I have so much to be grateful for this year. How about you?
My mother is healthy for the first time in years, and my sister is also well. They are making most of the gluten and dairy free feast this year, and that makes me so happy. I’m also grateful for my sisters-in-law who are making much of the dinner on my husband’s side. We are eating with my family today, and my mouth waters for the three things I love most: turkey, my mother’s cornbread dressing and gravy.
“What?” you say. “Those items are filled with wheat and dairy.”
Well, they don’t have to be. Last year, I posted my mother’s dressing recipe. As for the turkey, we bought ours at Whole Foods which recently opened in Oklahoma City. Yes, it was pricey, but we got a fresh, organic bird with no additives. I may go back after Thanksgiving and buy an heirloom bird. I feared it was too much to ask of my family to eat a more gamey bird, but I want to try one. Perhaps, they will be on sale after the feast. I know some of us don’t have the option of Whole Foods, so I did some looking for other options. Butterball Fresh Turkey and Butterball Fresh Breast of Turkey are both gluten free, and I believe they say so right on the package. According to Honeysuckle White, their frozen and fresh turkeys are gluten, dairy, MSG and soy free. I found these turkeys last year at Wal-Mart and Target. Here, Homeland probably also carries them. Personally, I avoid any turkeys with additional broth, stuff, gravy, etc. Fresh is always best, and if you’ve waited this long to make your turkey, you need to buy fresh anyway.
It’s so scary what is put into our turkeys and other food, but today is all about gratitude so I’m not going there.
As for gravy, make your own and use arrowroot powder (available in bulk from Bob’s Red Mill and carried at our local Homeland in the gluten free section.) It is less gummy than cornstarch, and, in the U.S., corn has its own issues anyway. You can also use tapioca starch. Remember to stir cold water into the starch dissolving it before adding to the hot turkey broth. Otherwise, your gravy will have tiny dumplings. If that happens, it still tastes good so serve it and enjoy.
I am making the pies. In the past, I’ve made all of the crusts by hand. A food processor or electric mixer makes this easier, but easier still, is buying gluten free pie crusts from Whole Foods. I almost cried when I saw them in the freezer case. In an hour, my girls and I made a lemon meringue and two pumpkin pies. Today, I’m making a cherry crumble pie for Bill. Cherry is his favorite. I am also making mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. I grew the sweets, and I’m about to dig the rest of them for today. I am grateful they are so easy to grow.
Speaking of the gluten free Thanksgiving, I am also thankful for my health. There was a time when I was very ill, but this year has been abundant in good health and blessings for all of our family. Going gluten and dairy free wasn’t easy, but it’s been rewarding. I’ve made new friends, and for the first time in my life, I feel strong.
Life really is a long and winding road full of trials, tribulations and blessings throughout. The best of Thanksgiving wishes for to all of you. You are all a part of my life, and I say a little prayer for each of you everyday. Happy Thanksgiving!