Help! A Vegan is Coming for Dinner!!!


Time to throw down the towel and admit there are some events in life over which I have no clue and stand helpless. Perhaps you have had them, too. This is the time when you frantically search your data base or your brain and say, “Now, who can help me?”


Here is what happened:


Brother Bill has announced to my husband that he’s VEGAN. AND… he’s coming for dinner.


“Are you nuts,” I holler. “He’s a football jock. A draft for the Steelers. He’s into construction and real estate and…”


I quickly dash off an email to sister-in-law Rita.


“Yep,” his wife Rita writes me. I can HEAR the sigh in the email. She’s Italian: the pasta, sausage, cheese, fish. Glorious entrees and even more glorious desserts.

“You might try grass and hay,” she suggests,


Right. Grass? In Southern California, you can smoke it. Not me. And in our case, we like the rebate from the water department so our lawn is all artificial. Wonder if he’d ever notice plastic over petunias?


I feel like the folks in the commercial: on the floor, helpless and WHO will get me up???

Jessica Dempster is the answer!  She and Neil are vegans, live in Scottsdale, an 8-hour drive away and instantly close by email. We’ve eaten at their house and could have sworn the shish kabobs were lamb and not vegetable. Her cheese spread would put the Swiss to ecstasy until they found out it had no animal milk in it at all.


She and Neil are built like top models. He’s a tall, handsome Viking. She’s a gorgeous lass from a cacophony of Irish, British and a bit of the Huguenots. (They were the upstarts that got turfed out of France in the 16th century for having the audacity to threaten the Catholic crown and Paris.)


In short, Neil and Jessica exude health, happiness, and hormones.


She will be able to tell me, in simple, easy-to-understand terms with even simpler ingredients, how to become an effortless vegan hostess. And I know I won’t have to stock the pantry with things that we carnivores will never use until we get the warning signal that a vegan is coming.


Forks over Knives is the cookbook Jessica suggests although I point out that SHE should write this hostess guide, cookbook, and survival manual.


Stay with me and you will never fear a dinner party again. We might even throw in some gluten free items. (My niece—Bill’s daughter—has celiac disease. Heck—if I am picking Jessica’s brain, why not go for the entire enchilada! If course, only if it is made of corn and has not meat or cheese in it.)

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