Gluten-Free Newbie for the Holidays from

Gluten-Free Newbie for the Holidays

In Gluten-Free Living by HaT0 Comments

It’s that time of the year. The weather is cooling down, and the oven is heating up. On a cool, crisp morning, baking a loaf of homemade bread suddenly sounds like a good idea again. Food blogs are exploding with pumpkin everything. Apple picking on the weekends and tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch are the order of the day.

We’re all getting excited about food again. I (Heidi) want to make EVERYTHING! I’m looking forward to pumpkin pie…

And suddenly, I feel a twinge of nervousness. Pie baking was not high on the list of priorities this summer. First priority, in fact, was doing everything possible NOT to turn on the oven and heat up the house. Last year, we made our way through the holidays, in a haphazard gluten-free newbie fashion. This year, I feel like I ought to be better prepared, and yet, I’m nowhere close to perfecting the perfect gluten-free pie crust. 

But we’re going to try. We’ll take a second shot at baking pies again this fall. We warmed up this week by baking our first every apple galette—and did it ever taste good! If we’re lucky, we’ll make the perfect pie. And if not, we’ll keep trying until we do, whether that’s next year or in ten years (I hope it doesn’t take that long though!). In the meantime, we’ll simply drown our sorrows in delicious apple galettes. I’ll have to get Taft to write down his recipe, so we can make it again and share it with you!

Holidays are wonderful, but holidays can also be tough. In our culture, so much about celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas centers around food and family. Celiac disease (or gluten sensitivity) can ruin your holiday traditions—if you let it.

Last year, we decided to mix things up, to find new and happy ways to celebrate and enjoy good food together. Since my celiac diagnosis came at the beginning of November, I didn’t have very much lead time to start planning and prepping. In reality, I was living mostly in survival mode, as I tried to scrape together a safe gluten-free dinner each night (often spending hours searching the internet and making phone calls to figure out which food items in the pantry were still safe—all while balancing the frequent and often urgent needs of a baby). 

Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for a traditional gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, we’d seen boxes of gluten-free stuffing at the grocery store, and it wouldn’t have been to hard to pick up a box. And turkey and mashed potatoes aren’t terribly hard to make gluten free either.

The root of the problem was emotion. So many emotions are tied to holidays, to celebrations, to traditions. No matter how good the stuffing, the turkey, or the mashed potatoes might have been, that collection of traditional Thanksgiving foods would mean only one thing to me: Mom’s homemade rolls were missing.

So we cut ties. Thanksgiving dinner turned into a Thanksgiving breakfast. We made some pretty spectacular gluten-free waffles, using Erin’s recipe on Meaningful Eats. We piled on delicious fruit topping and whipped cream. And we had the BEST Thanksgiving breakfast EVER!

Will Thanksgiving mean waffles again this year? I’m not sure, but I’ve been hearing talk about it for months. Sometimes, when you’re starting a radically new diet, starting a new holiday tradition may be just the right thing. In the meantime, we have pumpkins to carve, apple galettes to bake, and long fall walks to enjoy!

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