So my boyfriend, the Grumpy Curmudgeon (aka GC) and I are doing a small Thanksgiving alone. He was recently diagnosed with a blood clot, which means a lot of the regular fall veggies are off his radar (he has to avoid green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach as well as cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli), and me, well, I’m gluten-free. So rather than get stressed out at a friend’s house over what is safe for us to eat, we will be here not worrying and having a fabulous meal.
I’ve decided to not make a “traditional meal” since in my experience, substitutions just make me wish for the real thing. Instead I’m coming up with a mixture of somewhat traditional and non traditional.
To start with, I’m ditching the turkey this year. I’ve never been that fond of turkey and it’s almost impossible to get a turkey that works for two people. I also dislike the idea of just getting a turkey breast. I like dark meat. So this year, I bought a duck. Besides getting the duck for dinner, I’ll have the bones to make stock and soup with and I’ll get duck fat to do yummy things with.
Since duck has so much fat on it, it’s considered difficult to cook. I’m going to use these instructions and recipe, guaranteeing great duck and crispy skin (sometimes the best part of the bird).
When I was in Minneapolis this spring, some dear friends took me to their large, open air market. I couldn’t buy much since I had no way to keep it fresh for the trip home (bummer, cause the cheeses looked delicious), but I did walk away with some wild rice. I’ve been saving it and plan on using it in a wild rice stuffing. Since duck has an affinity for fruit, I’m going for a Wild Rice with Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries.
I’m also making mashed potatoes with a gluten-free gravy. I’m going to make a roux of sorghum and rice flour to thicken my duck drippings. I’m going to use chicken stock for the rest of it.
We both like Green Beans, but I for one, really dislike the “traditional” green bean casserole, so I’m lightening it up with a recipe for Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts.
I do like a good cranberry sauce, but never the one that comes in a can. So I’m going to spice it up with a cranberry sauce with ginger and orange zest. I’m betting this goes well with the duck as well.
And finally, for dessert, I’m going to make a baked pumpkin pudding. GC isn’t fond of sour cream, so I’m substituting heavy cream. Since the cream I get from my dairy farmer is so thick, I might just whip some sugar in it and call it a day.
I’m going to make the cranberry sauce tonight, and bake the puddings tomorrow after I get home from work. I’m actually excited about the cooking I’m going to be doing and that the mix of traditional flavors in non-traditional ways will keep us from missing the dinners of yore. And best of all? No football on the television at my house.
- The Best Way to Roast a Duck (Hello, Crispy Skin!) – The Hungry Mouse
- Wild Rice Stuffing with Hazelnuts and Dried Cranberries – Epicurious
- How to Make Gluten Free Gravy – Gluten Free Girl
- Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts – Epicurious
- Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Orange Zest – TreeHugger
- Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Pudding – Smitten Kitchen