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Hold the Turkey, Please
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Imagine this: it's the eve of your big holiday dinner, and your brother calls to inform you that there'll be one more at the table tomorrow--his new girlfriend, Cris. Oh, and by the way, she's a vegetarian. As you hang up the phone, your mind goes into a spin as you realize there's little on tomorrow's menu that she can eat. Has your brother just created a major crisis? No.

Granted, when we think of holiday gatherings, most of us envision a table loaded with all the traditional fare--the center piece being a golden turkey, roasted to perfection or perhaps a succulent, honey-baked ham. In reality, though, times have changed. There's less expectation today for your meals to revolve around meat, so when you're creating a picture-perfect event, keep this in mind. Not to foray down the road of political correctness, but as the family cooks, we really do need to be a little more sensitive to our guests' palates (if your family is anything like my family, that is). So how do we handle our vegetarian friend?

First, take a good look at the menu you've already planned. Chances are you really only need to make a few minor adjustments, especially if you get a little information beforehand. There are varying degrees of vegetarianism, and quite a few vegetarians do include eggs and dairy products in their diets (so ask!). Isn't it a relief to know that you can still load your mashed potatoes with butter and cream? Also, if you're cooking a turkey, baking some or all of the stuffing outside the bird will allow your vegetarian guest to have some too, so long as there's no meat in it, that is. A nice mushroom gravy would be the perfect complement for your turkey and potatoes.


Quick Find:

Looking for a special place to take Mom this Mother's Day? Here are some resources!

The Holiday Spot
Vegetarian Kitchen
Vegetarian Res Grp

3 lbs potatoes, pared & quartered
4 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup, half & half
Salt & freshly ground white pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes and garlic. Reduce heat slightly and boil until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

In a mixer bowl, add potatoes, garlic, and butter, and begin beating on high. Gradually add half & half, and continue beating until potatoes are creamy. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

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