Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Potluck

Who: VN Editorial Assistant Joni Sweet
What: A vegan Thanksgiving potluck
When: Saturday, November 26, 2011
Where: My cozy apartment in San Francisco, CA
Why: To celebrate the best holiday of the year!

Mmm. Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings! 

The Scoop: Thanksgiving for me is usually spent eating all of the traditional favorites alongside my brother, sister, and Dad in Upstate NY. While the bad news is that I couldn’t afford to fly across the country to indulge in our annual tradition, I did host a really fun Thanksgiving potluck at my apartment in San Francisco with my boyfriend Jeremy. Together, we spent the day whipping the apartment into shape and cooking up a storm for our party of 10—nine of whom turned out to be East Coasters, with my longtime friend Iyla and her two guests hailing from my home region. If I couldn’t be in NY for my favorite holiday, at least I could dine with other orphans from the East Coast.

Tofurky roast with cherries, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

When everyone brought their dishes, I couldn’t believe the colorful, decadent feast in front of me. I marinated and baked two Tofurkys (one with ginger-garlic, the other with Tofurky’s recipe for a Caramelized Onion & Cherry Roast). Jeremy and I also roasted pecan- and fig-stuffed Delicata squash, tossed a leafy green salad with homemade herbed vinaigrette, and mashed sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes. No one was disappointed, though, when my friend Sophia revealed that she had also made mashed red-skin potatoes—two giant bowls of smooth, buttery deliciousness at one party? Count me in. As if that wasn’t enough, Sophia wowed everyone with her vegan egg-salad sandwiches and stuffed baby mushrooms. Iyla cooked a gorgeous carrot-apple soup, spiced with nutmeg and ginger, with a side of Southern cornbread. And because nearly everyone else brought a bottle (or two) of wine, we kept toasty for the entirety of the evening. No one even seemed to mind that we had to eat our soup in shifts because I didn’t have enough spoons.

The best guests at the best Thanksgiving dinner!
Never would I have thought that Thanksgiving without my family would be so warm and welcoming. After we indulged in hot apple pie topped with vanilla bean soy ice cream and baklava for dessert, we headed out to burn some calories with a night of dancing. Next year, I do hope to make it back to NY and have Thanksgiving with my family, but this year’s event will go down as one of the most joyous and genuine celebrations of gratitude for years to come.

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