Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Whew! Thanksgiving is over. The last week has been full of activity, and I've had a great time. Now Christmas is looming on the horizon, and I'm looking forward to making some holiday-themed vegan ice creams, like candy cane and soy nog.

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Nick and I visited the California Farm Sanctuary shelter for their "Celebration for the Turkeys." Instead of eating a turkey, you get to feed the turkeys! The turkeys especially liked the cranberry stuffing the Farm Sanctuary staff prepared. We also got to meet many of the other rescued animals at the shelter. And I just can't resist sharing pictures!

Here's Nick meeting Hank. Hank liked having his face petted.

Here's me and Linus. I'm brushing Linus's cheeks, and he just loved it.

Here's us feeding the turkeys!

Many of the turkeys we met were recently rescued by the Peninsula Humane Society in nearby San Mateo. Farm Sanctuary notes, "These turkeys were among over 11,500 birds transported from Detroit to San Francisco via Northwest Airlines. Upon arrival at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on July 13, Northwest employees discovered that over 9,000 of the birds had perished in transit from Detroit to SFO. According to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (PHS/SPCA), which was the first to take in some of the surviving birds, said they 'believe the massive loss was due to overcrowding. The turkeys couldn't breathe, became overheated, dehydrated and died.' Approximately 1,900 surviving birds were sent to their final destination to become "breeder" birds, whose offspring would be sold for food." Amazingly, after such cruel treatment at the hands of humans, the rescued turkeys were sweet as pumpkin pie!

All in all, the trip to Farm Sanctuary was beautiful and inspiring for both me and Nick. It's easy to forget sometimes that the animals we're working to help are all interesting individuals with their own stories, just like the cats we've rescued and made a part of our family.

Anyway, after our pre-Thanksgiving celebration at Farm Sanctuary, we had our own vegan celebration at home with some friends. I was very good this year and didn't get completely stressed and overwork myself trying to make twenty different menu items! I kept it simple (simple for me, at least), and the results were great!

The menu:

- Winter Vegetable Pot Pie (a veganized version from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), with butternut squash, celery root, parsnips, turnips, carrots, shallots, oyster mushrooms, and brussels sprouts, in a creamy herbed sauce, covered with a (store-bought) puff pastry crust.

- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic (from Vegan with a Vengeance).

- Green salad with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.

- Homemade whole wheat rolls (I was inspired by the
Vivacious Vegan).

- A can of that nasty gelled cranberry sauce that my husband snuck into the house to torment me. (I made him eat it. Revenge! Ha ha ha!)

- Apple crumble.

- Pumpkin squares!!! This is really a pumpkin cake, but my family calls it pumpkin squares for some reason. This year I veganized the recipe and it was so freaking good I'm going to make it again later this week and turn them into cupcakes. I frosted the cake/squares with the vegan cream cheese frosting from
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

Yes, this is "holding back" for me. And we had only four guests! Yet somehow we had very few leftovers...


  1. Anonymous7:15 AM

    I really enjoyed the pictures of you at the Farm Sanctuary. How much fun you must have had!

    Your Winter Vegetable Pot Pie sounds delicious. Mmmmm!

  2. The pictures and the menu look great. I'd be curious to try that pot-pie combo, usually I just use the standard potato/carrot staple, though last time I did use leftover squash soup for the liquid part of the filling. I was going to make a pot-pie myself, but opted for the lasagne. Non-vegans ate it and asked a few times if I was sure about there being no dairy. There are some pics on my blog. The blog prior addresses the whole killing turkey = family love thing. That's great you got a chance to hang out with happy farmed animals. I used to love Pigs Peace in Seattle for the same reason.
    I await your holiday ice cream you have one for soy white russian ice cream? That's sorta xmas-like.
    --mz binge

  3. To Mz Binge--

    Vegan white russian ice cream sounds awesome. I still remember fondly the first time I went to a bar that offered vegan white russians (Tube, in Portland--very cool place). I'll have to look into making this!

  4. Anonymous6:05 PM

    i like your blog. congrats...

  5. I've always wanted to go to the Farm Sanctuary. The happy times you had just cemented the deal for me. Thanks for the recipes by the way.

  6. Loving your blog!!

    First-time visitor here.

    Thanks for caring about the animals. So wonderful.

    I'm big on vegan ice "cream," and other such sweet eats...

  7. Oh I've always wanted to visit the NY Farm Sanctuary! Lucky you. It's worth noting that you can also "adopt" a turkey for Thanksgiving from FS. My husband and I have done that for the past three years and I hope it becomes a family tradition. Love your blog!