And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
~ Roald Dahl
The first gluten-free Thanksgiving kicked off on Tuesday morning. I made my way to the airport and all was going swimmingly. Surprisingly, it was not a full flight and I had the seat next to me open so I could spread out a bit. However, a leaky seal of some sort required us to deplane and go back inside the airport. The pilot sent us off with a promise of an update within 30 minutes. When an hour passed, it soon became an interesting study in human nature. Granted, many of those people were anxious to get to their destination before the heavily travelled Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I was no different. What intrigued me was how people reacted. While I was largely entertained by two Texas women who were schooling me on how to become a real Texan, I also couldn’t help but notice two other people. One was a much older man and he was cranky. He was intent on chewing out every United Airlines employee within a three gate earshot. By contrast, there was a twenty-something girl who was unfazed. She was smiling and engaged with many of the people around her. And for the four hours we ended up being delayed, she never wavered. That girl was still smiling as I wrestled with my overpacked suitcase at baggage claim in Houston.
In spite of having lost my afternoon that had been slated to go do the grocery shopping, those stores were still there the next day. After one trip to Target and three trips to Kroger (The Tall Texan just shook his head..) I was ready to make the pie. Preparing Thanksgiving dinner in someone else’s kitchen is like cooking cross-eyed with one arm tied behind your back…. but I was in the same city as my girl and my guy, so I was happy.
A few months back I had perfected my gluten-free pie crust, however, Kroger didn’t have all the flour mixes that I needed. At that point, I didn’t feel like going the extra mile to another grocery store, so I opted for a ready made crust. Well, I now know why gluten-free products get a bad name. You’d have thought it was made in Fred Flintstone’s rock quarry. Yikes.
I decided that I was not going to deprive myself of the stuffing. I bought gluten free bread, cut it into cubes, toasted it and used that as my base. I had not done a trial run of this, and come Thanksgiving day, I wished that I had. It still needs some work.
The turkey. the mashed potatoes and the sweet potato casserole were the stars of the show. All three of the recipes I used are from my tattered copy of a 1999 Bon Appetit magazine. Yum, yum and yum.
With all of that said, here’s what I learned not only from my first gluten-free Thanksgiving, but from the whole weekend away:
- Just keep smiling.
- Go the extra mile.
- Stick with what you know. (Or do a trial run first.)
- Make a list. (But more importantly, check it twice.)
- Just keep smiling.
I took very few pictures that weekend. I guess I figured you all know what a Thanksgiving meal looks like, gluten-free or not…
I did take this as we landed in Houston. The colors of the sky had me smiling, and the holding of the patched leaky seal had me giving thanks..
And this…the magic of spending time with my girl:
I’ll be back tomorrow to broker out some more gluten-free goodness.