Thanksgiving is often a day of gorging on food that is buttery and floured. What is one to do if you have celiac or gluten-intolerance? Turn to the blog of the Gluten Free Girl for inspiration, of course! In her achieves from 2006 I found this delightful post and was inspired not only to cook up some Thanksgiving favorites, but also to consider the humor in a holiday so overly stuffed with butter and flour. Her humorous post looks at the reality of American holidays in all their “consumption and gaudiness“.
“That compulsion to make everything the same as the year before, and the need to have it be as perfect as a Martha Stewart magazine layout, sweeps up all of us, in one way or another. But for those of us who have celiac — and must eat gluten-free in this gluten-saturated time of the year — this time of the year can be a minefield. (I am certain this must be true for anyone with food allergies, as well as vegetarians and vegans, so this is quite a large number of us.) I don’t miss gluten. But I do miss the sugar cut-out cookies I made every year for over a decade. I miss gingerbread men and my mother’s cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I’ll never have them again. It’s okay to feel a little bit of mourning.”
Gluten-free girl and the chef (as she lovingly calls her husband) made a list of their top tips for ensuring your Thanksgiving holiday is not only gluten-free, but also delicious and they include:
1. Offer to make the meal yourself (then you won’t have any confusion if a family member forgets you’re gluten-free and adds a tablespoon of flour to thicken the gravy).
2. Talk to your family
“Sit down with everyone now, long before the big day, and explain all the ways that gluten can hide. Teach them about cross-contamination. This is supposed to be a holiday of gratitude, not a way to make you sick.”
3. Try new things, create new traditions – your favorite gluten-rich meals from your childhood will only do your harm now, so why not try something else, you just may find you like it better
“Isn’t this holiday just a chance to celebrate life with family and friends with food? Who says that it has to be a glossy roasted turkey with bread stuffing spilling out of its cavity? Why not butternut squash soup? Brussels sprouts hash? Black cod? Roasted duck? Seared tofu? Why not make it a menu of all the foods you have come to love since you went gluten-free?”
4. Say no to gluten. She closes her post with the sentiment that Thanksgiving is about time with those we care about and gratitude, not just about our traditional recipes. When we change our attitude to reflect that we will enjoy the holidays even more.
Her post got me thinking that regardless of whether we are trying to maintain our gluten-free, raw, vegan, vegetarian etc. lifestyle over the holidays, there are options for great meals to gather around with family and friends. Here are some of my favorite finds:
Vegan Recipes: http://www.vegkitchen.com/tips/vegetarian-thanksgiving/
Gluten-Free Recipes: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/11/thanksgiving-recipes-tips-for-gluten.html
Raw Recipes: http://www.sweetlyraw.com/2011/10/thanksgiving-goodies.html
Photo credit:Undead Q, for Creative Commons