I always have a hard time figuring out what to make for big holiday dinners - namely, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Their traditional main dishes are meat, whether it's ham or lamb, turkey or fish. Obviously, those are all out of the question, so what's a vegetarian to do?
Fondue. At least, that's what I did this year, along with vegetarian sushi. My meatatarian in-laws loved it (at least, that's what they're saying, and I have no desire to question them further).
For the fondue, I found a bag of pre-shredded fondue cheese, a mix of Emmentaler and Gruyere. The bag was only 12 ounces, which turned out to be a perfect first course for five people. But it was $14 for that little thing. Ever the thrifty one, I thought surely buying the cheese in brick form would be cheaper... but no. An 8-ounce brick of Gruyere was $12, meaning ounce for ounce, the pre-shredded stuff was cheaper. On top of that, it was less work for me.
I've read in various places that you should never use water as the liquid base for fondue; you need to add something with flavor. The bag I bought suggested dry white wine, and the closest I had on hand was Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, which worked marvelously. I mixed it all in the electric fondue pot, sprinkled it with nutmeg, and we dipped carrots, green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and toasted bread in it.
The sushi came next. Most of them were some combination of cream cheese, carrot, squash, green pepper, and avocado... but a couple of them were avocado and bacon. Bacon! Our CSA (the one from which we got our summer veggies) had their own for sale. Earlier in the year, I inquired heavily about their butcher's slaughter practices, and they met my approval. I saw that the pigs had a nice space to roam in and were well fed, and you can really taste it in the bacon. It's very thickly cut and is so rich. And the sushi? Sounds weird, tastes delicious.
And it satisfied the meatatarians.