Clare: Do I have to make room for vegans and gluten-frees at Thanksgiving dinner?

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Sent it to Clare in an email or on her Facebook page.

Clare,

My niece, Samantha, is bringing her serious boyfriend to Thanksgiving. Samantha told me he doesn’t eat meat or any animal-based products. Samantha herself is “gluten sensitive”. Does this mean – that on a day I have 20 people in my home and am cooking up a storm – I have to prepare a separate meal for this individual that I have never met and another for my niece? How do I tell Samantha that she will need to ensure her and her boyfriend are fed without seeming unsupportive or making a bad first impression? – Vexed by Vegan

Vexed by Vegan,

I would ask Samantha to bring a vegan main and dessert for her beau. I assume she can load up on turkey. If there is any way to easily make a veg version of a dish – do it. Perhaps leave one potato out before you add the good stuff to the mash. Put aside some green beans before you mix in the soup for the casserole. This will show that you thought of him without taking extra time. Have a contingency plan if the guy starts passing PETA pamphlets around the dinner table.

Clare

—–

Clare,

I am coming to Thanksgiving solo as my wife, Anna, and I are in a trial separation. I have not told my side of the family about this and I’d really rather not. I know I am going to get peppered with questions. How can I evade them without being too dishonest? With Christmas around the corner, I’ll need plenty of ammo. – Holidateless

Holidateless,

Just tell anyone who asks that your wife really wanted to visit home this year and you did, too. Tell them you’re glad to send love to Anna then change the subject. You may have to repeat this a few times throughout the night. Try to lay off the booze or your separation secret may come out.

Clare

—–

Clare,

After my mom asked, I told a few friends and relatives I would host Thanksgiving dinner and I haven’t planned anything. People are asking me what they can bring and I just want to forget all about it. I can’t seem to get inspired and I am really busy at work. I don’t know why I did this to myself. Would it be horrible if I cancelled today (the Tuesday before)? – Turducking out

Turducking out,

Yes. It would be pretty crappy of you to cancel Thanksgiving dinner just two days before. If you’ve been to any grocery store lately (especially Trader Joe’s) you should understand that you are not alone. The lead up to Thanksgiving can be pretty harsh. Even the day of is pretty rough for hosts. Take your guests up on their offers to bring dishes to help make it easier. Call Bristol Farms or Whole Foods and have them get everything else you need. In the future learn to say no.

Clare

Have something to add, do it in the comments below…


Leave a Reply