I follow a food calendar. If all is well in my world, certain foods appear like clockwork as part of a holiday meal: apple cake for Rosh Hashanah, soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day, potato latkes for Chanukah, and potato salad for Labor Day. For Thanksgiving, my food calendar and table are crowded with a Norman Rockwell-style array: turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, salad, a green vegetable, and pie.
But the world does change and I try to change with it. Donna Reed and Don Draper would not have known any vegetarians, let alone invited them to share a holiday meal, but I do. And while I’m a confirmed carnivore, I want to make all feel welcome. With a spirit of compromise that might be a good starting point for the fiscal cliff negotiators, I begin with 3 basic propositions:
- There will be turkey;
- The turkey will be displayed, so anyone who is morally opposed should avert their gaze or pretend for this one night that it doesn’t bother them; and
- There will be plenty for a vegetarian to eat and it will be good stuff, not just rolls and salad – we don’t treat anyone like a second-class eater.
With those groundrules and a menu already full of veggie-friendly items (cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, salad, green vegetable and pie), I move onto stuffing and main courses that the meatless eaters among us will enjoy.