Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. We have been

and unfortunately, we were too busy to take many pictures. So, I will proceed here the best I can.

A gluten free Thanksgiving will be our tradition for the rest of our lives. If you come to celebrate with us, as Paul's family and our niece Lisa did this year, you will learn you can still enjoy the dishes of the holiday and not even know we have used flours other than those containing gluten. We are still working to improve our dishes, but feel we are definitely heading in the right direction.

First menu items: 
Mashed Potatoes

We ordered two fresh twelve pound free range turkeys from our local butcher as he can promise us they are not injected with stuff.

We cooked one of the turkeys in the Brinkman smoker, using this recipe. And, because we wanted to save oven space and neither Paul nor I has ever been impressed with a turkey we have done in the electric roaster, we decided to roast the second one on the Weber gas grill. Both turned out well and we agreed we will do this again.

During those busy last minutes before the meal is served, Nick dug in and mashed the potatoes and Paul's sister, Jayne, made the gravy. We used Bob's Red Mill™All Purpose Flour for the gravy and most of the "drippings" were from the smoked turkey. We didn't even supplement with chicken broth, so we were pretty happy with our turkeys!!! And, there was a bit of a "kick" to the gravy as well, thanks to nephew Kevin's recipe for poultry rub. I feel quite privileged he shared the recipe with me. He and Chad are master chefs.

More side dishes:

Ever since Paul tasted my Mom's wild rice casserole at a Thanksgiving probably 30 years ago, we have included it in our tradition as well. For quite a few years, when we would travel up to Wyndmere to share Thanksgiving with Marlys and Paul, this dish would be my contribution to the meal. I even remember cooking it in a crock pot at a hotel in Wahpeton. No adaptations necessary to make it gluten free, either!

I have never been a fan of canned cranberry sauce, so I decided this year to give myself a gift and bought a mold at Williams-Sonoma and made this cranberry sauce.

I love the fresh taste.  The can shape is our funny tradition, so it will always remain.

Sweet potato casserole. Easy to adapt to gluten free. Fresh sweet potatoes are easy to use and way better than the canned version.

Our gluten free pie discovery this year was to make a crust by blending one package of Kinnikinnick ginger snap cookies with 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter. This was pressed into the bottom of a pyrex pie plate and topped with the pumpkin pie recipe from Libby's.  It turned out great and our gluten free ladies appreciated the dessert option.

Nick, our 23 year old son,

and his close friends from high school years have gathered at our home for years (6?) during Thanksgiving weekend to share a meal and some important bonding time. Each year Nick, Paul and I plan a menu and work together to prepare the meal for the guys. This year, Nick really pushed up his sleeves and got to work with me in the kitchen. We were all pleased with the results of our efforts.

We served:
First course: 
Carrot Soup  
Suzanne and Jon joined us for the evening, so gluten free was once again a necessity.  No problems with this course!
Second course:
Salad with Sweet Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Nick and I worked together to invent this salad dressing.  I came up with the sweet red pepper as a base and he suggested it needed balsamic vinegar to round out the flavor.  Good idea!
Main course:
Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
The boys always need potatoes.
Tuscan style New York Strip.
Being the steak fan that he is, this is one of Paul's signature dishes.  He takes down his massive mortar and pestle to grind green peppercorns with kosher salt and rubs the steaks with olive oil and the peppercorn mixture before we throw them on the grill.  EXCELLENT. Trust me.
Maple-Ginger-Roasted Vegetables with Pecans.
Nick and I peeled and chopped for quite some time to prepare this dish.  It was well worth it! I loved the ginger kick.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
This was the first time I had prepared the recipe and substituting gluten free flour without trying the original recipe was a bit of a gamble. No problems! The gingerbread could have been served on its own.  It was so moist and very good. Nick made the pumpkin mousse and assembled the trifle. It was labor intensive, but I cannot recommend this recipe enough. It was a big hit. Wonderful.

What can be better than spending a day in the kitchen with your husband and son? Well, having your beautiful daughter and a houseful of great young men who love to eat sitting at your table enjoying what you've cooked! What a wonderful ending to a great day.

Today was quiet.

We munched on leftovers... Paul and Nick watched football...I worked on my recipe project...We got out the Christmas dishes...Paul asked if I had thought about making that fruit cake he liked so much last year...I had already located the recipe... Here we go!


Marlys said...

Food looks delicious! You sure did lots of cooking these past days! Did you celebrate your Birthday? Hope is was happy!

qwerkyqook said...

great post, I just lost myself in your recipe blog for a good 20 min. What a fantastic weekend of GF eats! Thanks mom! Dad-you mean the fruitcake that is still in the pantry from last christmas....?

B and B said...

of course- ready to eat for Christmas. Time to make some for next year. This time, it will be GF !!!


Abby and Ryan said...

The food looks and sounds delicious!! I may have to use some of these recipes!! Yum!!

I never realized how many things have Gluten in them!!! That's great that you are able to cook some incredible food while avoiding it!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Thanks again for hosting me on Thanksgiving - it was absolutely fantastic! And I swear no one would even know that you hadn't used gluten in the cooking process!

You sure had a busy, fun weekend! You definitely earned some time to put your feet up and relax a bit! :)