Start Planning GF Thanksgiving!

Is blog writing like riding a bike? Even if you haven’t posted for a month, do you still remember how? I sure hope so.

We have been so busy putting together our next issue that everything web based has fallen by the wayside, but I have had so many wonderful gluten-free occurrences that I am looking forward to catching up.

Halloween has come and gone, thankfully. In my opinion, it’s a dreadful, cavity inducing holiday although it is one of the easiest for a celiac. Now I am turning my attention to my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving!

My first Thanksgiving after diagnosis was a hungry affair. I was just completely unsure of what I should or shouldn’t eat. I was worried about the ingredients and cross contamination in the dishes that were prepared by other people. Then my son was diagnosed and I really had to make sure the holiday was fun, memorable and not a hungry affair for him.

We now have a vast array of side dishes that safely fill the plates (and stomachs) of the celiacs in our family.

My kids and my nieces and nephews eagerly anticipate my sweet potatoes with marshmallows. The adults have a creamy version with a splash of sherry, but we all look longingly at those puffed up, golden brown marshmallows.

I also make an apple crisp with gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour and lots of brown sugar and cinnamon. It goes into the oven as the turkey comes out. Nobody ever realized it was gluten-free until they saw the two celiacs eating it. Hot from the oven with a heaping spoonful of fresh whipped cream, a squirt of Ready Whip or vanilla ice cream makes it a real family favorite now.

Then, in the spirit of family, my in-laws started substituting corn starch for flour in the cornbread for their sausage cornbread stuffing. For years I watched that dish get passed, and it always smelled fabulous. When my sister-in-law called to inquire about substituting the flour, I was touched.

The mashed potatoes are great, the green beans are safe, the tossed salad is full of craisins and nuts, and the tart cranberries are one of my favorite things. Typically, I don’t eat much turkey…it’s my least favorite part of the meal. But, the side dishes are savory and de-lish (to quote a celebrity chef).

And the wine, the big reds and the fruity whites from my in-laws’ cellar are some of my favorite gluten-free calories as we sit around the table and talk and laugh.

If you or a loved one is newly diagnosed or if you are a seasoned celiac having Thanksgiving somewhere new, start talking to family and friends now! All it takes is a little bit of planning ahead to make Thanksgiving a great day of football, family, friends and gluten-free food.

  • I’m new to a diagnosis of celiac disease (7 days GF!!!). I’ve found conflicting information about drinking wine. One site said wine with sulfites (which is all commercially produced wine) was off-limits. What’s the general consensus?