Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Updated with "After" Pics! Preparing a Gluten Free Thanksgiving Feast

My mom and Seth's mom on dish duty (we don't let them cook), and my sis-in-law who is an amazing cook!
My mom's plate- she only took a small amount of bread at first, leery of gf breads, but she loved the Against the Grain Baguettes, so she ended up eating more of it!  I used Seth's grandma's china and bought gold chargers.
Me.  Cooking.  In pajamas.  As an active-duty military family, we rent this house, so disregard the ugly cabinets and appliances.  The granite counters are nice, tho! 

This will be my second time hosting a gluten free Thanksgiving.  I've had the luxury of two other gluten free Thanksgivings hosted by my mother (when it was just she & I), and by my best friend (who also made vegetarian options for another guest, so I wasn't the only one requiring intensive care in food prep).
Here are "professional" Turkey Day recipes from Living Without Magazine.

This is what I plan on preparing for Turkey Day: (note: the pink are UPDATES added 11/16/11)

  • Gluten Free Turkey (remember some poultry is injected with gluten containing flavorings/broths).  I've tried Shelton's before, but it didn't knock my socks off, so I'll try another brand this time.  Now that we live in Atlanta, we'll have to see what Whole Paycheck Foods offers.  Other gf options listed in an old copy of Living Without magazine show Aaron's Gourmet, Empire Kosher, Honeysuckle White, Jennie-O, Norbest, Organic Prairie, Perdue, and Shady Brook Farms.  **Remember NOT to stuff the turkey.  Martha Stewart doesn't recommend it (due to bacteria from poultry), and my mother insisted we do it with gf stuffing once, and it was so mushy we had to throw it out.  Obviously, if you are also having gluten-ful stuffing, do not put it in the turkey!
  • Gluten Free Stuffing - I haven't decided yet, between cornbread stuffing (my bff made it superbly one year) or the new recipe, here, that I got from the gluten free expo from Against the Grain.  Click here for Enjoy Life's gluten free recipes for pie crust made from smashed cookies, stuffing, etc.  Remember, many people find cooking the stuffing in the crock pot keeps it moist.  Click here for more stuffing recipes.
  • Cranberry Sauce- I'm a purist- no chutneys, no orange zest.  Just the original sauce, naturally gf!
  • Bread- Leaning toward Against the Grain, but may choose Schar rolls or make cornbread-- I love Sylvan Border Farm Classic Dark Bread Mix (similar to Pumpernickel), but I think I'm going to order CranRaisAppWalnut bread from Sally's GF Bakery in Sandy Springs, GA.
  • I also recommend ordering from THE SILLY YAK Bakery here. Feeling gutsy? How about trying a gluten free bread bowl recipe, here.
  • Yams- regular recipe, with brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows- naturally gluten free!
  • Click here for a link to gluten free flour blends you can make yourself, or try Better Batter, GF Bisquick, or Pamela's Baking Mix.  Be mindful of whether or not it already includes baking powder and xanthan gum/guar gum.
  • Green Beans- I like them with slivered almonds, but my Midwestern mom loves that green bean casserole, so I did by a gravy packet from a guy at the gf expo, his website is here.  I also liked the sample he had of sausage gravy (like for breakfast), yum!  
  • Corn Pudding:  Combine and mix:  14 oz can creamed corn, 2 eggs (lightly beaten), 1 c evap milk, 1/4 c sugar, 2 and 1/2 c GF flour blend, 2 tbsp butter, salt to taste (add a can of drained corn if you wish).  Pour into 1.5 qt casserole dish or 8x8 square dish. Bake @350 for 50 min. Serves 6
  • Mashed potatoes- a la Gordon Ramsey, using a potato ricer, hot milk, whipping over heat.
  • Gluten free Gravy- in the past I've used drippings with corn starch, but this year I'm using the packet I bought at the gf expo (see link under green beans).
  • Appetizers: olive/relish tray, brie cheese and Trader Joe's rice crackers, crudite with pumpkin hummus recipe here.
  • Desserts:  Gluten Free Hello Dolly Bars (my mom just subs gf ingredients, but there is a recipe in the latest Delight GF Magazine, Apple Cranberry Crisp (remember to omit the gf flour the recipes call for- texture is like sand! I use gf oats and gf graham crumbs), Vitamix pumpkin cake (sub gf flours), and Gluten free Chocolate cream pie with gf graham crumb crust. Click here for a version of Betty Hagman's pie crust.  Some Whole Foods Markets sell pre-made pie crusts. Remember to use Aluminum-Free Baking Powder for your baking this year, to avoid a metallic aftertaste.
  • Drinks:  Rhubarb wine, water, apple cider, soda, milk, and PUMPKIN LATTEs with VitaMix!
  • Ask guests to bring:  flowers, cranberry sauce, crudite, cool whip, ice cream, yams, gr.beans, or hummus, drinks.  Explain about cc.
  • Now, this won't work for everyone.  My stepdad and mom are coming from FL for the holiday weekend, but they will be dining out for Thanksgiving, choosing to opt-out of a gf dinner.  My stepdad is a stickler for tradition and a control freak.  He's also unable to stay at other people's homes, always in a hotel.  Hopefully he remembers his blood pressure meds this year (to see what happened when he didn't one year, click here). **UPDATE:  My stepdad and mom skipped the restaurant and ate with all of us!  My stepdad gobbled his plate clean!  They all were surprised how buttery and yummy and great-textured the Against the Grain baguettes were and the proof was that they ate tons of them.   Everyone commented on how juicy the brined turkey from Trader Joe's was.  It was the best Thanksgiving I've had since going gluten free in 2005.
  • If you're traveling, you can order travel sized dressings and soy sauce packets here.
  • I'm also hosting my first Halloween Party.  Here is the list of gluten free Halloween treats I'll be serving.

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