Thanksgiving-how it had changed for me


Thanksgiving has evolved in my house over the years. Like most we were not always vegan. And it is worse than most because when I was small Thanksgiving was a working holiday. It was when we helped the family butcher hogs. I am sorry. But that was how it was. It occurred on the farm and then the meat was processed inside. We had dinner after. It gets a little worse. Then we went deer hunting. I am sorry but that was and is life in West Virginia and Pennsylvania for a lot of good families feeding their families the way they were taught by their parents and grandparents. It was not factory farming and it was not hunting to show off trophy kills. It was dinner. Maybe that is why Thanksgiving was not much of a holiday for me. We worked and we had dinner. Later, when I went to medical school it seemed like I always pulled call on Thanksgiving. I worked. It was better than working on Christmas which was a more pleasant holiday I might add. After many years and having daughter we moved to Florida and still went back to West Virginia for Thanksgiving. My dad still enjoyed getting together with his life long friends to hunt. Luckily for the deer, it became a social gathering without much hunting success. It is funny in a way. Even though those old boys never said it, they really were not interested in killing a deer anymore. No one needed it for food. So they really didn’t try. They just enjoyed each others company. The years moved on and my father’s health declined and dementia took over. We stayed in Florida and that is when I declared our first vegan Thanksgiving. It was not a good one. Not much health and no turkey. We had a Tofurkey. One from the early years. Not so good. Do I regret not having a turkey for my father’s last Thanksgiving? I regret are family not becoming plant based before my parents got ill. It wasn’t the lack of a turkey that made things not great. It was the lack of health. It is providing nourishing food to feed your family and keep them healthy that is the Thanksgiving celebration. Not the over-eating of fatty, salty, sugary food that makes things right.
I look forward to our vegan Thanksgiving this year. My daughter will be home from college. My mother is in great health. My boyfriend enjoys vegan cooking and his mother is going to try. We will be surrounded by our animals and happy that what might of been our turkey is outside flying freely. And the deer can roam free.
Happy Thanksgiving and health to all.


Field roast/seitan loaf- we will prepare seitan and stuff it with cranberries, walnuts and mushrooms.
The seitan recipe is from I steam my seitan in the Instapot for 30 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes-we do these boiled and tossed with cinnamon and a little maple syrup and baked.

Mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy-I like a combination of different mushrooms. Shiitake, portobello and whatever the I can find at my vegetable market.

Stuffing balls-bread crumbs, vegetable broth, celery, leeks and some flaxseed to bind.

Cranberries: fresh cranberries with mandarin oranges, celery, walnuts and a little agave.

Bok Choy salad: chopped bok choy, mandarin oranges, pomegranates, walnuts, lemon juice and a little agave.

Lima beans-creamed with almond milk/arrow root

Cold green bean salad: Blanched green beans with tomatoes, chick peas, basil and balsamic vinegar

Pumpkin pie: pumpkin, tofu, cinnamon, clove, allspice with crust made of walnuts and dates.

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