.

With that in mind I want to run down a quick list of things I am thankful for this year:

  1. My family, near and far – I do not think I could get up in the morning if I did not have them counting on and routing for me.
  2. My friends – Though most of them I consider family, so the statement above spreads out to them as well.
  3. My job – I wish I could say writing pays my bills, but it does not. Maybe that will come in a few years. Right now I am glad that I have money coming in to help keep a roof over our heads. Just a few years ago I did not know if that was going to be possible.
  4. NaNoWriMo – It was a beast that I seemed to have tamed and I am so glad I did. Though I am still getting up every morning before the sun to work on my book, NaNoWriMo kicked me in the butt to get me to do it. The challenge inspired me. I hope it continues to do so.
  5. Books – I love the fact that I am a reader. Books are what get me through a lot in my life, even if it is just a means of escape. They always have. There is security in having a book on your bedside table. It means a new world is waiting within an arms reach. I gave them up for NaNoWriMo (I did not want someone else’s story creeping into mine), but once December 1 comes around I plan to dive into a pile of them. Brace yourselves for my YA book recommendations.
  6. All of you out there in blog-land – I appreciate knowing that someone is reading what I have to say even when I am long-winded. It is also nice to have your comments on the things I ramble about. Thank you.
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