This year's Tampa ThanksVegan Dinner was the 6th annual, but only my second. This event will always have a special place in my heart, as it was my first big vegan event when I moved to Florida last November, and I met so many special people at that event, people that have become such beautiful friends.
[You can read about last year's ThanksVegan HERE.]
This year I was much more involved in planning the event. I helped keep the Facebook page active, I helped with volunteer coordinating the day of, which was difficult to juggle along with the task of being the photographer again. The day went by so much faster than last year, and this year was much more hectic, but I still had a great time. One of my friends said it perfectly when she said that as busy and crazy as the day can be, we're still hanging out with our friends, anyway.
Volunteers were in the kitchen by 9am, prepping Tofurkies and Field Roasts and stuffed gardein turk'ys.
We had a great water filter set-up for reusable bottles, and we also collected the food scraps for the piggies at Darlynn's Darlin's pig sanctuary.
So Delicious and Earth Balance both donated dairy-free nogs.
Java Planet donated lots of fair-trade coffee, too.
Sami's Bakery provided DELICIOUS dinner rolls at a discount.
And what goes better with soft rolls than Earth Balance buttery spread? EB donated tubs of each variety!
Now let's talk Tofurky, and then some! Tofurky roasts, Field Roast Celebration Roasts, and gardein stuffed turk'ys were all generously donated by the companies.
There was a vast variety of potluck dishes to choose from.
Here's my Thanksgiving 2011 plate.
Here are some other plates. We were all amused by how different they all looked. A vegan diet is most DEFINITELY a varied diet!
And of course, there was dessert. My buddy Dean makes KILLER cheesecakes. I'm not joking -- I was floating on a cloud of pure contentedness after relishing slices of banana-nut, pumpkin spice, and classic NY-style. (I only got to taste gingerbread last year, so I passed over that one.)
So Delicious and Whole Foods Tampa donated lots of sweet treats that went fast!
And here's a classic case of Being in the Right Place at the Right Time: toward the end of the event, a guest came bearing an amazing gift - a tray of vegan cannoli!