This weekend we were involved with 2 different parties/events. (3 if you include the school sock-hop Mark took E to, but I was home curled up with leftovers and a book, so I’m not counting that!) One we attended and one we hosted. This made me think about how things change when you are having people eating with you who eat differently then the rest of the group.
At the Saturday football party we attended our new friends went WAY above and beyond to make sure we felt included and had plenty to eat. It was so sweet! There were things I could eat and things T could eat, as well as lots of other things that the omnivores could eat. Our hostess was able to tell me what was in things so I knew what I could eat and what I couldn’t. I left feeling content and full and like I had been able to have a wonderful time with friends without constantly thinking “Can I eat that??”
This evening we hosted a small family dinner for E’s birthday. The stress started when I asked E what she wanted for dinner. Because of course T is standing behind me saying “It won’t be fair if I can’t eat it!!” E gave out a few suggestions and we ended up deciding on a taco bar. This worked well because we could put out lots of choices. Yes, there is meat in this picture. But the point is that I live in a world where I am the only vegan at most functions. And, frankly, I love the world I live in so I don’t intend to stop socializing with the people I love who are omnivores. So, this method worked for us. In fact it worked so well that I think I’m going to have to come up with “make your own” options for most parties. We had taco shells that were fine for all; 2 meat options and a bean option; A vegan sour cream and a regular; regular cheddar cheese (I can’t get vegan cheddar down here yet), plus tomatoes, guacamole, lettuce, and salsa for all. I even made little place markers for the food so everyone knew what they were getting. It worked out beautifully and everyone got what they wanted.
Then we ended the meal with an amazing vegan chocolate cake my Aunt made! (With an alternate dessert for the wheat free kids. It had sprinkles and marshmallows so they were happy!) I *may* have had more than 2 pieces, but perhaps that is stretching it a bit. It was awesome! There was coconut milk vanila ice cream for me, regular ice cream for the omnis, and some Italian ices for the child on a dairy elimination diet who doesn’t like coconut. For me a wonderful party is all about spending time with the people. Great food is a wonderful component when possible. So when everyone can have what they want and need, it makes it an even bigger win!