Monday, November 29, 2010


The table that Jared set, awaiting our feast!
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, as happens every year. I can remember when the boys were younger telling them on the first day of school that the next day was the last day of school, as time passes by so quickly.

We’ve been doing Thanksgiving for years, and we had it down to a science, Jeff handled the bird and I took care of everything else.  It's worked for us.  But this year’s Thanksgiving was a first in many ways for us. Due to Jared’s diagnosis of having Celiac two weeks before Thanksgiving we ventured toward having our first official gluten free turkey day. The turkey was purchased before the diagnosis and as a result we even had to call and make sure our Butterball was gluten free, as apparently many store bought turkeys are not. It’s making me think we might be switching to locally grown Hutterite turkeys for future holidays.

I started the adventure by toasting and drying tons of gluten free bread to make stuffing. I’ve never made stuffing from scratch before; our family has always been one to prefer the Pepperidge Farm variety. I reminded Jeff, who likes to actually stuff the stuffing inside the turkey while it cooks, that he also had to have gluten free bread as he couldn’t put gluten inside the turkey. So I toasted and toasted and toasted a lot of bread.

Jeff showing off the beautiful bird.

The piece de resistance!

Licking his chops!

One of our holiday traditions, for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter morning has always included having a loaf of homemade banana bread for breakfast. That and cinnamon rolls. Before you get the idea that I’m some type of domestic goddess, the cinnamon rolls have always been Pillsbury. Obviously, that part of our holiday tradition was also going to have to change. I found a recipe for gluten free banana bread online using our own Montana grown Timtana (gluten free of course) flour and went to work with it. It wasn’t my Great Aunt Florence’s recipe that I’ve been making for 25+ years, but everyone agreed that it turned out delicious.

Amazingly delicious banana bread!

Diggin' in...
The cinnamon rolls I’m still working on, we purchased two gluten free types and neither one was a hit…so homemade for Christmas it will have to be! We’ll have the fun of taste testing various recipes to see what fits.

Next up was the challenge of the dinner bread. I’ve been baking the same dinner bread recipe every holiday since I was 14, a recipe I picked up in my 8th grade home economics class. The few attempts at holiday celebrations where I made a different bread recipe the old one was demanded, so it’s been a hit and we’ve stuck with it. Obviously, this year the recipe had to change, as Jared is the true bread boy and he would have been very upset if there were not any bread on the table. So I made a loaf of Timtana bread and I must say it turned out well.

I can’t say our feast went off without a single hitch; the gravy was a bomb – a bomb as in bad, not ‘the bomb’ as in good! I used cornstarch and it was not a success. Good thing we had au jus to use in place! I have a few weeks to play around and find something delicious for us for our Christmas feast. The great thing about mistakes in the kitchen is all of the fun you have trying out various recipes to see what works and what doesn’t…let the kitchen experimenting fun begin!

The wine is poured, the table is ready, the food is hot, time to dig in!

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