Justin Fox Burks
Chanterelle and Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash from the "The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook."
Stumped about what to make for Thanksgiving that will please both the turkey eaters and the vegetarians at your table? If so, follow the lead of New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope, who tapped the collective know-how of our very own Chubby Vegetarians — Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence — for her blog called Well.
Burks and Lawrence aren’t quite sure how Parker-Pope tracked them down in Memphis for her post “Southern Flavors on a Vegetarian Table,” but they assume it was through their own popular blog Chubby Vegetarian and the interest surrounding their upcoming cookbook, The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook: 100 Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Table.
The couple’s book, due for publication this spring, recently popped up on Amazon.com for pre-orders. In fact, they heard from the Times on the same day they spotted the Amazon link.
“I was doing a little happy dance,” Burks said, laughing.
I spoke with Burks and Lawrence on Sunday, and they were well into their Thanksgiving plans, which begin four or five days before the traditional Thursday afternoon feast.
“I’m getting ready to try out a pumpkin-ginger pie,” Lawrence said, listing upcoming family feasts that include a welcome dinner Sunday for her sister and niece, a Tuesday night party, a Wednesday afternoon brunch and, of course, a Thanksgiving blow-out with some of the dishes featured in the Times story.
The Chanterelle and Apricot Stuffed Acorn Squash with Miracle Mushroom Gravy is Burk’s favorite Thanksgiving food. And the dish is also hit with family members, even the meat-eating ones.
“It’s easy, and it’s pretty and sits beautifully on the table,” he said.
Other recipes featured in the story and the cookbook includes apple and parsnip soup (I’ll be trying that one!), pomegranate cranberry sauce and a warm Brussels sprouts salad with smoked Feta and candied pecans (pictured to the left).
Recipes for Lawrence’s favorite Thanksgiving foods aren’t included in the post, but both sound divine. She loves Burk’s oyster mushroom stuffing and a more traditional Thanksgiving dessert from step-mom Blandy Lawrence.
“I like all the pies,” Lawrence said, explaining Blandy’s specialty chocolate pie. “It’s a chocolate pie she learned to make in high school home ec. She’s been making it for years, and it always steals the show.”