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Davis, California

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Ethical Hedonist: Cooperative Eating

When my friend Alyssa went vegan last fall, her parents had a hard time understanding just what that entailed. While she was at school they were just bewildered from afar, unsure as to why or even how someone would limit their food options like that. How little they understood the concept became abundantly clear, however, when at Thanksgiving her mother asked, “You’re not even going to try the turkey?”

Indeed, for many, the concept of veganism doesn’t mix with the concept of Thanksgiving — as though vegans must simply abstain from the holiday altogether. Though it is true that most of the vegans I know won’t be eating turkey this Thanksgiving, there are plenty of seasonal dishes that do not require animal products. In fact, co-opers set out to prove as much every year with our all vegetarian/mostly vegan tri-cooperative Thanksgiving.

“What’s a tri-cooperative thanksgiving?” you may wonder.  I don’t know that I could answer that question as well as the photos above can, but in short, it’s a magical time in which past and present members of the tri-cooperatives come together to drink, dance, cuddle and enjoy a delicious, ethically-sourced potluck.

My favorite dish this year was easily the mushroom gravy, the recipe for which is listed below. Try making it with your family this Thanksgiving so that your vegan cousin can eat something other than green beans for once.

Recipe: Mushroom Gravy

1 tsp. olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

1 tsp. dried thyme

¼ tsp. salt

8 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup dried sherry

3 cups mushroom broth

1 ½ tsp. flour

2 Tbs. water

2 Tbs. Earth Balance

1/8 tsp. black pepper


1) Heat oil

2) Sauté onions, thyme, salt and mushrooms for 8 minutes until browned

3) Add sherry and cook until liquid evaporates

4) Stir in broth and bring to a boil

5) Mix water and flower in a separate bowl

6) Add to skillet and return to boil

7) Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened

HILLARY KNOUSE drinks locally sourced, raw milk with her S’mores Pop-Tarts, every morning. Email your questions, concerns and dinner date offers to hkknouse@ucdavis.edu.




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