November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012


This year's tofu turkey was a little weird, I thought, and not as good as last year's. It neither looked nor tasted the way I expected, and the texture was off. The only thing I can think of was that last year I used very fresh, just-made tofu from a local Vietnamese tofu shop, and this year I purchased super-firm packaged Wildwood tofu. The Wildwood tofu works great when used for usual preparations like stir-fries, baked or sautéed slices, and I thought the extra-firm texture would be good for the tofu turkey, where pressing out excess water is an overnight process. I wanted it to be great, but it wasn't. It was stuffed with a tasty "meaty" wild rice stuffing made with cauliflower and walnuts, and served with mushroom gravy. I think I'm going to abandon the tofu turkey next year and choose a different centerpiece.


I wasn't good about photographing the food — partly because it's so hard to get good photos at night, and partly because I got caught up in the party — but I did get a few shots, notably the fresh and delicious kale salad brought by one of our sons. Behind the salad you can (barely) see the pan of yummy potato stuffing brought by another son. The potato stuffing, or kugel, is a traditional holiday food in our family.


Of course there was cranberry sauce — this year's version contained cranberries, apples and pineapple.

Not pictured is a glorious appetizer platter made by our daughter-in-law, a cheese spread made from smoked provalone from Artisan Vegan Cheese, a platter of roasted vegetables, and probably other things I'm forgetting.




The pumpkin pie filling was from a recipe by Gena Hamshaw of the blog, Choosing Raw. I made it with butternut squash instead of pumpkin, because I prefer the texture, and the extra sweet flavor of the squash means I can use less sugar. I like to add a chocolate chip garnish during the last few minutes of baking. The plan was to make whipped coconut cream to garnish the pie but I completely forgot! The crust I made was  gluten-free — not the crust from the recipe. We also had oatmeal-almond chocolate chip cookies. And fruit salad.


The day after Thanksgiving, my son took me on a tour of the building where he works. I was surprised and pleased to see this poster on the wall outside the cafeteria.


Here you see two of our sons "posing" in one of the conversation areas.


A view of the Space Needle through a rain decorated window.

Hope everyone who celebrates had a pleasant Thanksgiving and made good use of the leftovers — the subject of my next post.

30 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Andrea! It looks and sounds like you had a nice day, despite the tofu turkey not being as good as last years. That kale salad looks especially delicious, and the tofu turkey certainly *looks* impressive! I am glad you were able to spend the day with your family. I know I was missing mine that day.

    Courtney

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    1. Thanks, Courtney. I'm sorry you weren't with your family. I think I have to let go of the idea of a "main dish" and just make a bunch of things that go well together next year.

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    2. The sides are the best part of the Thanksgiving meal anyway! Cover anything in gravy and it will taste good regardless :-)

      Courtney

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! The tofu was weird, though. Really.

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving! I love that there are so many different ways to make a Thanksgiving turkey but I am in favor of throwing out that tradition. It's just as easy to sub any other (many!) protein.
    The cranberry sauce sounds really interesting. I love how many variations there are.
    Gorgeous view at yr son's workplace!

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    1. There's something cool about having an elaborate food centerpiece, but I'm starting to rethink that idea. Maybe I'll start a new tradition next year.

      The workplace is a spectacular set of buildings — and the cleanest place I've seen in a long time!

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  4. It all sure looks delicious to me! Festive too (that cranberry sauce in particular is so pretty, and I love the idea of apples and pineapples in it!) We've done various Thanksgiving dinners since going vegan ~ from homemade pizza to store-bought Tofurky to all the traditional sides with Susan Vs Quinoa & Red Lentil Cutlets (the one we usually come back to, we really like them). I say make and eat what you feel like. As long as it's vegan, it's all good. :-)

    That poster is great, and I love the rainy view of the Space Needle. (That must be your son who works at Google?)

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    1. I'm going to be on the lookout for a festive dish to serve next thanksgiving — if only I can remember what it is. :D

      It's my son's gf who works at Google in Mountain View, CA. This is a different son who works at a location in Seattle. The view of the space needle was taken with an iphone through a window!

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  5. Your food looks great (per usual), and I'm glad you too are a fan of leftovers. Although, I must admit: by day 4 I couldn't do it anymore and water fasted for a day. What a wonderful, informative, and non-confrontational, pro-veg sign!

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    1. When I got to the point of not being able to stand the tofu anymore, I made burgers and froze them! I think of the sign as an "idea" sign. People will look at it and may have an idea 'planted' in their brain. Good advertising has influence!

