I hope all you Vikings had a delightfully relaxing and fulfilling holiday weekend! I was definitely thankful for the mini-vacation. But I suspect that if, like me, you spent most of Thanksgiving Day in the kitchen, you may have also had a few holiday-stress-induced breakdowns. At my house, we rarely have the dinner table feuds you see on TV – but I was still tearing my hair out over putting together one meal that met everybody’s dietary needs.
You see, in my extended family, we have strict vegans and die-hard carnivores, pescatarians and picky children, diabetics and dieters, as well as a gluten-free baker. Some of us like to try new recipes for the holidays; others are strict Thanksgiving traditionalists. Even when we do it potluck-style, it takes some very careful menu planning to make sure everyone sits down to a satisfying meal.
The week before the holiday, my phone was constantly buzzing with text messages from my mom and my grandma: “How many people are eating meat this year?” “Is chocolate vegan?” “Should we make all the stuffing gluten-free?” “Is anybody bringing veggies???”
Everything worked out perfectly in the end, but it got me thinking about all of the holiday entertaining that’s still to come this season. How do you deal with different diets at your holiday gatherings? Do you make something for everyone, or do you let those vegans and paleo-diet devotees fend for themselves?