By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
Turkeys are running for their lives and college students will get a much-needed reprieve from out grueling studies. Most of us are going home for the weekend while others are staying in Boston. No matter where you spend your Thanksgiving, there’s always an outlet to release your holiday spirit. Here’s a list of ways to make your Thanksgiving special:
Family and friends
When was the last time you saw your friends and family back home? With classes put on hold, Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone very close to your heart. Hug them, tell them about your classes and ask them about their lives. Communicate and cherish. Even if you’re staying in town, there’s always the internet and your phone as a medium of connection.
Cook and eat
I mean, of course.
What’s Thanksgiving without food, right? Cook and eat to your heart’s (or stomach’s) content. I don’t know about you, but I really miss having a kitchen. I was at a friend’s apartment the other day and actually got to dice vegetables and cook food. I even washed dishes. Call me crazy, but I actually had fun doing those chores because I haven’t done them in months.
But yes, cook and eat. Have your parents make you your favorites, and maybe even grandma can make you some treats to take back to your dorm. Enjoy it because before you know it, you’ll be out of that kitchen as soon as break ends.
Even if you’re staying in Boston, don’t fret. Maybe your friends have apartments to cook at. If not, there are tons of amazing eateries in town. Cannolis, anybody? Check out Mike’s Pastry, my personal favorite place to go if I want to satiate my sweet tooth.
In the midst of celebrating this holiday of gratitude, it’s almost impossible not to think about those who are not as fortunate to have as much as we do. So why not express our gratitude for what we have in the best way possible: by giving back. Volunteering is a great way to spend your break (or part of it). Every little bit of kindness counts. There are many opportunities for volunteerism, so it’s almost impossible not to find one that doesn’t fit your schedule. Take time off to celebrate the holiday at a soup kitchen or participate in a food drive. It’ll make your holiday even more special and will lighten up someone’s day.
Black Friday shopping
If turkey and mashed potatoes haven’t made you sick to you stomach, consider going shopping on perhaps the busiest and rowdiest day of the year: Black Friday. This is the perfect opportunity to snag deals on normally expensive goods. Need a television for your dorm or a game console for those lazy, boring winter nights? You’ll probably be able to get them for a fraction of what you would pay off-season. Plus, you can shop for Christmas presents, since they’ll be way cheaper, and maybe an extra winter coat or two.
If you seriously run out of things to do, studying would be the perfect filling to your empty pockets of time. Finals are in a month, so you’ve got nothing to lose by planning ahead.
Have an awesome Thanksgiving, everyone!
By Katie Doyle, Food Editor
I haven’t had a real Thanksgiving since I was in elementary school. Even before I gave up meat in the sixth grade, I’d opt for Stauffer’s macaroni and cheese and Pillsbury dinner rolls instead of turkey and gravy, a tradition I’ve pretty much kept up with since then.
If you’re thinking it sounds like a pretty disappointing dinner, you’re right. And now that I’ve nixed dairy this year, that go-to Thanksgiving meal that doesn’t exactly jive with my diet.
Fortunately, my recent transition to veganism has forced me to be creative when it comes to cooking. And, if there’s ever a good time to cook, it’s Thanksgiving. After all, I can’t think of a better way to test out my chef skills than to cook for my family.
But cooking vegan food for omnivores is a tricky task, especially when the typical Thanksgiving fare—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie—is so culturally engrained. After scouring the Internet for recipes and pouring through my vegan cook books, though, I’ve realized that it’s not too hard to imitate traditional Thanksgiving flavors and create a delicious vegan meal.
Even better, you don’t have to be a master chef to whip up some of these Thanksgiving fixings, and if you’re in a kitchen where a Thanksgiving meal is already in the works, you’ll likely have many of the necessary ingredients on hand.
I figured I’d share what I’m cooking for Thanksgiving, and maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to create your own vegan dinner. For starters, these garlic mashed potatoes are sure to be a hit, and in tune with Thanksgiving tradition, why not whip up a cranberry relish to add a hint of sweetness to your side dishes?
For an entree, I recommend a glazed lentil walnut apple loaf. Don’t let the name scare you: although it’s one of the more complex recipes, it’s worth the effort, as you’ll end up with a hearty meal with a perfect balance of savory and sweet. You can even mirror those flavors with this walnut-apple stuffing, which is sure to have everyone reaching across the table for seconds.
For dessert, pumpkin pie brownie bites are sure to be a crowd-pleaser, offering traditional fall flavors complimented by notes of cocoa. Or you can stick with a classic pumpkin pie. And surprisingly, the vegan version is a lot easier to make than the traditional one.
Finally, if you’re dealing with picky relatives who might shy away from vegan food simply because, well, it’s vegan, let me share a strategy I learned last weekend when I was visiting my best friend, an omnivore, in Brooklyn, N.Y..
She took me to one of her favorite spots in East Williamsburg, Dun-Well Donuts.
Dun-Well is an all-vegan cafe and bakery, and their donuts have become insanely popular since its opening. But you don’t find the word vegan anywhere in the store. Consequently, the cafe draws in omnivores and carnivores alike, many of whom enjoy Dun-Well’s donuts without realizing they’re eating vegan donuts.
When you’re cooking for omnivores and carnivores, try nixing the word vegan from the description of your food. Once everyone has enjoyed the meal, you can share your secret, but in the mean time let your food speak for itself. Chances are, you and your family will have a delicious Thanksgiving—without even realizing it’s a vegan one.