I’ve been traveling like a maniac for the past few months, so I decided not to go home for Thanksgiving this year. Instead, I’ll be cooking dinner with my special someone — although I have no idea whether or not this qualifies as a Holidate. I have a problem, though. While you’re sitting down to luscious slices of juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and stuffing made from White Castle burgers, there’s a very good chance that I’ll be eating Tofurky.
Well, maybe not Tofurky; probably just a collection of vegan side dishes. The only thing my plate will have in common with yours is the canned cranberry sauce. If I really think about it, though, I’m not that upset about missing out on the Turkey Day classics. When you’re making Thanksgiving with your favorite vegan, it’s more about the process than the product.
Cooking for a holiday with your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband/life-partner/conjoined twin can be a wonderful experience — if you do it right. There are a few simple rules I like to keep in mind. First and foremost, be cool. This isn’t a restaurant kitchen and you’re not a professional chef (unless you are, in which case please ignore this paragraph). So what if the onions aren’t diced into uniform pieces? It’s not really going to affect the flavor anyway. Just relax and enjoy your time together.
The second rule is to drink heavily. Hey — this is a great excuse to make a personalized cocktail! Drinking leads to playfulness which leads to mistakes which lead to fun stories about the time you put vodka in the green beans. Open up a bottle of wine and let your hair down. Don’t let it down too much, though, because nobody likes hair in their vodka green beans.
The last rule is that no matter what, everything tastes great. Even when it doesn’t, it really does. Unless you can be physically harmed by the meal, it is in nobody’s best interest to complain about the food. So suck it up and eat those misshapen onions with a smile on your face. It’s better than being alone.
Will I miss eating turkey on Thanksgiving? Without a doubt. More than anything, I’ll miss my mom’s stuffing, which she lovingly shoves up the bird’s nether regions in complete defiance of the Health Department’s warnings. My sweet potato casserole this year will be dairy-free and there will be no vanilla ice cream on my pumpkin pie. Woe is me. On the flipside, I’ll get to spend a whole day in the kitchen with my favorite person in the world and, if you ask me, that beats a post-dinner turkey coma any day of the year.