Thanksgiving Tips 2 (Re-post)

Here are a few things we do as a family when substituting for allergies.

  • Turkey: one of my commenters said that they use butter on top of the turkey. I have never done this, I usually baste a turkey in it’s own juices. Maybe this is a practice in different parts of the country?
  • Gravy: if you are headed out somewhere, WATCH out! Most gravies use flour to thicken. If you are making your own it is easy to substitute with rice flour or corn starch.
  • Stuffing: this is one of the hardest substitutions. I have not found a gluten free stuffing available on the market, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. We either go without or I have taken gluten free bread and made croutons ahead and carefully cook them with water and spices to make a type of stuffing. It’s not the same, but still works well.
  • Mashed potatoes: (one of the easiest things to make allergy free unless you are allergic to potatoes) use rice milk, less than normal to keep the potatoes from feeling “watery”. Dairy-free butter of choice. Or baked red potatoes with herbs, spices and olive oil are a nice change.
  • Sweet potatoes: watch the marshmallows (check ingredients) or leave them off. Substitute dairy for dairy free depending on what your recipe calls for. One thing we like to do is eat sweet potatoes plain or I chop them into pieces and add brown sugar with melted dairy free butter over top with pecans mixed in. YUM!
  • Green Bean Casserole: I mentioned this one in the previous post. Again, it is possible to substitute just know it won’t be exact, but it still will taste fabulous.
  • Bread: you can either bake or buy some gluten free bread or even better how about some cornbread instead? There’s a great recipe I have changed to make allergy free over here.
  • Pumpkin pie: this one gets a little harder, but you can replace the crust with gluten free crust and then for the pie filling instead of starting with a pie filling, you can start with pureed pumpkin adding in dairy free milk and spices.
  • Apple pie: use a gluten free pie crust or an easier and quicker idea is to make an apple crisp instead. Using rice flour or a combination of gluten free flours you can make the crumble quite easily. This is one thing we like to make all the time for dessert and even our guests that don’t have food allergies really enjoy it.

Reality is you can have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal without “traditional” foods. Years past I have tried out all kinds of different recipes that are not considered traditional and each one has gone over well.

I hope that you have a great day tomorrow whatever you are eating. Enjoy the gathering.

Until next time,


Thanksgiving Tips (Re-post)

Ah…can’t wait for the big day!

Lots of yummy foods, friends and family gathered round enjoying a day of fellowship and giving thanks for the many blessings we have.

Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, famous green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, apple pie a la mode, sweet potato casserole…can you picture it all laid out on a buffet or in the center of the table?

Wonderful food and other than the cranberry sauce and turkey, each one of those “traditional” Thanksgiving treats has at least one major allergen in it’s recipe.

What is a person to do?

You could host the meal yourself. That is a lot of work, but can be done.

There are a lot of recipes out there that can help you maneuver through some of those tough ones. Or you can see the substitution list for some ideas of how to take the traditional recipes and make them allergy free.

For example, green bean casserole, while you can’t put the gluten laden fried onions on top, you could toss some of your own in a rice flour and quick fry them on the stove. They won’t be exact, but still will be quite tasty and that’s the point. The recipe could be made without the cream soup versions if you can’t have dairy.

If your family is like ours, and does potluck style, you can create some special sides for the allergy needs and let the rest bring what they will. Another option is to ask them to be sensitive to your family’s needs and help them with ideas of what to bring that everyone can eat.

What do you do if you are headed out to another home for the day, as our family will be doing this year?

It is difficult to ask a hostess to cater to your allergy needs, but at the same time hostesses usually feel bad that they didn’t make anything you can eat. Making a hostess aware that you don’t expect her to cater to your needs is important, but making the need known gives her the ability to decide how she wants to handle it. You might be surprised at how sensitive she may be.

If it is not possible for her to make something for you then by all means bring some of your own special food, making sure to have several small dishes to fill in where needed. Also, it is best to ask ahead, what she will be serving, so that you can provide substitutions as necessary.

Can you bring something? If that’s the case, you know you can make an allergy free dish that will please everyone and you can pile that on your plate during the day.

Thanksgiving is only a day away, so these tips may be a little late, but I hope they help.

For the Christmas holidays, I will be compiling a list of great cookie, cakes, and dessert recipes. Drop a note in the box if you have one you’d like to share with us. We’d love to hear what you are doing.

Until next time,

Depression Era Cake

An e-mail from a reader arrived a bit ago saying,

We made this Depression Era Wacky Cake last year for a birthday. We used the orange juice version.

It turned out nice. We iced it with an icing made from powdered sugar and rice milk. We’ll probably make one again for a birthday cake for Jesus.
~ Amy

Thank you Amy for sharing this recipe with us. It really does look like a great cake to make. It’s also nice to know that the substitutions worked well too!

Until next time,

Christmas Is Coming Part 2

Food galore…allergy laden food that is…then add cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, relatives and friends, in all shapes and sizes, eating things that are forbidden on your family’s list. It is difficult. “It’s not fair,” I often lament. I would love to have my daughter be able to eat things that everyone else eats, but the consequences of doing so far out weigh the unfairness in it all.

How do we handle it?

Make lots of our own substitutions. There’s no getting around the food, so the best option is to have lots of allergy safe foods on hand.

Make sure when visiting others you bring your own goodies, especially for the little ones.

This maybe obvious, when visiting others, don’t expect people to cater to your family’s needs. It is wonderful when you have a host or hostess that asks and is willing to provide some allergy free things! More often than not, though, you will find that people don’t understand or are at a loss as to what to make. Put them at ease, let them know you do not expect them to make food that your family can eat and you are happy to bring your own things. Be honest and up front, you don’t want to offend a hostess who might not know why you brought your own food!

The holidays are not the time to try to educate those around you. If you have folks that don’t understand the needs your family has, be gracious, but don’t try to educate them unless you feel they really have a desire to know.

While it’s hard not to be anxious about the food, enjoy the time gathered together.

Until next time,

Christmas Is Coming

Just a few weeks away!

Are you ready?

Ready, not just with the lights, decorations, gift buying and all the other trimmings that typically go along with the season.

Are you ready to handle all the food that comes with this time of year?

The well meaning neighbors, church goers, friends and family that gift you with tins of allergy laden goodies?

The gatherings around food?

This is one of the most difficult times of year for those suffering with food allergies. Cookies, candies, goodies of all sorts are baked, tinned and given, presented on tables at parties and gatherings. There really isn’t a way around it. It’s part of the season.

I suppose it’s possible to stick your head in the sand until it’s over. Suppose we could boycott the goodies…strike maybe? I think there are better ways to handle it.

Over the next few days and weeks I hope to share tips on how to handle the holidays and recipes we love and use too. If you have any suggestions or favorite recipes you’d like to share with the readers slip a note into the box.

Be watching for this series, Christmas is Coming: what do we do, how do we handle it, what can I bake–when I have always made the same things for years, my family doesn’t get it, HELP!, to continue. How’s that for a title? I have never been very good at titles, nor have I been good at being clear and concise! I hope you’ll put up with me.

Until next time,