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  6. What a feast! Too bad the tofu turkey wasn't as good as last year's, but it sure looks delicious! If you want to choose a different centerpiece for next year, may I recommend Jeni Treehugger's potato stuffed mushroom/lentil loaf?
    Let me fetch you the link...
    http://heathenandvegan.blogspot.com/2008/11/vegan-roast-dinner-lentil-and-mushroom.html

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    1. Simultaneous commenting! I was just on your blog. I remember your posting about the loaf, and I will go check it out right now and add it to my Thanksgiving folder. Thanks!

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  7. We did it again! Synchronized comments! :D

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  8. I am so sorry your tofu turkey didn't come out as you had expected! It looks great though. Every year I browse the Thanksgiving posts and think it is so fascinating that most people seem to eat the same foods. I don't think we have a holiday in Germany where that is the case.

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    1. You're right about certain foods being traditional for holidays, and it's interesting to see which foods pop up the most. Green bean casserole is very popular but my family never had that at our table. Also lots of people have mashed potatoes, but at our house we had potato kugel and sweet potato casserole. Lots of similarities, but lots of differences, too.

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  9. It's funny you apologized about the photos because I was just thinking how much better yours looked than mine. What must you think of my orange-tinted food??? Such a bummer about the tofu roast. I hate it when I work so hard on a new recipe, putting in great flavors, imagining the first glorious bite, only to have it fall flat in taste and texture. It sure looks beautiful though, and you have such a great family, I'm sure no one cared. Seeing your grown children come with their loved ones, bringing vegan food, delights me, and I hope that will happen for me one day. I'd love a generational gathering that's all vegan, and no one has to eat just the sides.

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    1. You mean, "evening orange?" I minimize it by setting the white balance on the camera, and color correcting the photos, but I hand-held the camera in dim, artificial light, so I didn't get great shots. I prefer when my photos look good, but I still use them when they don't. I have Photoshop, but there are free programs you can use if you want to color correct your photos (pic monkey is a good one.)

      My family may have cared since they are all foodies, but are too polite to complain. :D I have no doubt that when your children are grown, they will come running to your table from wherever they may live, for every holiday! I'd come too, if I lived closer!

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  10. Hey, looks like a good and healthy feast! Sorry to hear you weren't happy with the tofu turkey. But I have to say, the kale salad looks gorgeous!

    Your son must work at a pretty cool place! And, I really love the pic of rainy Seattle through the window, very artistic perspective.

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    1. Thanks! He does work at a cool place. I took similar photos though non-rainy windows, too, but hey, this is Seattle!

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  11. I'm agreeing with whoever said that it all looks gorgeous. What else went into the tofu turkey? It does look gorgeous nonetheless. As does the pie and the sauce and the space needle! (not good enough to eat in the last case!)

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    1. The tofu had herbs and spices and such, as well as a tamari-based glaze. It was stuffed with a cauliflower and walnut-based stuffing similar to the one I linked to. I didn't like the texture. I loved the pie, though. :D

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  12. You even eat healthily on Thanksgiving--impressive array of colorful yummy foods. Your son works in a gorgeous office--too bad the weather didn't cooperate. How's the new doggy?

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    1. I'd say it was healthyish, but I'm sure there are people who would say there was too much fat and sugar.

      This is Seattle, and the weather is what it is. It wasn't actually raining when I snapped the photo, but the windows tell a tale of what may have been happening an hour before. It's always raining or about to rain.

      I'm madly in love with the new doggie!

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  13. Looks & sounds like a great feast! Too bad about the tofu turkey not turning out as well, though.

    The cranberries sound so good with the other ingredients mixed in. Yum!

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    1. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good, either. Better luck next year. The cranberries were delicious!

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  14. It certainly looks like a delicious Thanksgiving, even if you weren't enamored with your tofu turkey this year. How lucky are you that your daughter-in-law brought provolone from Artisan Vegan Cheese? I've been meaning to get started on those recipes! I told myself once MoFo was over, I would delve into it. Knowing that there are a lot of steps involved has me stopping before I've started. Do you think your daughter-in-law would mind paying me a visit? ;)

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    1. Actually, I made the provalone, so you know it was easy to do and hardly any trouble at all! The cream cheese and the provalone are both simple recipes to start with. DSid you watch Mitoki's cooking video?

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    2. Oh, oops! I thought it was on her appetizer platter. Well, then you're welcome for a visit anytime! :) That is tempting that it's easy to do. I remember reading about your trial of the cream cheese and thinking it sounded wonderful. I haven't seen her cooking video. Does she cover those two cheeses in it?

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