potluck pandemonium

Yup.  It’s true.  This little lady was up until 3am baking, cooking and planning FOR THE WIN!

Okay, maybe not entirely for the win.  Let’s say it was 60% for making sure everyone at work gets to have a proper food coma post lunch potluck, 40% for kicking some ass and taking home the cash.  Every year, we have a big Thanksgiving potluck here in the office, complete with turkey throwdown (traditionally roasted versus fried, though I hear one year the warehouse crew winner did a BBQ bird) and voting on who made the best side, salad and dessert.  So far, I’ve only placed second (yup, I’m shocked too, and modest!) with an I-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan Smlove Pie from Veganomicon but that’s okay.  This year I went big and I went for it!

the potluck prep: day of
I was lucky to use a vacant, adjacent suite’s kitchen, even if I did have to use the bathroom sink – it worked!

Dessert is usually my strong suit.  Just last night (this morning?) as I was assembling these, which I’m lovingly calling Yankee Girl Jammie Dodgers, my wonderful manthing noted that he did not need to taste test for me, that he was confident in all that I made and that I should put my feelers out to see if there is a local place who is willing to give me a shot in the kitchen making their desserts (y’know, in case Food Network delays their call… so East Bay Area, holla at ya girl!  I will get myself all certified, I promise!)

Right, so the Yankee Girl Jammie Dodgers.  One set I filled with the last of the remaining wild blueberry preserves, but when that ran out, the only jar I had in my pantry was quince; while I’ve actually never had quince anything, I ran with it.
Yankee Girl "Jammie Dodgers"

Naturally, I commandeered the kitchen in the other suite and set up my toaster oven and CrockPots.  A small part of me hopes that Stephanie would be proud.  In the biggest crock: two Tofurkys, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, seasoning, veggie broth, extra-virgin olive oil sauteed-in-the-crock onions, shallots and garlic.  I think at this point I was running back and forth doing work and basting, so sorry, no picture. We will all get over this in time.

ready to Crock-roast!In the smaller crock: red and russet potatoes, carrots, more onions, shallots and garlic sauteed in extra virgin olive oil (just like in the Tofurky CrockPot.) I added some splashes of veggie broth throughout the process.

In the first crockette: seasoned Tofurky gravy (added a pinch of cayenne, some fresh black pepper)

In the second crockette: hot chocolate ganache to go on top of the “Holy Monkeys Peanut Butter Chocolate Monstrosity.”

Yeah, this thing:
oh, the layers
The layers: sugar cookie crust, layer of crunchy “peanut butter cup” filling, semi-sweet chocolate mousse, white chocolate peanut butter, more semi-sweet chocolate mousse; warm semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping not pictured

dessert table 1And so you can see how serious this crew is when it comes to food, please note that when it comes to the full tables I only have pictures of the aftermath (it was not safe to attempt to take photos pre-feeding.  Trust me on this.)  As you can see, these folks like their desserts!  (More pictures from the potluck here.  Somehow in the chaos of it all, I snapped zero pictures of the pretty campanelle pasta I used in my spicy cashew-tofu ricotta pasta side.  Eh.  Still tasty!)

—— The company potluck was from 12:30-1:30, followed by a fun afternoon activity – a Feats of Strength competition.  My team lost but we had a great time all around; even the young sprouts that joined us were all smiles. ——

Holy Monkeys Peanut Butter Chocolate MonstrosityVoting is now said and done – I am happy to announce that I won first place dessert! HUGE thanks to my coworkers who enjoyed it and voted for me, and for those who missed out or are my Interwebz friend, don’t worry!  I’ll make it again next week and maybe I’ll post the recipe 😉  It always makes me really proud when folks fall in love with a dessert and ask me between bites, “So this really has no butter?  It’s seriously vegan?  But it’s so rich!”  Ah, indulgence for all. Who knows, maybe all that self-ego rubbing and smack talking I did yesterday was good fuel, or maybe I got lucky. Regardless, I am elated, proud, thankful and am still a bit in disbelief. Wow.

Tomorrow, the aforementioned manthing and I will be chowing down on our traditional fare: stuffing, green bean casserole (I’m thinking either the FatFree Vegan or VeganYumYum one, but I love them both so!,) Tofurky, homemade portobello-shiitake mushroom gravy and I hear he bought some champagne.  While we indulge we will enjoy one another’s company and perhaps treat the kitties to a little something indulgent too.

Whatever your plans this Thanksgiving, I hope you take some time to think about the things you are truly thankful for, such as family, maybe even job security, delicious food or that you were able to help support animals by not eating them.  There are so many things in life that are far more important than getting up too early to rush out and buy things you don’t need!

Here’s to staying in, feasting and of course, MoFoing!


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