The Thanksgiving following our diagnoses left us all scrambling for gluten free/dairy free alternatives & an even bigger emotional problem…. The thought of going without our favorite Thanksgiving dishes was burning a hole in our chest. Thank goodness for our wonderful amazing perfect mother who came to our rescue! We get choked up just thinking of what she had to do to make that Thanksgiving something we didn’t dread. She did as much research as she could & offered as many gluten free & dairy free options as possible based on our collective, limited knowledge. Bless her soul!! That Thanksgiving, she definitely got even more points in heaven than usual.
Photo Cred: Frozen Ivy
GLUTEN FREE TURKEY | GLUTEN FREE STUFFING | GLUTEN FREE SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE | GLUTEN FREE OLD FASHIONED MACARONI & CHEESE | STEAMED VEGGIES & CHEESE SAUCE | GLUTEN FREE CARAMEL ICE CREAM | GLUTEN FREE LIME PEAR JELLO | GLUTEN FREE STRAWBERRY PRETZEL JELLO
When I think back to Thanksgiving this time two years ago, I literally cringe. I had just been diagnosed two months prior & the thought of Thanksgiving made me sick. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you. I’m obsessed with food. I love it. I’ve always been the foodie in my family & so Thanksgiving has of course, been one of my favorite holidays. (Heck, I’m even eating right now as I’m writing this).
But with that being said, most of my memories from past Thanksgivings have been two things:
1. The best, most amazing never-ending food.
2. Laying on the bathroom floor in-between pieces of pie.
One Thanksgiving, I even remember throwing up at my grandma’s house while all the other children my age were running around screaming, playing “house.” My family has pages & pages of traditional recipes that we use every Thanksgiving. So, just like we mentioned above, my AMAZING mom went to work & started doing what she could to alter recipes. But not only did she have to make two dishes of everything (one gluten free, one not), she also had to make whatever she could dairy free, egg free, nut free, & soy free. Sounds pretty impossible & pathetic right? It was.
There were lots of tears, lots of research to be done, & lots of hours & money spent at the grocery store. But when Thanksgiving day arrived, I had no other choice than to just accept my life sentence & try to be happy. After all, who wants a sad & depressed girl walking around on Thanksgiving day? I “happily” slopped my gluten-free/dairy-free/everything-free mashed potatoes onto my plate. Since my body was still majorly healing, I still spent my usual time on the bathroom floor in-between bites. But at least I wasn’t eating gluten. At least we had done everything in our power to make this Thanksgiving worth it for me & Brooke. And guess what? It was worth it. Because we learned so much that year & the year after that was so much better, just like how this year will be so much better than the last two.
Moral of my story: There is hope. You CAN go through a whole day of Thanksgiving without throwing all that pumpkin pie up (from either end). The reason: Because you can make it all gluten free. : ) It may not be perfect & you may mess up a good few recipes or so, because let’s face it, that’s our life, right? Gluten free isn’t easy. But at least you can have something similar to what everyone else around you is enjoying. You CAN be happy too. You deserve to be. : )
I’ve had two Thanksgiving’s since being diagnosed. The first was with my immediate family. We did our best to stay away from gluten. It was rough though because one of my favorite parts about that meal is my moms home made rolls. Even though it seemed we had no idea what we were doing, we did a pretty good job at accommodating both gluten & non gluten eaters. (I wish we took pictures!)
Most of the jello salads that we make were gluten free already except the one that called for pretzels. The gluten free pretzels held up ok, but they got soggy toward the end of the night. With the big things like the yam casserole & mac & cheese, we made a normal one with gluten & a smaller dish, gluten free. Although we are still working towards perfecting the stuffing, we attempted to make it with dried out gluten free bread. The part that was the easiest to make gluten free were the pies. We just didn’t add crust!
The second Thanksgiving was MUCH better in the sense that I felt I knew what I was doing! Colby & I spent that Thanksgiving with his Grandmother (who has Celiac), cousin (who has Celiac), & his sister. It was great! We had a full blown gluten free Thanksgiving! I made a jello, two pies, & Mac N Cheese. I had to make a few of my “staples.” I only made one dish that I had to modify, & I had two years of experience finding out what the best noodles were for the job! I can’t wait to share that with you this month ; )
Things are getting so much easier & we have several ideas brewing for this Thanksgiving! We cant wait!!
This month, we would like to present you with some “sigh’s of relief” so your not panicking! Be sure to subscribe so you get our weekly updates on what you need to be aware of for this Thanksgiving!
What Thanksgiving fears do you have? What’s your favorite gluten free Thanksgiving dish? We want to hear!
Signing off with our Gluten Free Anonymous Motto,