Vegetarian Holiday Fare

| October/November 1993

Vegetarian Holiday Recipes: 

• Vegetarian Holiday Roast
• Pumpkin Ravioli 
• Herbal Bean Sausages
• Winter Squash Herb Bread
• “Savory” Fruit Compote
• Mulled Holiday Cider
• Mulled Rosemary Wine and Black Tea  

My coziest recollections of childhood and family are instantly evoked by the combined aroma of poultry seasoning and homemade bread fresh from the oven. The winter holidays of my youth were warm, savory, and sweet—truly the best of times—and food and fragrance are ­intimately associated with their memory.

Later, as parents, my wife and I have done our best to perpetuate those precious gustatory traditions, hoping to instill that same delicious richness in our children’s memories.

Times have changed, and with them our family’s attitudes about food and life. Our holiday sensorium is still delectably rich, and I still bake “stuffing bread”—a fairly plain loaf enhanced with onion, black pepper, and store-bought poultry seasoning—from my mother’s decades-old recipe, but our culinary traditions, like our daily lives, no longer include eating any kind of meat.

Vegetarianism has been less of a challenge in the kitchen than it has been over the back fence. Our nonvegetarian friends, when first confronted with the concept of a meatless diet, tended to view it as a stoic discipline: they envisioned their usual dinner plates, removed all the meat, and imagined that what remained was what vegetarians had to settle for. Beans, grains, fruits, herbs, nuts, and vegetables were side dishes, not “meaty” enough to provide adequate substitutes—especially for the traditional holiday turkey.

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