My Very Late, and not exactly first, Thanksgiving Vegetarian Feast.
It's more than a week past Thanksgiving; I'm still playing catch-up (or am I playing with ketchup??).
I'd promised Judith I would join her Vegetarian Feast event, but of course I ran out of time (what with the party and everything).
In fact, we had a sort-of Thanksgiving on the day, but only got around to making my big meal last night!
A couple of years after I first went veg, I learned about the Tofurkey. There was a wonderful little shop in my hometown selling organic and 'well-being' food and products, and they were willing to order one for me.
I was excited: turkey dinner had always been a favorite of mine, and I missed it. I'm a vegetarian because I don't want to harm animals, not because I didn't like the way they tasted!
So, I cooked up the Unturkey and...bleah. Hated it. Awful.
The next year, I read about the Unturkey, and was so hungry for something resembling a traditional turkey dinner, I asked the nice people at The Vintage Patch to track down an Unturkey.
I was cautiously optimistic as I baked the 'bird and stuffing, and heated up the gravy. But when I finally dug in, I knew I'd found the answer to my Thanksgiving prayers.
No, it didn't taste exactly like turkey. But it had a good texture, a pretty good flavor, the yuba 'skin' on the faux bird was fantastic, and well...it was perfect for me.
Matt and I would get one each year, even though we'd be in the midst of Two-Days-After cooking, and I'd live off that for a week!
We'd even started getting them in the off-season, and I'd have a little Unturkey feast for other occasions. It was everything I needed in a comfort food.
But then, last year, we couldn't find the Unturkey. We checked the usual shops, but no one was carrying it. Lots of Tofurkey, but I'd rather chew on construction paper turkeys that eat that crap again.
So, I had something else last year, and was sad.
Earlier this year, I learned that the Unturkey had disappeared. Just vanished. No explanation, just gone. Fans of the veggie feast were upset, and even the creator of the recipe was at a loss as to why the company was no more.
Fortunately, the original recipe still exists (I have a used copy of the book), and when a fan site posted it, Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner (the author of the Now & Zen Cookbook) left a comment with additional information for making your own Unturkey at home.
Which is what we did.
Alright, when I say 'we', I really mean Matt. He was a complete sweetheart and treated me to my very own gluten-based fake turkey!
It's not terribly difficult to make, just somewhat time-consuming. And for his very first effort, it came out beautifully.
The crunchy yuba 'skin', the fabulous texture and flavor...I made my special stuffing (secret ingredient? Campbell's condense potato soup. No lie.), and Matt made the gravy & mashed potatoes.
It made a lot, so we froze 2/3 of the 'bird'. I can have Unturkey any time I want!
It may be late, but my thanks go to my husband. How can I not love a man who's willing to go to all that effort to give me one of my favorite meals?!
Tagged with: Food and Drink + Unturkey + First Thanksgiving Feast + Vegetarian + Gluten + Yuba + Now & Zen