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Veggie main, stuffing and gravy?



We all may have to rethink when we’re relying on crushed ants and other insects for our protein. Perhaps some sort of protein producing grape hybrid is the way forward!


Seem to recall a Mitchell & Webb sketch that dealt with that subject rather cheekily (‘Come on, you must have some meat somewhere around here - what was that I saw wandering around earlier?’ ‘The cat?!’).

Fortunately for any guests of ours who can’t stomach the thought of a meatless meal, my wife is a fully committed carnivore. She is, however, teetotal! :speak_no_evil: A disaster on paper but we embrace the ‘all the more for me’ philosophy with regard to our food and drink, and it works for us. It also means that, with a bit of forward planning, our guests can enjoy whatever dietary options, and drink any vinous or virgin options they might require or desire!


Two breeds spring to mind, both useful as they also allow an increase in cultivable land area, living as they do underground :smiley:
Harvesting might be tricky!

Cabernant sauvignon.


A funny story, well I thought it was funny, later !
Many years ago we went to my Grandparents for Christmas dinner, this year two aunts, my mothers sisters had volunteered/commandeered the task of preparing and cooking the dinner giving the grandparents a break.
I had no idea they were veggies though the fact that cat among other animal charities were top of their give to list should have warned me, both were in the unmarried high flying business woman category and one was the fashion editor of Vogue at the time, not that they didn’t have men friends they just did not have “time” for the long term relationship.
I say this so you get the picture on the day.
We all arrive, very mean and infrequent drinks are served and this sets the tone, well for me anyway, eventually to much fanfare the immaculately dressed and coiffured’ cooks’ bring out the starters, still no hint of what was to come, it was naturally veggie but for a starter that was not unusual, but the main course that followed having been forewarned with “I hope you all like it” was a to me me a strange looking affair, a nut roast, I had never seen one and was convinced it was some arty farty meat dish.
So we start and after a mouthful I ask the obvious question"what is the meat", that did it, why did you have to do that, you know it is not meat, unnecessary comment etc followed by a universal silence, I did my best for appearances sake and finished most of this alien concoction and then we had a very nice fruit based dessert, the only good thing in the meal.
The rest of the evening which I managed to cut short I was on the naughty stool again suffering the passing comments of ‘you must have known’ and ‘you have really upset them’ even my mother backed them with the ‘you are just like your father you had to do it’, needless to say the the saving grace was they never offered to make Christmas dinner again :joy: I was lucky to escape unscathed as the two ladies in question could to put it mildly be very cutting, no prisoners with them.

I actually like a lot of non meat dishes that is not the problem, but this was early days in the veggie movement and I genuinely had no idea this was what would be served up, I would rather have had a good salad than a nut roast, can’t see the point of making vegetables look like meat
but there you go.


Those of you suggesting (a little tongue in cheek I know) that the veggies could eat meat might be surprised at how difficult that can be. I’ve been veggie for just short of 40 years. I no longer have any particular moral motivation but just have no desire for meat and even find it a little off-putting. Anyway a few years ago I thought “what the heck” and bought a (fresh baked) chicken & mushroom pasty in a garage as they were out of their usually scrummy cheese and onion ones. Half an hour later I was in a lay by being violently sick. So either I can no longer take meat and would have to be weaned onto it again or it was psychosomatic. But either way I’ve not been encouraged to repeat the experiment since!


As someone whose digestive system has only experienced meat a handful of times via breakdowns in communication during travels, that really resonates with me :nauseated_face: Without wishing to lower the tone with any gory details, you have my sympathy and empathy!


Many grape varieties, wine styles and indeed producers would be suitable:
alicANTe bouschet, ANTao vaz, TerrANTez, gros plANT, sagrANTino, carricANTe, romorANTin, fendANT, crémANT, Klein ConstANTia … I’ll get my coat now …


Versatile chap Johnny Ant :slight_smile:


Sorry to chip in late to this…

We’re having the Hairy Bikers’ Nut Roast tomorrow. It’s a mix of nuts (obv.), veg and mushroom, served with an intense mushroom sauce. The roast also has cranberries and lemon zest in it. Last time we had it we went for a 2001 Clos Vougeot and it struggled to make an impression. I have a 2007 Grand Puy Lacoste, a 2006 Cheval des Andes and some North Rhones, either 2006, 2007 or 2012 Hermitage, varous cote rotie from 2006 up, rioja GR back to 1995 and some 2012 Brunello to hand but would like some help.

If you haven’t yet started your celebrations, I would be grateful for your thoughts. Many thanks and happy christmas one and all!


I’m making a couple of guesses here but if you have walnuts in that mix they can be very overpowering; if I want my cooking a little less overpowering I often replace them with pecans. You say the mushroom sauce is pretty intense and if so I’m guessing, again, you might have a strong bold mushroom in there like porcini (cepes), in which case it will certainly be pretty powerful especially combined with the nuts. I often do a porcini based garlic sauce with pasta and between the porcini and the garlic it is pretty overpowering. I have found some N Rhones can stand up to it but the best I’ve yet had with it is a good full flavoured Rioja;

This goes a treat (especially when some is sacrificed into the sauce as well).

I actually wouldn’t recommend a really old wine (eg Gran Reserva or aged Bordeaux) as I often find they can get a bit too subtle and, if they can’t really stand up to it, you’ve possibly wasted a good expensive bottle. Something younger that’s still a little fruit forward contrasts well I think.


Brilliant advice. It does have walnuts so will shelve the old stuff and go for a young Rioja or Rhone. Thanks, Mike and happy Christmas to you.


2008 Ardanza is the closest to hand so that’s standing up now.