Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society's Annual All-Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

Pass the potatoes, please: Not a carnivore, but still want to enjoy Thanksgiving? No worries

Not a carnivore? Then the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society’s annual all-vegan Thanksgiving dinner is just the ticket. On Thanksgiving Day, the society and associated meet-up group, Hudson Valley Vegans, give thanks with a vegan potluck feast. “We have done this for over 25 years and it is always well-attended and enjoyable,” says Roberta Schiff, event chair and VP of the society. All you need to do is make a reservation and bring a vegan dish to share (appetizers and beverages are provided). Because it’s so popular — in the past more than 100 people have shown up — there’s usually a variety of meals: everything from rice and grain dishes to potato variations and stuffing that’s never seen the inside of a bird. “There are so many good, interesting vegan dishes. We’ve always had a great variety,” says Schiff. “We don’t miss the turkey.” And it’s a good bet tofurkey — a protein-packed casserole made with tofu that looks and tastes similar to the real bird — will make an appearance. Says Schiff: “Someone may bring one, but seeing as this is a potluck, we don’t know exactly what we’re going to get.”

If you like to bake — without eggs or milk, of course — there is also a dessert contest. “We get a lot of pies, because it’s not hard to make vegan pumpkin pie,” says Schiff. Cakes and cookies are also yearly staples. It’s hard to predict which dish will emerge victorious, Schiff says. “The judges take their work very seriously. Sometimes there is something that is just beautiful to look at and you think that’s going to win, and then just an ordinary pie will win because of taste.”

Schiff stresses that guests are welcome even if they are not vegans or vegetarians. “Just eat like one when you’re with us,” she says. “I think people who have not attended a vegan Thanksgiving before are impressed when they come.” (1:30 p.m. at the Rhinebeck Reformed Church, Mill St., Rhinebeck. $15, $7 teens, under 12 free. If you aren’t adept in the kitchen, but still wish to attend, you can pay $25 and show up without a dish. 845-876-2626 or email rsvp@mhvs.org)

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