Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adventures in...Tofurkey

After all the drama of apartment hunting (still hunting) I was happy for the Thanksgiving break to have something else to think about. I spent the week before mentally preparing myself to gain five pounds in potatoes of the mashed variety, stuffing and turkey. Then I got an invitation I just couldn't pass up. Friends H & G were attending a vegan Thanksgiving and invited me along.

At first, I was like, no turkey? You must understand that I see a dish and think, "hmm, how could I add some meat to this?" I am very much the steak and potato kind of girl. But I was intrigued by the idea of tofurky...tofurkey...whatever. Not real turkey. I knew the stuffing would also taste different. I was in anyway.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm a big tofu fan. The only reason why I don't eat it more often is that I can't stand the smell of it raw. Give it to me grilled or cooked somehow and we're all set. I curious to see how it would hold up vs. turkey.

We met up at the restaurant around 4:30 on Thanksgiving. Soup to start with lots of veggies -- carrots, celery, peas, onion, yum. I kind of missed chicken or turkey in the soup but it was just a starter. Then we lined up, buffet-style for the main course. The side dishes were a'plenty: mashed regular or sweet potatoes (with pecans), stuffing, sweet potato pie, green bean casserole, noodle pudding, mixed veggies, cranberry sauce, some kind of bean dish, vegan gravy.

Then we finally got to the Tofurkey. I was trying to picture what it would look like. Would it be shaped like a turkey? Would it be rectangular? Would it resemble spam? Truth is it looked more like a ham -- big, ovular, kind of pinkish brown. A server cut into it with the classic turkey knife to reveal the stuffing in the middle. I took a slice on my already full plate and headed back to my table.

H & G watched me take my first few bites and waited for the reaction. It took me several bites before coming to the conclusion that it was pretty damn good! The tofurkey had the same consistency as turkey -- kind of moist, easy to break apart with a fork and a little bit tasteless. In no way would you ever mistake tofurkey for turkey but it was a suitable replacement. The stuffing was a bit of a disappointment (something to be said for sausage and the like as flavoring) but in the end the meal was delicious and I stuffed myself just as much as I would have with the real thing. Shopping on Black Friday was predictably a disaster. Nothing fit. And that's the way it should be -- making me buy nothing on Buy Nothing Day.

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