After many years of my mother-in-law hosting Thanksgiving, I offered to host it this year. I don’t eat meat. I already knew my meat-eating in-laws had tried and don’t care much for Tofurky. They want actual turkey. Cooking meat is not a personal problem for me, as I cook meat for my husband almost daily. At my request, he ordered the turkey from a supplier who sells humanely-raised turkey.
I cook and serve meat in my own home because I accept the fact that my husband eats meat. I realize my family won’t stop eating meat just as they realize I won’t start eating meat. I don’t refuse to reciprocate the graciousness of someone else hosting Thanksgiving year after year.
I use my real-world experience of cooking, smelling, serving, and watching other people eat meat as a creativity tool. A main character in my (back burner, this month) novel I started a few years ago is a meat-eating glutton. While I don’t think of my meat-eating friends and family as gluttons, I do incorporate the sight, sound, smell, and feel of cooking and serving meat into my character description and into the meat-eating scenes.
So I feed my guests on Thanksgiving, and on Black Friday I write . .
On to the vegan Thanksgiving dishes:
Cheesy Potato Muffins with Applesauce
5 Starchy Potatoes, halved
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
2 tbsp butter substitute, (such as Earth Balance) plus extra
1 cup shredded Cheese Substitute, such as Sheese
1 cup prepared egg substitute, such as Ener-G
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2 tbsp mixed Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
1 tablespoon Sea Salt
Crushed Black Peppercorns
sauce-making Apples, such as Gala
Quarter apples. Remove cores. Cube apples, and put the cubes in a blender with enough water to cover half-way. Whir. Pour the apple liquid in a pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a sauce consistency.
Boil potatoes until not quite soft. Drain and let cool. In the meantime, carmelize the onions in butter substitute until soft. Grate the potatoes. In a large bowl, stir together the cheese substitute, egg substitute, yeast, herbs, salt, and peppercorns. Add the potato and onions and gently mix. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat muffins pan cups with the butter substitute and spoon the mixture into muffin cups. Bake for 45 minutes, or until peaked with golden-brown. Muffins with be soft. Makes 16 muffins.
Spicy Pumpkin Cups
2 cups prepared (uniform consistency) Pumpkin
1/2 cup Coconut Milk blended with 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Blackstrap Molasses
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
1/4 teaspoon Clove Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
Butter Substitute, such as Earth Balance
Water for tray
Heat oven to 350°F. Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Coat the inside of teacups with the butter substitute. Spoon the mixture into cups, and place the cups in a shallow tray. Place the tray with filled cups in the oven, and fill the tray with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake for 45 minutes. Top with espresso. Chill in refrigerator. Makes 4 servings.