Giving Thanks

If I ever had doubts that there was anything in my life I had to be thankful for, I don’t think there ever will be again. Even if nothing is ever again like it last night, I will still be grateful for the fact that it occurred at all.

Every previously Thanksgiving that I could remember had been miserable. For the past two years, I’ve either been hospitalized or just so sick I can’t even scrape a solid recollection of the day together. Even before that, all I can recall is just suffering through the dull conversations that carefully excluded me, eventually ending in a lack-luster dead carcass to feast upon. The whole event was merely about waiting for it to be over. Never before had I even considered hosting my own dinner, and even when I said that very proposal aloud it seemed completely unreal to me. Although I did waver (Many times, in fact) this plan did end up coming to fruition, and I couldn’t have been happier that it did.

All I have to share are pictures of the food [and not even all of it; There was so much, and it was all eaten so fast!] because I’m not sure if all of my friends would be happy if I posted their pictures here without asking first. None of them were very flattering either, so I think I’ll be doing everyone a favor not to. As limited a view as it can provide, I am very proud of the meal I was able to present, with the help of others. What didn’t get photographed was the delicious squash soup brought by Sven, the impressive asparagus casserole made by Sarah, a loaf of freshly baked bread from Aly, and the lovely dish of glazed carrots from Skids. I didn’t get a picture of the chickpea gravy I made myself either, but that’s all the better anyways, since gravy never looks half as good as it tastes.

The main dish was still turkey, but in the form of tofu, of course! This is a shot of them still marinating, because they were devoured as soon as they left the oven. The marinade was a simple mix of soy sauce and veggie stock with some spices, and then they were baked in a 375 degree oven for… 45 minutes? Not so sure, but they came out great. The “tofurkey” was my main concern, because I wasn’t sure if it would hold its shape and still taste good, but my worries were apparently unnecessary. All 14 little tofu birds were eaten between 11 people.

For the stuffing, I prepared a mix of brown and wild rice which was cooked in more veggie stock and onions. After it had absorbed all of the liquid in the pot, celery and mushrooms were stirred in and easy as that, the dish was served! For something so basic, I really liked how this one came out.

It looks messy, I know, but that’s because it is. I had something of a brain fart and tried to mash my cauliflower in the wrong bowl which couldn’t hold it all… Ah well, it all worked out anyways. I started working from the recipe found here, but half way through I stopped paying attention to the written directions and did whatever was possible to arrive at a similar dish in the end. And it was still very tasty nonetheless!

For dessert, we started off with two pints of Soy Delicious ice cream brought by Miles… I don’t remember exactly which anymore, but I don’t think there is much left of them anymore.

To accompany a scoop of the soy ice cream, I made a small platter of sugar cookie and ginger bark. Nothing really specially, but they still definitely fit the bill.

The big finale was when I brought out the cookies and cream cupcakes as a belated birthday celebration for Nato. Since there is no longer a trace that they ever once existed in this household, I think that they were fairly successful.

It was all wonderful, but food aside, I had a really great time. I’m so happy that everyone could come and make it what it was. Honestly, I’m thankful to know such amazing people… and the fact that they all seemingly care about me? I don’t think I really deserve that.

Thank you, and also thank you everyone out there in the blogosphere for your patience with me. My email has been a bit constipated lately so I’m not trying to avoid your questions or anything like that! Hopefully posting activities on my end will return to normal for a while now, since I no longer need to stress over this dinner, and my package for the Vegan Pal Swap is now in transit. Thank goodness!

And on that note… After all that cooking, preparing, and worrying, I think I’m going to sleep for a long, long time now.