You just got invited to a friend’s Christmas party and another friend’s Hanukkah party, but you’re pretty sure that no other vegans will be there. What do you do? No worries, just remember the advice that mom taught you: Don’t arrive empty-handed. If you contribute some food of your own to the meal, you’re covered! Laurie and I attended 2 parties in just the past week and these dishes proved that even vegans can get their yule on. In fact, bringing vegan treats to an otherwise omnivore celebration has got 4 upsides:
- You know that no matter what else is served, you’ll have something to eat.
- It’s a polite gesture to your host regardless of their diet. And if they’re not vegan, they don’t have to figure out how to please you.
- You’ve got a great ice breaker when you meet new people at the party. Don’t know what to say to Tully, your friend’s girlfriend’s cousin’s hairdresser? Hey, who doesn’t like talking about food?
- And my favorite, what better way to lift the veil of mystery about what vegans eat?! A party lends itself to sharing of food and saying, “Try this!” when you shove a toothpick of delicious appetizer into someone’s mouth. Strangers become friends, and omnivores go home thinking about how good that strange food tasted.
The Christmas party at our friends’, Christina & Jason, was a formal affair, complete with some festive “libations.” We provided a Grasshopper pie, a classic minty pie from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe in Vegan Pie in the Sky. There wasn’t time to properly chill it (needs to be in the fridge overnight), but even tho’ it wasn’t that firm it still garnered some rave reviews. As good as that was (and anyone will tell you that I’m a dessert man), I couldn’t get enough of Laurie’s Pesto Pepperoni Roll-Ups. No, that’s not pillow talk – they’re appetizers with fake pepperoni, cheez, yellow peppers, olives, and most importantly, some homemade pesto. She put her own spin on ‘em and instead of yer typical flour tortilla, used spinach ones. Ho, ho, HO – so good!
Carrie and Johan (remember the Swede?) offered their bartending services and turned out to be skilled drink-makers of many amazing concoctions. I can now say that I enjoy a “Dark & Stormy” – rum, lime, and ginger beer – as well as a “Between the Sheets” – rum, brandy, triple sec, and lemon juice. Remember kids, water just rusts yer pipes.
Two nights later, we headed back into Boston for a Hanukkah party at Sarah & Nate’s. It’s been several years in a row that we’ve enjoyed her Latke’s, but this is our first, real vegan Hanukkah, so she generously made us a dish that was egg-free and we provided the Tofutti sour cream. People often think that desserts have to have eggs and/or butter, but in truth they’re very easy to veganize. Case in point, the apple crisp dish we brought from the same pie recipe book. Again, the wife & I were the only vegans present, but everyone made short work of this traditional fall dessert, appropriately topped with plenty of soy whip.
Eating, drinking, and merriment making! Now it feels like the holidays.
Disclaimer: No action figures appear in this post due to exhaustion brought on by their retail day jobs during this holiday season. They are recuperating and will resume their co-blogging duties in time for Christmas.