I have thought about my Thanksgiving post for some time now. My family is getting better, great even. For the most part I want this post to be positive, this is my ideal. Family members pay attention, for this is what I need in order to make this Thanksgiving a relaxing and wonderful one. It has been two years since my diagnosis of Celiac disease. It is not a diet. It is a severe food allergy. For two years I have been the topic of dinner tables. Enough. No more. You get it. I get it. Now lets eat.

5 more days is a big day for all. The Big T. Thanksgiving. And nothing sends shivers of trepidation up a gluten-free girl’s spine like the mental image of mounds of Grandma’s dressing or slabs of pumpkin pie. It’s a wheat flour infused gorge fest with danger at every turn, the threat of three days chugging Pepto poised to strike on every holiday plate, jovial forkfuls of tradition and conviviality aside.

If you’re lucky- your family is tuned in and aware of the angst and anxiety food centric holidays can trigger. They are thoughtful and well schooled in where gluten lurks or hides (some turkey broths and marinades, gravies and spice blends, stuffing and pie crusts) and don’t ask questions like, You can eat whole wheat crackers, right? (with the emphasis on the word whole as if somehow, the word itself makes the wheat magically safe to consume).

And if they don’t indulge in meta messages and all that spooky passive-aggressive weirdness they won’t sigh when you politely decline a slice of pecan pie and say to you, Just don’t eat the crust. They won’t hold up a pitcher of gravy and whisper, A little bit won’t kill you. or better I’m allergic to milk- and I cheat, then you, my dear readers, have much to be thankful for.

You’re blessed with a clan that gets you, honestly loves you without judging you, and cares about every morsel that enters your fragile universe. So this post is for them. The Moms and Aunts and Grandmas and Bubbe’s and best friends who believe that if food is love Thanksgiving should be fun and worry-free and delicious. No big whup.

Because after all, we know true love has great taste.

A Few Key Tips Worth Repeating
  • For making gravy, use arrowroot starch; it thickens better than wheat flour, anyway. Sweet rice flour is another choice. I like to add a dash of dry sherry, brandy, or wine to gravy as well.
  • For stuffing, simply follow your favorite recipe and substitute toasted cubes of gluten-free cornbread or a loaf of store-bought gluten-free white bread.
  • For a crunchy bread crumb topping, process toasted GF waffles- they make perfect golden crumbs.
  • For a classic cookie crumb pie crust use Pamela’s cookies (Lemon or Ginger or Chocolate, depending upon the filling) processed into crumbs; I use Joy of Cooking’s classic cookie/cracker crumb recipe and simply substitute with gluten free cookies.

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