By Dina Gharib
After The Vegetarian Resource Group sent out a press release about our upcoming Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck, we were contacted by a local newspaper to present our story, and promote our annual event. The Journalist along with a photographer stopped by the home of our Outreach Coordinator Nina Casalena to discuss our 33rd annual upcoming vegan potluck dinner. In preparation for our feature, Nina and I did research to find tasty meals that would also be photogenic and delicious. We wanted to create dishes that would appeal to the reader’s eye, but we also wanted to imply that vegans can eat a hearty thanksgiving meal. With that in mind, we decided to steer clear from our favorite dishes that would photograph as “mushy” and unappetizing.
After hours roaming the internet, we opted to make a colorful salad along with a golden puff pastry dish and snicker doodles (cookies). To split up the load, Nina decided to make vegan snicker doodles while I opted to make a vegan kale, mushroom, and seitan Wellington along with a mixed green salad topped with pomegranate, avocado, apple, carrot, tomato, and a raspberry vinaigrette drizzle.
We started off the afternoon with a quick 15 minute interview about The Vegetarian Resource Group, veganism in general, and the Pre-Thanksgiving potluck. While Nina and I were nervous at first, the journalist put us at ease with his kind disposition. Questions that were asked include: “Why did you decide to go vegan?”, “What does VRG do?” and “How many people are you expecting at the potluck?” Nina was able to answer all of their questions thoroughly and in a relaxed professional demeanor.
After baking, plating, and garnishing our wellington and cookies, it was time to make the salad. The photographer shot Nina preparing the salad, and plating it beautifully. Once all the food was prepared Nina and I, along with our dishes, had a mini photo shoot. When we were finished, we answered some quick last minute questions, served the reporter and photographer some snicker doodles, and deemed it a job well done.