I forget sometimes that Thanksgiving becomes a holiday entirely wrapped up in celebrating thankfulness around a big dead bird. Unfortunately, that’s just something I can’t get into.
Most of the time when I think of Thanksgiving I think of the celebrating the harvest, which in Ontario is quite bountiful. I think of sharing a meal with my loved one(s), and most of all, I think of cooking up something fun and delicious.
This year we celebrated twice. I made a small meal on Sunday before JC went to his family’s house, and a big one for Monday.
For mini-thanksgiving we had a field roast celebration roast, smashed root vegetables, and steamed corn. Simple, but tasty. It was the first time I’ve ever tried the Celebration Roast from Field Roast, and the one we ate was actually brought back from a trip to the USA. They are now available most of the usual veggie meat places in Toronto – like Big Carrot, Essence of Life, Fiesta Farms, and Evergreen. Whole Foods is supposed to have them eventually as well.
The smashed root veggies were potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots, slow cooked on low for most of the morning till they were soft enough to smash with a whisk. Pressed garlic and onion added to the flavour, and we were ready to eat.
The Celebration Roast reminded me a lot of the Field Roast sausages in texture and flavour. It was good, but I generally don’t like fake meats if I can avoid them. They are a great size for storing away in the freezer, or maybe preemptively hiding in the freezers of non-veg relatives just in case of a special occasion.
Monday’s Thanksgiving meal was especially fun to prepare. It was hard to decide what to start with, in order to get the timing right, but it seemed to work out. I think we had enough food. And will have enough food for at least the rest of the week.
More potatoes in the slow cooker, this time on high with a bit of water, garlic, and onion. It’s nice to use it for potatoes, because I can completely forget about them for a few hours, but still have them turn out great.
I started with my usual stuffing mostly because it takes a while to bake through, especially with a somewhat fresh loaf of bread. It’s turned into an autopilot kind of thing. Tear apart bread, chop celery, cranberries, pick leaves off of fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage.) Pour in 1 cup of soymilk, 1 cup of broth mixed with vegan margarine, throw it in the oven. Done. Actual recipe for Vegan Bread Stuffing is here if you’d like it.
The tofu lentil loaf was pretty delicious. And based around this recipe here from My Vegan Cookbook
I steamed, and then roasted Hokkaido kabocha squash in a maple glaze, with positive results. Neither JC nor I have ever had it before, but it lived up to the hype. Super flavourful, with a rich, and almost nutty quality to it. I imagine the maple helped, but I suspect it’s delicious without anything added.
My plate was full, and I was thrilled.
We took a significant break between dinner and dessert, but once we relaxed for a bit, we had an Apple Crumble Pie, a bit of date squares (that JC’s family made) and a pecan topped pumpkin pie.
I was genuinely excited about the pumpkin pie, since I’ve always wanted to make one, but never got around to doing it. Flaky crust, local pie pumpkins (which are smaller than the jack o’lantern varieties), and spiced to perfection (with all spice, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg) overall, I’d have to say it was great (to toot my own horn.)
This year I’m thankful for a quiet thanksgiving at home. I’m thankful for an amazing partner, that supports me, and encourages me, and eats my food and always says he likes it. I’m thankful for family. I’m thankful for large plots of land, and small plots of land around the city, province, and country that I get my produce from. I’m thankful I still managed to find Ontario apples for my crumble, despite the terrible growing season. I’m thankful for flaky pastry dough, and beginners luck. I’m thankful for amazing people that make organizations like Marineland Animal Defense, Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, and Toronto Pig Save happen. I’m thankful for kitchen bravado. I’m thankful for the new World of Warcraft expansion. I’m thankful for my health, my families health, and finally, I’m thankful for love, life, and happiness.
What are you thankful for?