Saturday, November 6, 2010

Planning Thanksgiving Paleo-Style

Source: Rachel
Thanksgiving is one of two holidays each year that I spend in So California with my family (the other is Mother's Day).  It's hard to travel by myself with a 3 and 5 year old, so I make the most of my 2 trips, visiting with family and friends and letting everyone see the kids.

Everyone has their own lives, jobs, and priorities, so it's no surprise that Thanksgiving Day is one of the few times where the whole family is together in one place for more than an hour.  My oldest sister and I (the two cooks in the family) fix most of the meal while my other sister contributes drinks, bread, and dessert.  We lay out a spread of food buffet-style, let everyone serve themselves, and sit on the couches and recliners in the living room to eat and visit.

Last year, we had turkey, stuffing, bread, steamed veggies, salad, and three different pies.  It was a glutton of gluten - and I wonder why I was fat, tired, and suffering from constant headaches.  ;-)

This year will be different.  I'm eating Paleo, my sister is gluten-free / salicylate-free, and my mother is gluten-free, which means 3 out of the 7 adults (including the 2 cooks) attending the dinner will be eating gluten-free.  Not quite a majority but close enough to really count.

Considering that my issues with gluten is not only digestive but sanity-robbing (constant migraines make me a little loopy), I decided to be proactive this year and emailed my sister last week with my concerns.  She caucused the rest of the family and replied with suggestions.  We went back and forth for a while until we came up with something everyone could be happy with, whether they're eating gluten or not.  (Most importantly, I vetoed the idea of baking bread for the gluten-eaters - just being in an area where flour dusts was kicked up will set off my allergies - ugh!)

So, 3 weeks before Thanksgiving, we have a menu planned out.  Most of it can be cooked ahead, leaving my sister to glaze and cook the ham on the big day.  Scary that we can be this organized sometimes.  ;-)

Our Thanksgiving Menu:

  • Ham
  • Turkey (being provided by our non-pork-eating friend who is attending)
  • Carrot-&-Raisin Salad
  • Steamed Veggies
  • Salad
  • Store-bought bread (for the gluten-eaters)
  • Pies (for the gluten-eaters)
  • Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins (These have oatmeal in them, which is one of those questionable items...but they are super yummy!  I'll have to post that recipe next Weds)
Have you thought ahead to Thanksgiving yet?  Are you going gluten-free or will it be a crazy free-for-all at your house?  ;-)


  1. GF pie crust is very easy to make. No development of the proteins is necessary, and in fact you don't want to *any* development at all so that it will be flaky.

  2. I had a similar suggesting from a friend who is a big GF baker. I've had GF pie crust and they are yummy but...well, I didn't bake pies even before I went GF. I think the closest I came was a cobbler with a simple biscuit top. I'm more of a cake and muffin type of cook.

    My biggest concern is money. Most GF recipes I've seen require expensive flours, gums and other strange ingredients not usually found at the normal grocery store. It just doesn't fit into our budget these days. The muffins I make use oat flour, which can be easily and cheaply obtained by grinding up instant oats in a food processor and they come out super yummy! ;-)


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