All sorts of news today that has me thinking about gratitude, the upcoming holidays, health, and the miracle of life. I have put off work for this afternoon and evening to get a few personal things accomplished and this blog became a part of that quest. There will probably be a few more blogs as the next few weeks unfold.
This will be my first gluten-free/vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving and I am patiently compiling recipes to help me make it also my best Thanksgiving.
We host, so I will still be making free-range Turkey that is LOCAL (Roperti’s Turkey Farm in Livonia, MI). I ordered them today. One large hen, 22-24 pounds, and an 18 pound smoked hen. I also get a 7 pound Dearborn Ham (that is a special request every year). I feel good that it is local and I go to the farm to get them at least. I won’t eat them, but I will prepare them for my loved ones.
I am still making gravy and will be pulling out my frozen bones from last year in the next week to make my own stock from scratch. Each year I freeze the bones on Thanksgiving day and seal them well so that I can make my own stock the next year and get as much use out of the bird as possible. First, I roast all of the bones that I froze raw (neck, wing tips, etc) and then I make a smoked stock and a regular stock. I use the smoked stock for the stuffing and the regular for the gravy. Leftovers I usually make soup… but this year I am going to try to make all my soups vegetarian. It will largely depend on the quantity of stock they produce. I then re-freeze the stocks for the week of Thanksgiving. It is a fun project and I feel very “Martha” along the way.
This year I will be making a gluten-free, vegan stuffing in addition to the regular stuffing I make. I am still in search of that recipe and may just makeup my own. My mom’s stuffing (sans the broth and butter) is vegetarian, I would just need to use gluten-free bread, Earth Balance, and vegetable stock so it is in the running. In my spare time I surf for other options.
I will also be making regular mashed potatoes (with dairy), but I plan to add to those a squash recipe of some kind (Considering this one from Gluten-Free Goddess… stuffing, too) and a mashed vegetable (thinking Cauliflower again.. maybe this Book of Yum recipe) that is vegan as well. I think I am going to also do a small portion of vegan creamed kale. I have had Whole Food’s version and love it. I am going to play around with it and see if I can make one that is Soy-Free as well. I have to be careful, though, as I have a tendancy to make too much food. I have also been contemplating lightening up my hubby’s favorite Brussels Sprouts with this Brussels Sprouts with Pears (I will have to pre-test this one for husband approval, however).
As I search for my stuffing, kale, and squash recipes, I have also been contemplating a pie. I saw a Facebook post yesterday from The Spunky Coconut and she was attempting a pumpkin pie. Well, her blog this morning makes me think it will be my pie for 2010. It LOOKS delicious!
So… I added this to my list.
In addition to the Thanksgiving fare, I have to find my soups. Wednesday night, as guests arrive and I am busy with all of the preparations for Thursday, is soup and salad night. I generally get bread, cold cuts, and condiments out, have a big salad on hand, and two kinds of soup. I will be doing that this year but in an effort to be “kind” and not have as much stuff to deal with I am only doing soup, salad, and bread. I want to do a creamy-consistency soup and a clear broth soup. I was thinking Kale and White Bean for one and possibly a Pureed Roasted Pepper (VitaMix, baby) for the other. Those searches will happen this weekend.
Guests stay until Sunday, so for Friday night I have planned Stuffed Cabbage from Gluten-Free Goddess and a salad. Or I have Rips’ Sweet Potato Lasagna with Tempeh that is also a possibility. I want to make sure I have enough protein to keep my meat eating relatives happy. Saturday night is leftover night for sure (or we go out. I am generally exhausted and want nothing to do with the kitchen by then). It all depends on the crowd and who is still here and who has gone home. I love it if everyone stays but the dynamics of that is generally another blog post all together. It’s a lot of mouths to feed for a weekend (7-11 depending on who stays) when you are used to two of you… but I love it and would never have it any other way.
Regardless of the choices I like to pre-plan as much as possible so that I have a relaxing and low-stress week as possible, and my family wants to stay as long as possible. There is no greater feeling of love in the world than a house full of family and friends. I cannot wait!