I’ve confessed in the past that I start planning my Thanksgiving menu in late September, but this definitely hasn’t been the case this year. With all the busyness, it’s only been simmering on the back burner of my brain rather than at a rolling boil in the front. I just realized this morning as I was at the grocery store and there were signs for Thanksgiving everywhere that it’s next week. Yikes. At least I managed to order our turkey already.
I’m once again going with tried-and-true favorites this year, though I still haven’t found a good gluten-free or grain-free green bean casserole recipe, so that will still be an experiment. I’ve also invited three different groups of people to join our little family, but all turned me down for one reason or another, so it will just be the 4 of us. It’s not so bad, really…more leftovers for us and if I make something truly awful (as I definitely have in the past), I don’t feel quite so bad. It’s funny how that works with our immediate family members….I don’t mind killing their tastebuds, but anyone else is another story. 🙂
At any rate, here are a few ideas I have:
Of course. Turkey is a must. Last year, I managed to drag myself out of bed in the middle of the night and roasted a turkey for something like 13 hours and it was so good. Even though I left the giblets bag in it (true story). Ahem. So I’m definitely using the Nourished Kitchen slow-roast turkey recipe again this year.
I’m not sure stuffing is something I’m going to tackle this year as I’ll need to make the bread in advance (using the white bread recipe at the end of this post), but I actually tried the Stovetop-wannabe recipe from Better Than A Box a few Thanksgivings ago with plain old gluten-free (but not grain-free) bread and liked it a lot. I may also give this one a shot with the grain-free bread just to try something new.
Mashed potatoes are another must, especially in this house (I don’t think B would forgive me if I omitted them). This is one of those dishes that’s really so very forgiving, and I’ve kind of come up with my own version that my family likes.
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 8 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup milk
- sea salt or garlic salt
- Cover potatoes in a pan with water and boil for 20 minutes.
- Remove potatoes from heat and drain. Wipe pan down and put the potatoes back in it.
- Add pieces of butter and mash together, adding milk until you reach desired consistency.
- Season with salt to taste.
Actually, it’s more of a reduction sauce. I take about a quart of chicken stock and just boil it forever. Literally. B says I boil it “forever, mama.” Actually until it coats the back of a spoon and sticks for a bit…or until it looks like gravy. I know….I’m so technical. 🙂 Maybe “to the desired consistency” sounds better? Some people add butter to reduction sauces, but I like mine straight.
Green Bean Casserole
I’ve found two recipes I need to decide between for this staple of holiday feasting. The first is in Without Grain, which I received a few months ago (and still need to review!), and the second is this dairy-free version. B has been dairy-free for a while now (though we make occasional exceptions for cultured or raw dairy) and E is reduced dairy, so I think I may end up going with the second one even though the Without Grain version does look tasty!
When did yams become a traditional part of the Thanksgiving landscape? Costco has been carrying 10-pound bags of organic yams lately, much to the relief of my wallet as those things aren’t cheap at the grocery store! This recipe for maple-glazed yams is my go-to dish when I need to bring a side to a Thanksgiving feast. I replace the brown sugar with Rapadura or Sucanat and there you have it: a refined sugar-free, classic Thanksgiving side dish that I think anyone can appreciate.
And what better way to mop up all that gravy and turkey drippings and green bean casserole sauce and all the other fatty goodness than with dinner rolls? I’m going to try this recipe for grain-free dinner rolls, also from my friend Kelly, as the version she has in her book is amazing!
The pièce de résistance….the pie. Definitely my favorite part of the holidays, especially when it’s made in advance and served cold with a generous dollop of cream on top. Perfection. I’m of course going with my trusty recipe for grain-free pumpkin pie once again this year.
I know some families have more than one pie (I think we need to turn into one of these families), so I may also add this AMAZING grain-free chocolate pie since there’s always room for more pie! And both of these can (and should) be made in advance!
It’s a bit of a tradition for us now to have our first sip of egg nog on Thanksgiving night, so I’ll either pick some up at the store (because the list above is a lot of cooking and who needs to add more?), or make my own with this recipe from my friend Kresha. What better way to watch the Packers crush the Bears (we hope) on Thanksgiving night?! 🙂
And, of course, because E is fond of it, I’ll be picking up a can of jellied cranberries and let it suction its way out of said can before it plops down on a dish in the shape of….a can. Because that’s how he rolls. 🙂
I’m keeping track of more ideas on Pinterest because I need more to do….for just the four of us. 🙂
What are you eating this Thanksgiving?