So. Thanksgiving, huh? What's up with that? Nothing like a holiday centered entirely on food to make a celiac turn into even more of a Nervous Rex than usual.
We've been living in Thanksgiving limbo since we got married. Luke and I are both lucky enough to have our families living within 25 miles of us, so there is no travel drama. The bad thing is that we both have traditions we want to uphold with each family, so the past few years have been a clusterturducken of trying to please everyone, all the time, without really making our own traditions. This year, the added layer of complication was that I basically can't eat anything anyone else has ever looked at, thought about looking at, breathed near ... you get the picture. As we headed into November, I was already tired. Stressed. And not looking forward to the FOX-reality nightmare that is Survivor: Thanksgiving Island. I just wanted to get it over with.
But then? Epiphany.
What if we celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday with our own meal? It would mean leftovers for me to pack up and take to family Thanksgiving, as well as establishing a tradition for the two of us. Plus, I needed to practice getting a holiday meal on the table, since we are hosting Christmas this year. Win-win situation. Thus, Fakesgiving was born.
I took half the day off on Wednesday, cranked some tunage and donned my delightfully old-fashioned apron. Then the kitchen calisthenics began. In case you hadn't picked up on it from previous posts, I like to cook ... ish. I can handle small meals, but this was the biggest project I'd ever tackled. From scratch. By myself.
Also, I hate following recipes. So that sort of made things interesting. But after several hours, a glass or two of pre-dinner wine and more Taylor Swift than I should admit to listening to, I had this:
I roasted a turkey breast (found at Aldi, their Kirkwood Farms brand, which I called and validated was gluten free, and sooooo much cheaper than anywhere else), made stuffing (sort of following this GlutenFreeda recipe, but subbing out some of the butter and using more herbage), mashed potatoes, Sweet Ali's dinner rolls and, my piece de resistance, GRAVY. Luke has mad cranberry skills, so he whipped up a whole-cranberry relish that I could have eaten for days. We wined, we dined, we watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. And it was so incredibly nice to have a tradition for the two of us, something I could see us doing again in the future.
At the risk of letting the puppies and rainbows just explode forth out of my brain, I have to say, this worked out to be a perfect solution. It might not be an option for everyone, but I am choosing right now to take a stand. You may take my Pop-Tarts, celiac disease, but you'll never take my Thanksgiving.