Food for thought — Thanksgiving without the turkey

Thanksgiving always seems to bring to mind images of going “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house” for turkey, family and the annual Thanksgiving football game. But for me, grandmother’s house is less “over the river and through the woods” and more “across the ocean and through airport security.” Thanksgiving usually means taco night with my dad’s vegetarian college friends and their kids. But that’s just fine.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a Thanksgiving feast. I’m a sucker for turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy but with only four people — myself, my parents and my little brother — a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings is overkill. If we’re lucky, my aunt and uncle will be in town and they’ll bring their kids, but eight people still can’t feasibly finish off a 15-pound turkey and accompanying side dishes. So we don’t.

While my family loves food, we also love any reason to get together with friends. Thanksgiving, even without turkey, is perfect for that. Many of my parents’ best friends from college live in America and, like us, are far away from their extended families. So we all get together and create a family of our own, going from just eight people to more than 15. The only catch? They’re all vegetarians. Which means no turkey.

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