Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

This year I decided to make our entire Thanksgiving meal gluten free; our entire family (Papa, the boys, and I) all eat gluten free and my SIL and BIL are amenable to it. I wasn't sure how my MIL and her boyfriend would take it, but she doesn't usually complain and since Papa didn't put up a fight I decided to do it my way. My SIL did bring a traditional pumpkin pie that the non-GF folks ate.

There are plenty of ways to have a gluten free Thanksgiving. Many dishes traditionally served at Thanksgiving are naturally gluten free; the turkey, the ham (unless you buy a Honey-Baked Ham in California), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, and vegetables are easy.  Gravy can be made gluten free by using potato or corn starch as a thickener instead of  wheat flour.  Cornbread stuffing can be made with gluten free cornbread, and depending where you live you might not have to make the cornbread from scratch (I chose to).

Rolls and desserts are the hardest; pie is the most traditional Thanksgiving dessert there is, and what is a feast without rolls?

For the rolls I went with Chebe rolls; they are a naturally gluten free roll that comes from Brazil. They aren't what you think of when you think of that quintessentially tender, yeasty dinner roll, but they worked. Other than the kids most of our family limits their carb intake anyway.

But the pie -- how to make pie? The easiest thing to do is to make a cookie crumb crust; gingersnap crust has been my go to for the past 5 years.  This year I went all out with a gluten free pastry crust and it was ... meh. I'll have to work more on a recipe as the one I pulled from the internet didn't work. It looked beautiful, was okay (not terrific) to work with, but only tasted so-so. The sweet potato pie with gingersnap crust was far superior.

Other desserts ideas are pumpkin or sweet potato custard without the crust, gluten free fruit crisps, and even gluten free cakes made with fall fruits; I made a pear cake as J-Baby doesn't like pie. In the end we had too much dessert, but that is a post for another day.

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