Usually about once a month, we have a big family dinner with extended family. I'm the only Vegan here, and my family loves their meat and dairy! The church usually has a pot-luck style dinner once a month, and the neighborhood has some pot-luck gatherings every now and then. How do I enjoy these situations without eating meat and dairy? I know I can make my dish Vegan friendly, but that's the only dish I know I can eat. Should I bring my own food with me? Or would it be more acceptable to go but just not eat (or eat my own dish only)?
I recently went to a family gathering and I simply made a spinach and mushroom vegan quiche, I made those delightful pb cups, and I bought some vegan chocolate chip cookies. All of this was a hit with the family and I didn't feel left out. During another outing (cocktail party), I made sure to eat a nice meal before I went. This way I could just have one or two drinks and if they happen to have some vegan friendly food, I could partake; if not, oh well! I already had a dinner. Hope that this helps a little.
I always bring my own - if its a pot luck its easy-just bring your own vegan goodness and eat only that and scavenge from what else you can. I like the suggestion from the Kind book to call your host/ess if its a smaller gathering and express how excited you are to come, that you have dietary limitations and what dish could you bring that would compliment what they are already serving. I've been vegan so long its now easier to get away with it - a lot of people will already make sure to tell me there is a veg option for me, if its too awkward or I feel too weird, I eat up ahead of time and look like I"m eating when I"m there - I try not in anyway draw attention to myself or my eating habits, and no one seems to really care.
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