In Italy we have a way of saying "Christmas with yours, Easter with whom you like most" (Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi). It has been two years for me in the capital, and this year passed really fast for me. Without realizing it, we are already on the way to December 25th (- 12!!) and this time I won't be able to spend it with my family back in Italy. They all know what I love, they spend hours on the phone telling me what they are preparing, how the family menu will look like, how many desserts there will be on the table, and I am on the opposite side of the screen, watching my mum in the kitchen showing me with her excited face the already-bought ingredients...How do I feel?? Saliva is flowing out of my mouth and I suddenly become sad.
How can I spend a Christmas lunch without my mum's delicious vegetarian menu for me?
This one is is going to be here, with friends, and that is a good thing. The bad news is that I am the only vegetarian, and I won't have my mum cooking for me... So I needed to prepare myself accordingly. And I am going to talk with my friends as well. What I will say? Well, there are more options.
First: I am going to host the Christmas Lunch - this is easy: I can decide the menu and make it veggie-friendly, but I am not sure how much happy my friends would be.
Second: I am going to someone else's place, and THEY are deciding the menu. I think in this case it will be very important to:
1. Communicate well in advance. Not everyone knows what a vegetarian is or what to cook for them, so I will need to speak to the house host in advance.
2. Jokes about vegetarian. Yes, they might still happen, but putting a bit of fun on myself will me my tactic. After all, they’re the ones eating the same boring and predictable food as last year!
3. Thank my host if they have put in the effort and will prepare for me a lovely veggie option. I hope this will encourage them to eat more veggie as well.
4. Show my veggie status. I will be happy to contribute to the day with an amazing veggie dish, to make everyone appreciate it and (hopefully) realize that being vegetarian isn’t all about salad!!
Third option: you are one of my non-vegetarian friend and you are reading this blog post, so you will HAVE TO host me at your place and squeeze your brain about what you could cook for me. Here some tips for you my friend:
1. Let's have a chat in advance I don't have any food allergies or things I just don’t like (apart from meat), so remember to check it with your guest!
2. Just read the labels. Supermarkets and food companies are now very good at labeling foods that are vegetarian, so it won't be so difficult to find something for me out there.
3. Make plenty. Food that is suitable for vegetarians isn’t just for vegetarians and the meat-eaters will definitely want a taste as well. So remember: the more you cook, the happier we guests will be!
4. Keep the roast potatoes and other veggies separate from the meat. Please remember to cook the potatoes in a vegetable oil and keep them away from meat, otherwise we will not eat them.
What is the good thing about Christmas, for a Vegetarian?
At least we no dot have problem with cakes!!!