For the past three years, John and I have attended the Triangle Vegetarian Society vegan Thanksgiving at Cafe' Parizade in Durham, NC. It is the largest vegan Thanksgiving celebration in the country. This year, we welcomed over 800 guests.
We had the pleasure of sitting with 12 of our friends, including three omnivores! To my delight, the three loved the food. It was proof that one can have a cruelty free gourmet meal and truly enjoy the experience. This event didn't turn them into vegetarians, but I know that it raised their awareness of vegan food and compassion towards animals.
This Thanksgiving marked the first year that I would attend as a gluten freer. I contacted the organizer several months beforehand and learned that they planned to have many GF dishes. As luck would have it, they were also going to mark the dishes that were GF. I was touched by the care and concern that was put into the preparation and the marking of the food. I am truly thankful to Dilip Barman and Cafe' Parizade. Check out the lovely menu that they put together. As usual, the food was amazing and I had so many tasty options. I enjoyed everything that I tried and even went back for seconds. My favorite item this year was the collard chips. They were crispy, simple, and delicious! My second favorite dish was the quinoa stuffed mushroom caps.
We always follow up this meal with a trip to see my parents and sometimes other family and friends. The emphasis becomes less about a dead turkey carcass and more about family and giving thanks. Which is, after all, the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
This year I am thankful for living in a community that is open enough to have a cruelty free Thanksgiving, a family that supports me and John in our veganism and my gluten free journey, great friendships, my family, strong support system of vegan friends, many evenings of laughter and smiles, and a wonderful husband.