I knew we HAD to be related when I found out we shared a favorite holiday: yes, the foodiest holiday of all, Thanksgiving!
Donna, we’ve come a long way since our first Thanksgiving together, haven’t we? This was the very first big holiday I got to attend with the rest of your family. I remember being a little worried about being the vegetarian in the midst*. Luckily, even the most traditional turkey dinner includes a veritable cornucopia of hearty sides that are naturally vegetarian, provided that the cooks make note to avoid adding meat products when they’re not central to the dish (i.e. using vegetable stock instead of chicken, etc), and provided that the diner is willing to forego the gravy if necessary. I remember reassuring you that I’d have plenty no matter what, but if we really wanted to go all out, there was always Tofurky.
Yes, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, it’s a stuffed tofu loaf that comes in a box complete with veggie gravy, tempeh drumsticks, and even a Tofurky jerky wishbone. Donna was both generous and game, and set out to procure a Tofurky for me. Lo and behold, it turned out that Tofurky was actually a local product, produced exactly where Donna lived at the time: Hood River Oregon.
We prepared it with love, to the amusement of her other kids (two of whom later became vegetarian themselves), joking that we should create a competing brand, Fauxturkey. And a holiday tradition was born. Little did we know that years later, Donna and I would co-author a tofu cookbook, kicking off our more formal foodie collaboration. Though I no longer eschew meat altogether (as long as it’s well-sourced whenever possible), Tofurky will always have a funky little place in my heart.
Without further ado, let us share some of our favorite recipes from our favorite holiday. Have a wonderful, delicious Thanksgiving, everyone!
*Is no longer fully vegetarian, but still loves to eat much “vegetarian food”, as it’s some of the healthiest and most inventive stuff around.