What's on your Thanksgiving menu this year?
It’s almost here! I know, it’s hard to believe it, but Thanksgiving is almost here. How did it sneak up on us so quickly? Do you ever feel that way? Why, just yesterday it was Labor Day weekend and we were saying goodbye to summer. Time sure flies, faster every year it seems. I can hardly keep up with it all.
So, are you hosting this year’s dinner? Are you having a large gathering of people? Perhaps you are not the one hosting the family gathering this year and you are just bringing a dish or two. No matter what your plan is, everyone’s mind is on food this time of year. The turkey, the mashed potatoes and all of the tasty desserts that this time of year always seems to provide.
What could be better than gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks for a year of blessings! Sure, life is tough, times are tough, but when we really focus on what we’ve been blessed with the list is long and we’ve had a good year. I know this year has brought many challenges and changes for my family, it’s been a tough year, but we’ve also been so blessed. No matter what your circumstances may be, we all have something to be thankful for, even if it’s just the family and friends that gather together to share a meal.
Hosting Thanksgiving is always a big undertaking, but not an impossible one. Even with our struggling economy, making a special meal to celebrate a season of thankfulness is not beyond our reach. It takes some careful planning sometimes but it can be done. Just start with the basics and go on from there. I know for my family, the basics always include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls and pie!
Having your guests bring their favorite dish is also a huge help. Obviously if there are gluten or other food issues for your guests, you may have to make sure that there are plenty of dishes for those with allergies or intolerances. As long as precautions are taken when preparing and serving the food, I don’t believe you need to remove all of a certain ingredient from your meal. Most of your guests will understand if you have a dish or two that they can’t enjoy, as long as you make sure that there are plenty of choices for them.
When serving, just make sure that the dishes containing gluten, are served away from the non-gluten ones. That each dish has it’s own serving utensil and that each guest understands that it’s important to avoid cross contamination of certain foods. Most people will completely understand and your guests with food issues will appreciate the effort you make. After all, everyone wants to enjoy their food on Thanksgiving, just as much as at any other time.
If you are the gluten-free guest at the gathering, try taking a few of your favorite gluten-free favorites to share. It’s always nice to have a few of your favorite or hard to substitute dishes when you are eating with gluten-eating friends and family. Not everyone has mastered gluten-free cooking and baking or have the slightest idea that certain foods contain gluten. Just think back to when you first started on this journey, how many things you found had to be avoided. It can be daunting to a hostess who is not used to having to think about hidden ingredients in the dishes they usually cook.
Doing what you can to make your guests feel welcomed, taken care of and appreciated is all part of the planning. If you are the guest, doing what you can to lighten the load of your host (especially if you are the only one attending with food issues), is a huge help. Enjoy the celebration, time with family and friends and all of the tasty goodies that will be on hand.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Gling! Take some time to count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends this holiday season.