It’s a common issue for vegans – going out. Whilst it is possible to plan where you go for a meal, by checking online and contacting the venue to see if they can accommodate you, going to family gatherings, parties or events is more problematical. Do you ask in advance that they cater for you, and then deal with the results? Or simply not eat when everyone is tucking in, and pretend you’re not hungry? Well, I’ve tried different approaches and each can result in awkwardness and embarrassment as the host realises you can’t eat their food, and you yet again make a show of yourself being the ‘awkward vegan.’ While I am quite keen to go to restaurants and demand vegan food – I think this is a form of activism and helps educate others – it is a different story with friends or family who are perhaps not that close but for whom you do not wish to cause a scene.
My solution is to take my own food, and I know many vegans will do the same. I am going to a family party tonight, a cousin’s birthday. I don’t see him except every couple of years at some family thing or other – so I can’t expect him to cater for me. This blog is really about the things I will take with me tonight so that I can enjoy the party and not drink on an empty stomach.
Firstly, I am taking a pot of wheat and kidney bean salad, with a good seal on the lid. This is something I can pop on my plate and enjoy with the other things I am taking. It’s got flavour, texture and doesn’t have a runny sauce, so is not messy. In addition I will take some savoury nut balls – these are rolled balls of breadcrumbs, ground mixed nuts, and vegan tofu fake cream cheese with added mustard – a tasty snack to go with the salad. I also have a vegan sausage roll I bought in the health food shop, and some seeded crackers. I will take olives, pickled jalapenos and the fake cream cheese with me, and a small knife, and spread the cheese thick on the crackers then dot them with olives and peppers. Add in a bag of crisps and a couple of slices of Mrs Crimble’s Dutch Apple Cake, and I’ll be sorted! So while everyone else is eating greasy corned beef pasties and limp sandwiches, I will be eating my delicious vegan food and not feeling left out at all!