Thanksgiving is a time of family, friendship, gratitude, and the celebration of abundance. It is also a time of tradition. In our family, the tradition extends beyond dinner. Every year, each member of the family participates in the Thanksgiving preparations in some way; in years past, my husband set up and decorated the tables for dinner, drinks, and desserts; the grandchildren make place cards and help bake pies; my daughter-in-law and best friend come and help me prepare food the night before; and even our guests help carry food to the table, light candles, and fill water glasses in that last mad dash before dinner. The preparations are, in our family, as much a tradition as the meal itself.
Thanksgiving is BIG in our family! It is our favorite holiday, hands down. We look forward every year to the meal to come. Not much has changed in my Thanksgiving menu over the years; in fact, my family has threatened to stage a formal protest should I ever decide to alter this, their favorite of all meals. The one thing that has changed, however, is that now every dish on my menu is entirely gluten free.
Being gluten free is no reason to feel deprived on Thanksgiving. Years ago, I decided that I would no longer risk becoming ill from cross contamination by bringing gluten into my home for Thanksgiving. I committed myself to preparing the exact same traditional dinner I always had, just without the gluten. As a result, I was finally able to enjoy all the efforts of my lovingly prepared meal and no one feels short changed. I proudly and unapologetically serve this gluten free Thanksgiving dinner to my guests. Even my non-gluten free friends and family comment how much they appreciate that they can eat all the delicious food they want without feeling bloated and uncomfortable later!
Another of our Thanksgiving traditions is to reflect upon the things we are thankful for. I am thankful that I have a loving and supportive family that cares about the traditions we have forged throughout the years and enjoys the time we spend together. I am thankful for the people in my life who I loved who are no longer here – for the years of happiness we spent together and the ways they truly enriched my life. I am thankful that after years of confusion and frustration, I finally found the solution to my health issues with a gluten free diet. I am thankful for the abundance of that gluten free diet and for the opportunity to share with others my love of family, food, and tradition.
And I am so very thankful for you. You give my life purpose and reasons to get out of bed each day. You give me a place to share my passion.
Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving, from my family to you and yours.