Black Friday is my veganaversary! As of last week, I've been vegan 16 years and vegetarian for 26 years.
The date that I celebrate changes every year since Black Friday changes, but I celebrate my vegan anniversary on Black Friday (rather than a set date) since I went vegetarian in 1994 on the day after Thanksgiving and vegan in 2004 on the day after Thanksgiving. It seems easier to keep that celebration on one easy-to-remember holiday! Most years, my veganaversary begins with leftover Thanksgiving pie for breakfast, and then my mom and I head to Brother Juniper's for veganaversary brunch. And then we hit up all the shops for Black Friday deals. I know some people hate the idea of Black Friday crowds, but we don't mind!
Unfortunately, things are just too risky this year for Black Friday crowds, so we broke tradition and skipped brunch and shopping this year. Instead, Paul came home from Nashville, where he had been banished to during my pre-Thanksgiving quarantine, and we celebrated by sleeping in, eating leftovers, and later in the night, putting up the Solstice tree.
My best friends Sheridan/Drew always post about their holiday tradition of enjoying a vegan snack plate while they put up their tree, and it sounded like such a fun idea. I was planning to rip off their tradition anyway, but after my friend Susan shared part of her Feast & Graze vegan charcuterie plate with me, I knew it was meant to be. Susan left a Tupperware with some snacks from her board on my porch!
Feast & Graze is a Memphis-based charcuterie delivery service, and they've recently added vegan boards to their offerings. This was so yummy! It had a vegan cheddar, a spreadable vegan cream cheese (Kite Hill maybe?), two kinds of crackers, fancy mustard, apricot jam, marcona almonds, candied orange, grapes, blueberries, dried apple slices, cherries, grape tomatoes, seasoned cucumbers, dried mushrooms, and Swedish Fish!
So much fun! And all for me! Paul doesn't like most foods, so he made his own plate with just non-vegan cheddar and some Club crackers. He's a very simple dude. We also opened a bottle of Tennessee Shine Wine that our friends Simon and Jen picked up for us on their recent trip to the Smokies.
Here's Paul decking the halls (or, rather, our fireplace mantel).
I convinced Maynard to wear this silly Santa hat in exchange for a couple treats. He's so easy.
It's hard to believe it's already Solstice season!