What do you get when you take eight tables of six, cram in another handful of chairs, have everyone bring a plant-based dish and invite the new minister of All Souls Community Church to give an inter-faith blessing? Plantsgiving of course! Only a small army of volunteers was necessary to pull off a sit-down dinner for 50. Thank you! to Morgan Doane, Roger Gilles, Heidi Holst, Medha Kosalge Jan Norton-Fairchild, Allene Smith and Linda Squires for heading up the tables. As you can see, many hands make light work.
Katie Hutchins was on hand to take photos of the event! Here’s Sue Dow, a.k.a. Sue Chef getting ready to celebrate.
Power strips, crockpots, two hot plates and two ovens kept dishes at the ready as friends greeted one another.
Above, we have Morgan, Roger and Bert. Below Linda, Nicole and Kayne.
Suzie (on the right) chats with Colleen Squires before Colleen gives the blessing.
Tillie needed confirmation that this was indeed a plant-based dinner.
Ryan softened the blow with some head scratching.
Then it was time for Roger to welcome everyone–and read us all a note from our friend, Shane. We missed you, Shane!
On to the food! We outdid ourselves.
Each table had their own meal. Linda Squires headed up the gluten-free table. Not all the diners were gluten-sensitive, but it was great for those who were. Here’s what Linda said: First, I want to say “what a good time!”. I had a blast and it was great to sit with Cary and your niece. I got to know John which was awesome and he had some interesting stuff to share from his end of life. Kayne talked about her cat who is gluten intolerant and has some other allergies which she has to deal with. Wow, I thought it was just us humans but I guess not. Cary and I got to talk about moving here at the same time, which was comforting.
Heidi Holst had this to say about her table: Thanks to you and Roger for everything. At our table we had mashed
potatoes and gravy, Cuban sweet potatoes, rolls, wine, brussel sprout casserole, and potato/leek soup. Except for Marge, all the people at the table were new to me – which was so fun.
Here is Jan’s table: What an amazing evening! I had such a wonderful time! The night flew by and was over before I knew it. Thank you once again for being so generous with your time, your home and sharing all your friends! I wouldn’t change a thing. ..except I would take my table cloth home. I left my family lace tablecloth behind. Please save it for me if you would. (Don’t worry, Jan. We save everything that is left! Because people are so nice, no one took home their tablecloths, so we have quite a pile)
Roger doesn’t have anything to say about his table. Except that they had more empty wine bottles than any other table. He wouldn’t even let me post any pictures!
My table shone with a lovely centerpiece filled with flowers on a beautiful tablecloth provided by Suzie MacKeigan and the most delicious food you can imagine. We had stuffed squash, curried lentil soup, mixed greens salad, corn bread quinoa stuffing and gravy. Since everyone was encouraged to pass their dishes to other tables, we also sampled amazing things like Medha’s hot potatoes and Sheri’s “Eatloaf,” which I ended up making for our own Thanksgiving celebration.
At first, Medha was reluctant to head up a table, being Indian and all she didn’t think she had the depth of knowledge it would take to guide a Thanksgiving meal. But I informed her that now that she was an American citizen, it was time to ‘get with the program.’ She pulled it off with usual panache.
Morgan’s table has a confession to make: When Cindy decided to change what she was bringing from rolls to apple pie I took her up on it right away! But as a table, we were reluctant to give up the apple pie because we all wanted to try it so badly. So instead of putting the pie on the dessert table we were greedy and kept it to ourselves. All apologies to everyone else out there because it sure was delicious! I told my tablemates I would take the fall if we got in trouble for breaking the rules. So if in our picture we all look a little bit guilty, that’s why!
If you look closely, you can see the pie flagrantly displayed. Last but not least, Allene’s table had this to report: We ate…Vegan “Eatloaf” by Sheri (she even brought the ketchup) Barbecue Tofu with green peas by Ashley (homemade bbq sauce, too) Spiced Potatoes, mashed and baked by Oindrila Maple & Sage Acorn Squash by Allene (as Randy) Fig & Whiskey Cranberry Relish by Allene Marie Catrib’s Vegan Hummingbird Cake by Laurie. We talked about food. Sheri is successfully transitioning her family to plant-based foods. Super exciting! Amanda is a strict vegan; we all learned that some wines and beers are filtered through fish bladders so not all are vegan. Later on in the evening Laurie talked about the places she’s lived and the evolution of her career, which was good for me to hear about. The evening was very interesting and fun. There were several times when I looked around at everybody and just grinned. It’s really cool to see so many nice people in one place!
They do look nice, don’t they? But as nice as that cake from Marie Catrib’s?? Everyone was encouraged to change seats for dessert…
But first, we had to sing to the birthday girl, Suzie MacKeigan. I love this picture, because I can see just how she might have looked at her 6th birthday party.
More mingling. It’s so hard, but someone has to do it! And Katie got some lovely shots of friends and mates and moms. Here are Jan, Medha and Parag.
Adele and Roger, then Billy and Annie. After that, Todd and Katie, Roger and Marge, Colleen and Linda and Bob and Mary.
Admittedly, we had a mountain of dishes and though we can usually tackle them on the evening of our dinner, this time none of us felt like kitchen duty. But someone could not leave without helping…
I managed to straighten her up for a photo…Diane Flaherty Cisler!
Before each guest left, Sophie tried to indicate with her eyes which cupboard contained the dog biscuits.
Isidore presented Cary with his take on ‘Plantsgiving.’
Such a good time was had by all. Welcome to the ten new people we hosted! And more special thanks to Colleen Squires of All Souls Community Church for the beautiful blessing, to our table captains, to Katie Hutchins for the photos, and to all who brought decorations, set tables, washed dishes and made merry. Have a safe and happy holiday, everyone! We will see you in January.