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Holiday 20-40-60 Etiquette---I'm a vegan---Any holiday recipes?


By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION: I eat an alternative diet in that I'm a vegan. How would you recommend I approach my family about including more vegan options during the holidays?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: Make options for yourself maybe? That way it doesn't cause extra work for other people.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: Take a minute to consider your situation from your host's perspective. Offer to bring your own favorite dishes, and explain why in advance. I don't think I'd intentionally create extra work for the host, although if I were the host, I'd like to know ahead of time.

I wouldn't mind hearing about potential food issues at all, so I could make adjustments. Then I would go over my proposed menu with the guest and ask if any of those dishes would be something he or she could eat. That way, I could be sure that at least one of my dishes was OK with everyone.

But I would also appreciate an offer from the person on the restricted diet to bring something. That way, I wouldn't have to worry as much whether certain ingredients in the food I made matched all the right criteria.

HELEN'S ANSWER: Communicate with your hosts. Let them know you are willing to bring vegan dishes to the family gathering. Or have the celebration at your house and serve your favorite dishes. It is hard to dictate to other people what they should serve in their own home. Politely ask them how they want you to handle your food preferences.

GUEST'S ANSWER: Dave Cathey, The Oklahoman's food editor: Perhaps you could invite the primary cooks in your family over to your house for an informal tasting to show that your vegan food is delicious on its own merits. Then state your case about the holidays and offer to contribute dishes to the family celebration. If you offer to take the lead, perhaps you can garner support more effectively.

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Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›