November 25th ~ Southern California
OK – Thanksgiving menu. What to fix???
I’m guessing that few of you had as many challenges to handle as our dear friends did in planning yesterdays meal for our family.
Michael and Laura have known us for many years. You may remember me blogging about the time they surprised us by cleaning our cabin before we returned home after our around-the-world trek. If you missed it, you can catch up here.
Even knowing about Tim’s food allergies, they were willing to host us for a special holiday meal. Then things got complicated…
Our son and his girlfriend were also invited. Now don’t get me wrong – I was DELIGHTED for them to be included, and it was icing on the cake for Tim and me having them with us.
But… or maybe I should say BUT…
The menu options got even more restricted. Both Tim and our son, Dane are highly allergic to anything artificial, or sometimes ingredients that are produced using high heat which releases free glutamic acids. That means EVERYTHING has to be made with fresh whole ingredients. Almost nothing packaged or canned or from a jar can be used.
Now lets add in the other factor – both our son and his girlfriend are VEGAN, plant-based eaters. That means no animal products, no dairy ingredients, no cheese, no honey, no eggs, no butter. Just for good measure add gluten intolerant.
And then to keep it interesting, we had some food likes and dislikes such as some don’t like nuts, onions, celery, or sour cream.
Don’t we sound like a FUN bunch to invite to a holiday meal???
Well Michael and Laura were up for the challenge and we managed to still have a fantastic, and (almost) traditional Thanksgiving dinner together. It was a bit of divide and conquer, but here is what we came up with:
Michael did the turkey on the BBQ. They roasted some garlic in the oven, and mixed it with butter and a pile of fresh herbs. The bird was prepared the evening before with the butter mixture spread between the skin and breast. This of course was for all of us carnivores.
Laura fixed organic green beans with just salt and pepper. She made a cranberry relish that had been her mom’s favorite recipe, and baked some rolls. A real treat for Tim was her homemade dressing which was made with whole grain bread, mushrooms, onion and again, a healthy dose of fresh herbs.
Tim did a gorgeous fruit salad made with a variety of ripe berries (blackberry, strawberry, raspberry and blue berries), kiwi, grapes and banana.
Dane made a big bowl of yummy guacamole and brought gluten-free, organic crackers for dipping.
NaReena (our son’s girlfriend), did a gorgeous vegetable platter with a Vegan dip on the side.
I made a big green salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh mushrooms over mixed greens. Then on the side I had the options to add gorgonzola cheese, chopped pecans, celery, raisins and/or pomegranate seeds. It was almost a salad bar in bowls. Several different salad dressings were also on hand.
Additionally I brought a mashed sweet potato and white potato dish that was vegan. Just a little evoo, salt and pepper. I thought it turned out quite bland, but both Dane and Tim loved it. Go figure.
Dessert for those who wanted it was a fresh-baked pumpkin pie. The vegans had the fresh fruit option.
The GREAT news is that it was the first time in a long time that I can remember that my sweet hubby was able to eat anything on the holiday table and ended up with NO allergic reaction.
It was one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember, and we got to share it with our wonderful, dear, brave, probably scratching-their-heads, friends. I think they deserve a bravery medal for taking on this challenge!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend this special holiday with family and friends. I may be in trouble for Christmas now. My family has high expectations of another great meal. Michael and Laura have already advised us they will be OUT OF TOWN… 🙂