Vegan Schmegan

Dear Mary

My brother’s girlfriend reminds me she is a vegan about every 15 minutes. What do I cook for her for Christmas?

Signed, Meat-loving Monica

PS She’s Vegan


Dear Monica

Forgive me that I don’t use your Meat-Loving handle. It’s not because I’m a Vegan – something you would most certainly know by now if I was – but because I find the term “Meat-loving” to be slightly fetishist.

I once had Christmas lunch at the home of my mother’s friends and was genuinely jolly at the sight of the whole cauliflower, roasted and dressed in tahini, that was placed on the table in front of me.

That jolliness was possible because I assumed there would be more, that this was the delicious side-dish curtain-raiser to the main event that was sure to arrive shortly.

But it didn’t. And my joy was crushed. Shat upon by a head of cauliflower.

The ceremonial carving of the beast, fish and fowl are among my favourite parts of the festive season.

anyone-can-do-a-ham-standIn the back of one of my kitchen cupboards sits an instrument that appears to be a medieval device of torture but is, in fact, a ham stand.

After coating the ham for several hours in a glaze which makes the consumption of animal fat acceptable, we lower it onto the spikes of the ham stand and place it at the centre of the table to the sounds of gasps of astonishment and exclamations of admirations.

What’s not to love?

It is a marquee moment of Christmas entertaining and it is here that I feel most sorry for the vegetarians.

In the spirit of pretending to be open-minded, I tried to set a vegan feast of tofu, beetroot, celery and potato on the stand and place it at the centre of the table, but even the bottle of booze couldn’t jolly this up enough to pass muster for a celebration.


Polished turds.jpg


So I think your Christmas gift to your brother’s girlfriend needs to be more than the blind following of her misguided food fad.

You need to use the light of Christmas to lead her out of the darkness.

You CAN provide a multi-course meal where every single thing served has meat mixed with it.

Good news for you is that by being a vegan, she has made life easier for you.

You need only go as far as having cheese, milk, eggs, cream – any animal product – in every single thing you serve. If she was simply vegetarian, you’d need to find a dessert with bacon in it. Tricky but possible.

She may resist. May even accuse you of being deliberately disrespectful.

But like our Colonial Fore-Fathers, you need to back yourself because you most definitely know best here.

Take this opportunity to show your brother’s girlfriend that her ways are bad and lead her to the Omnivorous Holy-land for this wonderful day of the year and pat yourself on the back for your virtue and generosity.


PS Head one self-righteous rant off at the pass by sourcing all your meat and animal products from farmers dedicated to regenerative agriculture – they’ll taste a whole lot better too. In Sydney we recommend Feather and Bone


One comment on “Vegan Schmegan”
  1. Stuart Murray says:

    Dear Mary,

    sage like advice.. of course you can shape soft tofu into quail and other such traditional festive foods. you can form the soft tofu as it has the same consistency as playdoo and if you ask most 3 years probably the same mouth feel and taste.


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