Day 38: Going Cold Tofurky

Happy Black Friday Week everyone!  It is time for the time honored tradition of waking up much earlier than necessary to save money by spending money on junk.  This is a tradition that harkens back to an era before cell phones and ATM machines.  Shoppers would wake up at the crack of 4am and begin amassing outside of stores like Pick-n-Save in the hopes of getting a cheap blender or at least trampling a few people.

However, in modern times the sales are bigger, the shoppers more excitable, and the hours are even earlier.  Black Friday is a tradition that will live for as long as people forget that the internet offers most of the same deals with free shipping for the holidays.  As much fun as it might be to reenact the storming of the beaches of Normandy at 2am on a day that I don’t have to work, I think I will break tradition and shop from my couch.

There is also an endangered minor holiday coming up that many people may have forgotten about.  Its nothing as nostalgic as Boxing Day or as confusing as Talk Like a Pirate Day, but still a holiday worth mentioning.  Turkey Day is nestled between Halloween and Christmas and long ago it even had its own decorations and rituals.  It even had a Snoopy cartoon that came on network TV, which is a history lesson for a future posting.

For years Turkey Day (or Thanksgiving as it is called in Olde English) has been a family favorite in my house.  We can’t wait for the big day and the even bigger feast.  We have enjoyed our traditional turkey cooked in a number of mouth watering ways.  I don’t want to get all Bubba Gump on you but we have had roasted turkey, baked turkey, smoked turkey, fried turkey, honeyed turkey, brazed turkey, coconut turkey, turkey Florentine, turkey soup, turkey stir fry, and tur-duck-en, in addition to many non-traditional forms.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I fully intended to eat real turkey on Thanksgiving.  It was my first rest-stop on the road to vegan perfection.  I saw the dim glow of Turkey Day on the horizon and knew I could push through meatlessness and dairylessness until I reached its warm embrace.  Day after day of raw vegetables and fruits  slowly eroded my desire to eat the bird on the big day.  I know it would taste good, but so have the millions of new things I’ve been eating.

I’ve tried tofurky before.  It is, as the name suggests, bizarre.  I will tell you why I, and millions of other carnivores tried tofurky and swore to never touch it again.  Generally speaking, the only time a tofurky flies the coop is around Turkey Day.  On this day, they are thawed and cooked and placed on a table sagging with side dishes and a giant dead bird.  Carnivores spend all morning smelling turkey roasting in an oven and watch hours of parades and football with commercials describing how spectacularly delicious turkey is.

Then, for a lark, the carnivores taste a timid mouthful of tofurky to prove how brave they are.  This is when their foreheads wrinkle up, and their lips twist in an unhappy shape, and their eyes roll in an exaggerated way as they look for a napkin to spit the food into.  I know because I was one of them.  Of course tofurkey is vile to carnivores who are all stoked to eat a real turkey.  You know what it is like to grab a glass of juice and take several swallows before you realize it is cola.  Your brain is not ready for the unexpected and even a delicious drink is oddly disgusting when it is a shock to the system.

I have the tofurky trick my friends.  I will share my hard earned knowledge with you in the hopes that it will help tofurky doubters everywhere.  If you want to make yourself love faux meats, you must first give up real meat, dairy and eggs for a while.  Two weeks might be good, but a month is probably better.  After sticking to a vegetable based lifestyle for that length of time you become much more accepting of meat substitutes.

I speak from experience good people.  I have turned my nose up to the noble tofurkey and years later I have embraced it.  Even now as a wise and ruggedly good looking vegan, I would have never tried it, but at an office party someone brought one and I begrudgingly tried a little.  Then I had a large bite.  Then I elbowed friends and co-workers out of the way and hunched over my fake bird growling at any who dared come close.  It was divine.  It was stuffed and covered in gravy, or as I said, divine.

There is a good chance I will nibble real turkey this Thursday because that was my plan.  There is a better chance that I will have butter on my potatoes because that was my dream.  However, it is almost a lock that I have rounded the corner on my journey from carnivore to herbivore.  The noble tofurky has shown the way.  It is no wonder that Ben Franklin wanted to make it our nations national bird, and a sad moment in history when the short sighted meat eaters fought back with the argument that it wasn’t a real bird.  That is the kind of closed mindedness that we still fight today.

Happy Tofurky Day!


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

10 responses to “Day 38: Going Cold Tofurky

  • Sheree

    I love making my little Tofurkey roast at the holidays! It’s been over 17 years since real turkey has passed my lips and so my family is pretty much used to me bringing my little plate of vegan goodies to the celebration.

    The holidays have never really been about food to me, anyway. It’s the cozy warmth you feel when you are surrounded by your loved ones~~and the opportunity to show your love for them.

    Have a great Tofurkey Day, Jason!

  • jasongillett

    Thank you Sheree 🙂 Office party number 2 and I got even more Tofurky today! My hope is that they wont sell this week and I will be able to fill up my freezer! Gobble gobble!!

  • Jennifer

    Sorry Phil did not come up with something for you. I am as disappointed as you are. I love the look on his face when he has come home with a bountiful harvest. Much love to you and the rest of the fam! Keep up the fantastic writing!

  • jasongillett

    Happy Thanksgiving Jennifer! I’m having fun exploring this new life with you. Phil is completely off the hook. I couldn’t eat enough turkey to justify killing a real one anyway! Happy Christmas Season 🙂

  • Regina (@Songbird_Hollow)

    If you like Tofurkey, you should try Field Roast products. Their Celebration Roast is pretty good!

  • Julia Moran Martz

    After trying the tofurky again for Tday, I’m absolutely certain that Field Roast Cranberry hazelnut thingie en croute is still my fave. Nothing compares. Toothie/not squishy, better herbs, better stuffing. Then again, I think I’m going to try to veganize mom’s corn bread stuffing from my childhood. Not sure where I’m gonna get the drippings ;-]

  • Regina (@songbird_hollow)

    Julia, try the vegan varieties of Better Than Bouillion to make your stuffing.

  • Gina

    Hi. Found your blog via Pinterest. I have been vegan for 10 years and was vegetarian before that, and was raised an omnivore. All that said, I think it qualifies me to validate your suggesyion to give up meat and dairy for awhile begore trying vegan meat substitutes. It works the same way for vegan dairy products like yogurt. When you consume the stuff your body is used to eating, it still expects the vegan alternatives to taste exactly like the foods it knows. It cannot accept the differences. Also the omnivore brain cannot stop holding omnivore food flavors as some kind of taste standard. That is why they always say things like, “wow, it tastes just like real food.” Congrats on your lifestyle. I hope it is still working well for you!

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