Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vegan MoFo: Tradition versus Values.... doesn't have to be one or the other.

Yesterday I went to my friend and co-worker's wedding. The day started out overcast with a brisk wind but lightened to a beautiful autumnal New England day - all bright blue skies and red-orange-lemon foliage. And it finished with a spectacularly dazzling sunset which took our breath away.

The post-ceremony celebrations were held at a local country club and, in classic British guest fashion, My Beloved and I got hopelessly lost on the road between the church and the reception.



In a city where we were too intimidated to stop and ask for directions, fearing a 'Bonfire of the Vanities' type of scenario. GPS? Nah, we don't have that! A map book?? Nope!! Not even!!! So we drove around endlessly before coming upon a garden center that was probably safe enough to stop and ask for help. Thank heavens. We were set on the right road and finally made it to the reception, a fraction late, more than a tad stressed and desperately in need of a glass of wine and some good food.

Now, this is where - in vegan terms - it gets interesting because wedding receptions do not tend to be associated with great vegan food. Normally, the occasion demands the offering of some kind of roasted animal and, unless the couple themselves are vegan, you are usually out of luck if you don't happen to partake of the traditional feast. Now, I can say with some degree of confidence that I was probably the only vegan guest there. The familes are of Irish and Hawaiian heritage and I don't think of either culture as being particularly averse to eating animals. On the other hand, I knew that my friend, the bride, was concerned about the menu but, honestly, I was more worried that she had more significant things to be juggle than my dinner!

So, to avoid disappointment, I had prepared myself for the inevitable salad. Don't get me wrong - I love a good salad but after the journey into hell and back through the ghettoes of S'field I was ready for something just a bit more substantial! Anyways, for the meat-eating majority, the customary carvery of turkey and beef was available. However, it was a wonderful surprise for me to see that the wedding couple had opted to have a stations arrangement, whereby you'd just select things from different food stations and so could tailor your meal to exactly what you wanted.

It was terrific!

I enjoyed a couple of warm-up salads - opting for the balsamic vinaigrette over the creamy caesar was a no-brainer and hardly a deprivation! Then I moved on to the pasta station, enjoying an individually created dish of rigatoni with mushrooms, artichokes, peppers and olives in a tomato-based sauce. Hold the parmesan - it was a snap! The dessert - the wedding cake - was a chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache which I steathily donated to My Beloved so that no-one was offended.

I had a wonderful time, did not go hungry and did not have to compromise my values for the sake of conforming to the 'norm'. My friends had a wonderful day and are now honeymooning in Hawaii: they are two of the nicest people I know and richly deserve all the happiness in the world.

Congratulations Lana and Kevin!