This Is the Month ... for Vegetables

by Jean MacKenzie, Mt. Airy Produce Manager

Here’s my favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving song. My kids learned it years ago. It’s a round, and if you want to learn the tune, there’s a good chance I’ll sing it for you, at least until the rest of the staff rush to stop me.

Turkeys United

We gather together as birds of a feather,
Oh, Turkeys United we stand.
If you would be thinner, skip Thanksgiving dinner,
We turkeys think that would be grand.

Why don’t you try it? Go on a diet.
Munch on some succulent carrots and peas.
Why don’t you try it? Go on a diet.
Order a pizza with spinach and cheese.

Turkeys United — no people invited.
Turkeys United — no people please.

Thanksgiving is the biggest food holiday of the year: Almost everyone in America celebrates Thanksgiving with a nearly identical special meal featuring a few very specific foods. Shoppers buy about 30% more food than usual, and apparently consume most of it.

After the turkey, it’s all about the produce. For weeks, I’ve been scanning weather patterns and market reports to see if we’re going to encounter any shortages this year. The fires in California came close to the celery crop, but no significant damage was done. And while Hurricane Florence flooded a lot of the sweet potatoes in the Carolinas, the crop is expected to rebound in plenty of time for Thanksgiving. Whew.

Vegans and vegetarians can overeat to absurd extremes on Thanksgiving Day as easily as carnivores. However, since they’re not consuming all that tryptophan and animal fat, they’re a lot less likely to fall asleep in front of the football game, and more likely to be awake and available for post-meal cleanup. For this reason, I strongly recommend inviting a few vegans and vegetarians even if — especially if — you’re not one yourself.

So, what to serve your vegans and vegetarians?

Personally, I could make a meal out of mashed Yukon Gold potatoes or sweet potatoes. Side dishes can be easily adapted to be vegan with the substitutions of almond milk for milk or cream, and Earth Balance for butter. Check our Produce endcaps in all three stores for some other excellent ideas as the big day approaches.