This year I finally managed to host a real gluten-free vegetarian recipe carnival. I got to know some wonderful new gluten-free bloggers and get inspired by their creative approach to hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
After all the madness of hunting for recipes, planning out a menu and shopping for the ingredients, I started to think about what Thanksgiving meant. Sometimes being a gluten-free food blogger with a fear of hunger breathing down my neck (due to the possibility of no food that I can eat in a given situation), I can get pretty hung up on the food part of it. But Thanksgiving is also about family, and it is a time to count all of the blessings in your life. I am very blessed. Although we can get hung up on the stresses of everyday life with jobs, studies, and daily chores, The DH and I (with Toddler Yum) make it a priority to have fun together as a family. Some of the memories we’ve made together have been some of the happiest I’ve ever had. Even simple things like taking my kid trick or treating on Halloween have been joyful experiences thanks to my DH and the intrepid Toddler Yum.
Thanksgiving has been no different. Of course I am finding that you have to give up some of the control in the kitchen with a toddler underfoot. Yes, she will get into the ramekin of dairy-free pumpkin pie and dive in thumbs first. (By the way Alisa, the recipe got a big thumbs up.) And yes, she wants to help at the worst moments sometimes, and can cause more chaos than I ever imagined. But Toddler Yum is also so much fun, and watching her develop into a real, imaginative, spirited person with opinions makes the holidays even better. This kid loves Halloween, and costumes, and saying “Trick or Treat.” And today for Thanksgiving, she loved saying “Happy Thanksgiving” and holding her plate for a piece of Daddy’s turkey (no the DH and Toddler Yum are not veg) and gobbling up spoonfuls of Mommy’s homemade cranberry sauce. And we loved watching her do all of those things. Honestly, I can’t wait to experience Christmas with this new Toddler Yum, who tells us “I’m a KID” and plays and talks and thinks like one more every day.
Side Dish: Gluten-free, Vegan homemade French Bread
Side Protein Dish: Vegan Homemade baked beans cooked in slow cooker and pressure cooker.
*This one actually gave me some problems because I combined two types of beans (black and red) from two different bags and the black beans refused to cook in the slow cooker. I think they may have been old. I started them first thing in the morning after soaking them overnight and the beans were consistently crunchy for ages and ages until finally I pulled out my pressure cooker and pressure cooked them. Fie on you, Slow Cooker cookbook that told me beans would only take 3-4 hours.
Side Dish: Frozen Peas (Not Gourmet but the DH loves it)
Sauce: Homemade Orange Apple Cranberry Sauce
Desserts: 2 Kinds of Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie. I preferred Alisa’s egg-based filling to my vegan filling, I have to say. I also made some Apple Pie using one Whole Foods GF Bakehouse Crust and one Manna From Anna crust.
There is this kind of hokey but cool Raw Foods Cafe called Cafe Gratitude that has locations in Berkeley and in the Cupertino Whole Foods. They make it a practice to ask patrons what they are grateful for, as they take their orders. It is embarrassing, but a good question, especially on Thanksgiving. What are you grateful for?
This is the closing post for my Gluten-free Vegetarian Event. I hope you have enjoyed it. I was planning on posting a recipe, but I just didn’t think it made much sense since all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving are probably all cooked out. I will update the first page to reflect all of our latest recipes and posts, so it will hopefully serve as a resource for others for later holidays. I hope you all had a wonderful gluten-free thanksgiving!