Friday, November 25, 2016

Coffee Talk: Thanksgiving




It's time for Coffee Talk. Have you got your coffee ready? I know I do! I figured since the holiday was just yesterday, that I should take some time to talk about it.

Several years ago, my husband and I got tired of traveling and dealing with family drama on Thanksgiving (as well as Christmas), so we decided that we would just do our own. Ever since then, I wake up early, make a filling breakfast for everyone, then begin preparing a feast. Last year was the first Thanksgiving that I was a vegan, so it was my first Thanksgiving meal that I veganized. While it was good, it wasn't as good as my previous omnivore Thanksgiving Day meals. It definitely had some room for improvement, then, and this year, I did just that.

I made all my standards, just in a vegan way, and they all came out delicious. I also invested the time and energy into making my own seitan roast. Seitan is a meat substitute that is made using vital wheat gluten, and it's quite delicious. Companies like Field Roast, Tofurky, and Gardein make scrumptious seitan roasts that vegans buy for holidays such as this, but they are pretty pricey. I've gotten good at making seitan--as well as other meaty items using vital wheat gluten--that I thought I'd try making my own. I turned to my Vegan Fairy Godmother, Isa Moskowitz, for inspiration and found this: Seitan Roast stuffed with Shiitakes and Leeks. I doubled the recipe, because I need lots of a good thing, and used garbanzo beans instead of pintos because that was what I had on hand. The roast was heavy since I made one large roast instead of two smaller roasts, so the slices are rectangular in shape as opposed to a circle. It didn't affect the texture or flavor, however, and it came out amazingly delicious. I'll never buy another seitan roast again!

Of course, I had to make desserts, so pies were done first. I made a vegan pumpkin pie with cocowhip, and then I made a new and easy favorite: blueberry pie. For this pie I simply buy a cookie crumb crust (as opposed to graham cracker crust), fill it with a can of blueberry pie filling, and top it with an entire container of cocowhip. I then chill it in the fridge until ready to serve. Secret: I already ate a piece of it for breakfast this morning. 




My pretty set table.



A nice shot of my plate. From left to right, going clockwise: seitan roast, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, buttered corn, and scalloped corn.



Pies! Blueberry and Pumpkin.


I see many people have been giving their thanks all month, and many people gave thanks yesterday. I stayed off social media for the most part as I was busy cooking, and, instead, really invested my time and energy into the day. It's the one time of the year where I have a nice set of days off in a row, and I can enjoy my favorite meal with my three favorite people. After a day of alternately cooking and doing dishes, I'm going to relish in a day of laziness. We'll eat leftovers today on disposable dishware so I don't have to worry about dishes building up, and I can enjoy a relaxing day.

I'm thankful, not just on the holiday, but every day of the year for what I have. I never forget how fortunate I am, even when things get bleak or seem formidable. I have a family that I adore, great friends, good health, a job that I enjoy, and all my parts are intact and working. I have money put aside, I always have food & other basic necessities, and I have a fulfilling personal life. 

I also have this: The Write Life, and you, my dear fan, follower, and reader. What can I say but "Thank you!" Thank you for joining me on my journey. You're appreciated.

I hope your holiday was everything you wanted it to be, and that you have cause to be thankful.

From me to you, many warm regards,

-H.A.


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