An Organic, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Intolerant/
Thanksgiving Day Dinner
It’s just one Thursday each year towards the end of November, somehow selected long ago, when folks do nothing more than gather together to share company, dinner, dessert, libation and whatever floats your boat, as Papa used to say. I like Thanksgiving Day more than any other holiday for that reason alone. There are no gift lists, no romantic entanglements, no tributes to fallen heros, no fireworks, no religious responsibilities-just a meal.
On Fellowship Street Thanksgiving dinner meant turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggies, that wretched canned cranberry jelly, and lots of pies. Papa used to make three or four different pies, always including minced meat pies, something I have never sampled outside of our home.
My job (as it was others’ job before me) was to dice the onions, peppers, celery, garlic, et al, for the stuffing. Additionally, I chopped the turkey giblets that Papa also found essential for this dish. He liberally applied the poultry seasoning and the black pepper. Papa was a fan of a well-seasoned stuffing.
Today Annie and I will convene to Casey and Amber’s spot for a dinner which-except for the organic turkey from Mariposa’s-will come almost exclusively from HappyDay Farms. The menu will include turkey, pulled pork (from the hog that was butchered last month) potatoes (which technically come from Irene’s organic farm) gravy, winter squash, various veggies, and an assortment of freshly prepared greens. For dessert Annie has prepared pumpkin pies from the sugar pumpkins harvested recently, three different kinds of dinner rolls/muffins, and Amber is certain to have some of John’s wine, made locally here in Mendo County. (OK, the gluten-free flours Annie uses are not produced on the farm…)
Yes, these days there is very little that closely resembles the traditional Thanksgiving meal from the past. Annie made a vegan meatloaf last year so that everyone had a main entree. We have only gluten-free food available, Annie had to make one pie without her almond crust, because of someone’s allergy to nuts, and she has to prepare dairy-free dessert for another, because of a lactose-intolerant issue. It’s all on the agenda for a modern meal. This is not political correctness-it’s looking after the comfort of one’s guests, and that’s still a top priority.
If there were stipulations attached to Thanksgiving Day, they would revolve around the dual concepts of appreciation for what we have, while acknowledging that there are many who do not have even the bare minimum. But those who have nothing on a special holiday, also have nothing every day of the week. I think it’s appropriate to share in the responsibility of this societal travesty on Thanksgiving Day, only if we also share in the responsibility of this travesty every other day of the year too.
In any and all cases, I think folks should do what feels right, and right now, what feels right, is dinner. After all, I-as much as anyone-have much to be thankful for and her name is Annie.