Saturday, November 28, 2009

An Emily Post (Not That One)

Over the years I've modified my holiday cooking just slightly. At first I realized that I allowed a lot of my ingredients to touch the bird and that I had vegetarian guests so I just made myself a little more aware and made sure there were a few things that worked for them too. In the past couple of years I've stepped it up a notch because a very good friend has gone vegan. This, I'll admit, takes more thought on my part because my brain doesn't work that way. I'm progammed to be dairy friendly for bone health...ok and because I love cheese. It's not super difficult, though. I added a veggie dish and I modified the way I do a couple of other veggies and my vegan friend wasn't the only person who enjoyed them.

Earlier this week when I blogged the menu Monsieur le Vegan thanked me for the tweaking. Here's the thing, though, while that's polite and nice and I'd never refuse some friendly gratitude I'm only doing the right thing. Who invites someone over, really wants them to attend, and doesn't make sure there's at least something each guest can eat? Apparently a lot of families do. I don't know if it's true of my friend's family but I've heard a lot of stories. Actress Sara Gilbert mentioned in an interview once that she's essentially required to bring her entire holiday meal whenever she eats with her family.

Now I've not read extensively of Emily Post but I'm pretty sure she'd tell you those were some shitty manners. You don't have to change your whole meal but why would someone come to your party, especially your eating-til-you-burst food-centric party, if there wasn't any food for them? So you make a few things without butter, you roast the veggies away from the turkey (which actually works better with a lot of vegetables) and you learn a little something new once in a while, like the fact that cranberry sauce in a can is vegan but has two different types of corn syrup (there are two types of corn syrup?).

It's not rocket science, it's just a little love, which everyone keeps telling me is what the holidays are all about.


  1. I agree - it just takes a little consideration. I can't imagine inviting someone to my home and either expecting them to go without food or to bring their own. It's ridiculous when it takes so little to modify some of the dishes.

  2. I grilled veggies for The Girl on turkey day that we took to her sisters. Her family never has something for her to eat. A lot of people bitch about her food choices but it's really not that hard at all. I don't understand why people make such a fuss. People who never even invite her over to dinner even!

  3. I was amazed when I read on Chowhound how so many meat-eaters were MAD, really mad, when they would go to a vegetarian's house and not be provided meat to eat. They were offended to get a meal WITHOUT meat. That freaked me out. One of the reasons I am a veg is so I don't have to deal with contaminating my kitchen with e.Coli laced foods. It just seems weird to want to make a veg cook meat for you.