Planning a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

I’ve found over the last three months that living Gluten Free hasn’t been as hard as I’d thought most of the time. Since I do so much cooking, it’s been pretty easy to make delicious yummy food that just isn’t made with wheat, barley, or un-tested oats. All that said, though, in two weeks (yikes) I’m going to have my mother and father, mother and father in law, and brother and sister in law all here at my house for Thanksgiving again.

Which is really very fun – it’s a big potluck kind of Thanksgiving.

But the gluten free thing is kind of a challenge, more so because my mother in law is completely unfamiliar with what it means to not eat gluten, not helped by the fact that she lives in a tiny farm town that doesn’t have anything remotely resembling “specialty” food (at one point, before I was GF, we had a conversation where she said that the area she lived in was too poor to have people that couldn’t eat gluten).

Fortunately the turkey is easy. My father in law always brines and smokes a turkey for us, so not only do I not need to cook it, I don’t need to worry about it – I know what’s in his turkey brine, and it’s perfectly OK for me to eat.

Also, it’s the best turkey any of us have ever eaten. Ever.

Mashed potatoes are also easy, as is some kind of green bean dish (I may actually make a homemade traditional casserole, which just avoids the flour in canned soups and means I make my own, which is yummier anyway). Everyone loves my artichoke gratin, and I can just as easily make that with GF breadcrumbs (or pulverized GF pretzels). I can thicken the gravy with cornstarch instead of flour, there’s no gluten in my orange and cranberry relish or in the drunken rum carrots, and I’ve caved in and agreed to have some baked (frozen) yeast rolls for everyone else, since I know that my brother and father in law are of the opinion that it’s not a meal without bread, and can go through an entire bag of rolls just between themselves.

Which leaves me with two fussy problems.

Stuffing and pie.

The pies I will just make myself.

My mom and dad will be here to help with our side of the cooking, and I’ve made gluten free pie crusts before. They’re not all that easy to make, because the flour doesn’t have the sticky stretchiness that regular wheat flour does, but piecing the crust together in the pan works just fine as long as you don’t need a top crust. Which means pumpkin and my bourbon chocolate pecan pies.

I think everyone will be happy with that, and if they’re not, they can buy their own damn pie from the grocery.

Stuffing I’ve kind of caved in on, but I’m not overly upset about it. When I set out to do this whole Thanksgiving thing, I decided I didn’t want anything on the table that I couldn’t eat. I was willing to negotiate on rolls, but I’m more worried about that than the stuffing, because I love bread. LOVE bread. So maybe I’ll buy some GF bread to serve instead.

Stuffing, however, my mother in law always makes, with a mixture of white bread and cornbread.

When I asked her if she would be willing to make it only with cornbread (and with cornbread ONLY made with corn and not with white flour) she balked. Her husband and sons both LOVE the stuffing she always makes. Making it without white bread just wouldn’t be the same.

So she’s making the stuffing she always makes, but using a gluten free cornbread, and will put some aside for me that doesn’t have white bread in it.

It’s not the ideal situation, but I think it’ll work out without having to ask anyone to buy gluten free bread that might not be any good for $10 a loaf.

Anna’s (mostly) Gluten Free Thanksgiving Menu:

  • Smoked Turkey
  • Assorted Stuffings (GF and not)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Drunken Rum Carrots
  • Green Bean Casserole (homemade, GF)
  • Artichoke Gratin
  • Orange Cranberry Relish
  • Frozen wheat rolls (not GF)
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

If anyone wants recipes, let me know in comments and I’ll do what I can to have them posted soon!