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Planning a Gluten Free Thanksgiving, recipes

by Karen on November 1st, 2010

For many who are new to the gluten-free diet, Thanksgiving is a time filled with frustration as you figure out how to politely navigate this family holiday. Not all friends and family will understand or be accommodating for the person who must follow a special diet.  But you can help them, help you by sending those who want to cook for you a link to this blog.  It is always wise to bring your own favorites to the meal as well.

Over the next few weeks I will post recipes that should  be helpful for those on a gluten-free diet and most can be adapted for a dairy-free or egg-free diet as well.

On the big day, be sure your serving spoons are exclusive to your dish. It helps to place your GF items apart from those with wheat if possible.  Though I have started making up little attractive place cards that say Gluten Free for pot luck dishes (use pretty paper as a background–a good way to recycle thank you notes).  If the dish happens to be egg or dairy free  it is nice to make that notation too.

Place card for Pot Lucks

Beware… there will always be someone in the crowd who won’t understand your needs…..

 someone who slices a big crusty loaf of bread next to your pristine GF items while the bread crumbs fly….

 To help you start planning your gluten free meal here is our Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving Menu

 -Sliced pears, figs, cheese board with  hard and soft cheeses served with gluten-free crackers
 -Roast Crisp-Skin Brined Turkey and Giblet Pan Gravy
 -Hazelnut Sausage Stuffing-
 -Sauteed Brussels Sprouts-(must be prepared just before serving)  
 -Cranberry Sauce
-Potato Casserole with Cream Soup Recipe 
-Buttermilk Biscuits
-Pumpkin Pie       

Recipes for those listed  in orange above will be posted here over the next few weeks, if you want the Buttermilk Biscuits recipe you will have to buy the digital book.  I can’t give it all away, we have to make a living. And these are undoubtedly the best part of the meal.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Planning tips

A gluten-free turkey and gravy are fairly easy to accomplish.  The recipe

 I will post is from Cooks Illustrated magazine, a fantastic resource for any cook and especially helpful for those who are just learning to cook. We use a brined turkey recipe found in the Nov/Dec 2000 issue called Roast Crisp Skin Turkey. Brining your turkey (two days before) and letting it air dry in the refrigerator (one day before) provides for a succulent flavorful bird.

Cooks Illustrated Crisp Skin Brined Turkey

Look for a fresh or frozen turkey that has not been injected with anything. Birds that are injected with flavoring are not usually GF. If you have a willing host or hostess…it is best to ask them to stuff the bird with onions, carrots, celery, butter and thyme to keep with the gluten-free theme (unless they are willing to use a GF stuffing). Gravy can be made with sweet rice flour or cornstarch as a thickening agent and many GF chicken broths are available as well.

Cross contamination can be an issue on this busy day so beware. (For those of you cooking gluten-free for your friend or family member be sure your sugar, salt etc. have not been subjected to a wheat-flour covered measuring spoon or cup  and that your counters and cutting surfaces don’t have wheat flour or bread crumbs on them.) Collanders need to be washed in the dishwasher prior to using them for any gluten free item

Last year my husband conveniently scheduled surgery for the Thanksgiving holiday and didn’t feel like socializing so it was just the four of us. Never again!!  This year we will host at least 9 people and probably a few additional college students. Thanksgiving is meant to be celebrated with as many people as fit the venue —if at all possible.  

My goal is to post two recipes from the list above each week (in the order they are listed).  Stay tuned……and please send me comments on what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving season….I will send a special gift to my favorite commentator.

From → The Food

  1. Nancy Robertson permalink

    Karen, this year I am thankful for being diagnosed as Celiac, and for the doctor who made the diagnosis. For more than 50 years I struggled, going to doctor after doctor, treating one symptom after another…never correctly diagnosed. Then I was blessed with a physician whose wife and children are all Celiac. He not only correctly diagnosed, he gave me hope, support, a boost in the right direction on where to shop, etc. and his kindness. I feel worlds better.

    I am also grateful to my husband, who has gone GF at home; our kitchen is totally GF, and he has learned to be a top notch label reader when shopping for new things! He’s supportive and a creative GF cook and always on the lookout for ways to make our old favorite dishes GF in delicious ways.

    I am truly blessed!

  2. Karen permalink

    You were very fortunate to have found such a wonderful doctor.
    I must point out that Nancy and I are not related but nevertheless are now connected through celiac disease.

    Karen Robertson

  3. This menu looks amazing, Karen! I cannot wait to put some of these recipes to use in my upcoming Thanksgiving dinner with friends.

    Thanks for putting this fantastic meal together and for sharing these gluten free recipes with all of us.

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