As previously printed in Washington Life Magazine on November 2013.
A very special time of year is on its way, a time when families and friends come together to eat, drink, laugh and give thanks for life’s many blessings.
The customary holiday tradition includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy to pull it all together. Our family dinner always includes wedding soup, vegetables, salad and artichokes. My brother’s mother-in-law brings a favorite of hers, and now ours, flan. And as there is a birthday around this time, dessert includes a birthday cake and of course, pumpkin pie. While these foods aren’t the healthiest, they sure do taste good.
While we all anticipate this reunion, it may become stressful if one or a few members are on a special diet. How can you adapt your meal to make those dinner guests feel welcome?
Turkey substitutions for non-meat eaters are readily available. Options range from Hazelnut Cranberry Roasts to the Tofurky Feast and Giblet Gravy, depending on your taste.
Soy and butter-flavored palm oils can easily serve as butter substitutes to flavor those mashed potatoes and spread on top of warm mouth-watering rolls.
Are you a gravy master? For your gluten-free guests, add some gluten-free flour blend and spices to water. Pour them into the turkey drippings while stirring constantly over a low flame. Add more water or flour and blend until you get the consistency you are looking for.
What about those pies? Need dairy-free, gluten-free or vegan? How can anyone bake without eggs? Is there such a thing? For those unthinkables, we make it easy. Our bakery has you covered with not only gluten-free, but also dairy-free or vegan stuffing cubes, rolls and delicious pumpkin pies. Remember to look for dairy-free whipped topping, too.
So after you stuff your turkey, place it in the oven and get a few other things prepared, grab your jacket and go for a walk.
Relish this time and relax. Take a deep breath. Hear the crunching of fallen leaves beneath your feet. Inhale the unique fragrance that only autumn can bring. Feel the last rays of warmth in the air. Allow the serenity of the soft gentle colors bring you peace. And give thanks.
Have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.