Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time Slips By

Wow!  It's been a long time.

Thanksgiving was wonderful.

Before I continue, I have decided to give people I often mention sometimes refined aliases to protect their identities.  Previously I used mostly descriptive names, but some of those were awkward.  So, from now on, the person listed in the left-hand column below will be referred to by the corresponding name in the right-hand column.

My husband                                               IT Prof
Our son                                                     Tremor
Our son's girlfriend                                     Aurora
Our older daughter                                     Clown's Wife
Our older daughter's husband                     The Clown  (BTW, this refers to his hobby.)
Our older daughter's son                            Omaha
Our younger daughter                                 Swan
Our younger daughter's boyfriend               Shark

Now let's hope I remember to use the new names.

IT Prof and I hosted Tremor, Aurora, Aurora's dad, Swan, and Shark for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was the first time IT Prof and I met Aurora's dad, who seems like a really good guy.  (It's always a relief when the parents are compatible; isn't it?)  Swan and Shark drove down from Minnesota, so we enjoyed their company for three days and tried to savor it because most likely they will celebrate Christmas with Shark's parents, in the interest of fairness (with which I agree heartily in principle but still manage to regret in my heart).

Aurora's dad cannot eat gluten, so we had a mostly gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner.  Initially I thought I was onto an intellectual challenge in the menu-planning, but it turned out most of the items on the menu were already gluten-free.  Beforehand, Aurora also pointed out that cornstarch is a suitable thickening agent instead of flour, and, of course, she was correct.  So, that was a no-brainer fix for a couple items.

The only recipe that gave me minor problems was that for the corn muffins.  I substituted gluten-free flour for regular flour.  The first practice recipe I made on the Saturday before Thanksgiving resulted in muffins that were too dry.  The second practice recipe (from The American Heart Association Cookbook) I made on the Sunday before Thanksgiving resulted in muffins that were so good that IT Prof devoured six of them while my back was turned.  So, a meal that I mistakenly thought would involve some really creative planning turned out not to get the old synapses in my brain working at all.  Life is serendipitous sometimes.

Here are the gluten-free items from our Thanksgiving meal:  garlic-roasted hummus dip; gluten-free crackers from the grocery store's health-food aisle; turkey; creamed corn; sweet potatoes; green beans with pearl onions; homemade cranberry relish; fruit dressing; corn muffins; chocolate-walnut cookies; and apple crisp with raisins.

Here are the two menu items with gluten: pita chips and pumpkin bars.

Alert readers will no doubt be questioning the total lack of pie, but last year pie disappeared from our Thanksgiving menu because I am trying to lose weight by eating more healthily.  No one offered to bake pies instead of me either.  Also, according to the six people other than myself at the table, the lighter Thanksgiving meal left no one feeling deprived.  (I don't think they were just being polite either.)

I started cooking and assembling on Wednesday, which I have learned makes me a much nicer person on Thursday.  This day I included bread baking for our weekend guests, and it was a little too much standing for me.  I was very tired for a few days, but I am grateful that we could have so many family members sitting at our table and we could enjoy a feast.  We had a great time visiting before, during, and after the meal, too.

The Clown, Clown's Wife, and Omaha went to my mother's in Illinois for Thanksgiving.  We missed them but can hardly quarrel with the notion that Omaha was able to visit his great-grandmother when he might actually be old enough to remember her.

All in all we were blessed with a terrific holiday.  I have been neglecting the blog all week because I have been busy helping Santa's elves in their Christmas preparations.  I'm sure the one or two of you who read this will be understanding.

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