Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I was thinking of getting more vegan food this year. I went to Trader Joe’s today to see if they have their “Turkey-less Stuffed Roast” for sale. It’s supposed to be delicious–so I heard. However just like last year, I couldn’t find it. And to my dismay, this Trader Joe’s in North Brunswick has dismantled their entire vegan section–no more meatless paddies or morningstar sausages piled in the corner of the fridge. They were all gone. I just couldn’t believe my eyes.
Now I am searching for a recipe to make my own meatless turkey roast. I am thinking of getting an organic chicken roast (already cooked) from Wegman’s and cook my own meatless turkey roast. That will make the holiday half vegan at least.
I still remember the several turkey disasters I went through many years ago. Every since then, I’ve never dared to roast a turkey myself. Cooking a turkey is a special skill that I don’t have. Not only that, nobody in the Asian community here knows how to cook a turkey. Usually one just goes out to purchase a roasted duck or chicken. This is because one knows one’s culinary limit–every immigrant would try to roast a turkey himself or herself or together with friends or family at least once and watched his or her failure in disbelief. I mean cooking a turkey and failing is a rite of passage to one’s life in America. Nobody can escape it. Everybody goes through it to realize that only Americans know how to cook a turkey–immigrants will never be able to do it.
The problem with a turkey disaster is how to handle the aftermath. You have about 15 pounds of dried up, tasteless turkey meat in your hands, which you don’t know what to do with. You have to go online to search for recipes of turkey sandwich or turkey soup. You beg everybody to take some home and send turkey recipes through social media. Your friends politely accept your offer, but you somehow suspect that they would probably throw the meat away anyway.
However this year will be different. I mean the rampant inflation has changed how we think of food and how we behave around food. For example, I just swallowed a big bowl of failed bean soup, which I made last weekend. It was an experiment and it tasted terrible. It has sat in the refrigerator ever since. Today, I thought I would throw it away, but I couldn’t do it at the last moment. It has bean, egg, and spinach in it. I would have thrown it away in the past, but I can’t right now. So I heated it up and ate it. I hate this soup but I like the fact that I finished it.
In the past, every holiday season I would threw away leftover food or old food in the fridge. The problem is that one’s favorite food is often sold out before the Thanksgiving week. One has to plan ahead for fear of not being able to get any. And often planning ahead means over-purchase to ward off possible future shortages. And then when the expected shortages don’t come, one is stuck with more food one can consume–throwing away is inevitable.
However, this year, there will be very little food waste. Every last grain of rice, last morsel of food, last leaf of spinach, last drop of juice or drinks will be consumed and ingested.