November 28, 2011
It seems I'm always the last one to post about holiday events — everyone has long since moved on, and here I go sharing our Thanksgiving meal — with photos taken in a rush under the worst lighting possible. Even color correction couldn't make the tart look like a normal shade of blueberry. But without further apology, here's what we ate. Above is a glamor shot of the tofu turkey, described in more detail, here.
This is the brown basmati, wild rice, toasted walnut and mushroom stuffing that went inside the tofu turkey, and also into a casserole dish. It's pretty much the same stuffing I always make but this year I didn't include bread cubes. I also made a mushroom gravy with ingredients as varied as the liquid left from cooking the wild rice, and the remains of a bottle of leftover beer, kept in the fridge for just such a purpose — simmered with a cinnamon stick and seasoned with fresh sage. Best gravy ever! (But maybe not gluten-free because of the beer?)
Here is the scrumptious potato-buckwheat stuffing (kugel) made by our oldest son. It's from a recipe handed down from several generations of my family, and a holiday wouldn't seem complete without it. My mother used to stuff the turkey with it, but there was always a great quantity packed into casseroles as well. The original recipe used bread rather than buckwheat, but we were going for gluten-free this year. Actually, I started making the stuffing with buckwheat years ago when I was cooking macrobiotic. Potatoes are very yin, and the buckwheat helps to balance them a bit (take that as you wish). I actually prefer the buckwheat, so usually prepare the dish with buckwheat now.
As a side note, I'll mention the original recipe also contained egg, which the buckwheat nicely compensates for. I still remember the year my mother accidentally dropped an eggshell into the blender as she ground up the potatoes. It was immediately pulverized, so my mother hoped it wouldn't be detected in the cooked stuffing. It was. And it was horrible. That wouldn't have happened during all the years she grated those potatoes by hand! Or if she were vegan.
My husband was in charge of the salad and dressing.
Our daughter-in-law brought a big pan of delicious rutabaga fries. The rutabaga was from her garden, making these especially cool. I've never been a big fan of rutabaga, but these were sensational.
Our middle son prepared roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots — one of my favorite veggie treats. Roasted Brussels sprouts have become a standard at our holiday table, and these were especially delicious.
Naturally we had pleasingly tart cranberry-apple sauce. I never get tired of cranberry sauce.
For dessert we had Happy Herbivore's no-fat pumpkin pie. This year's pie came out a little too firm, and slightly weird. Maybe it was because I used spelt flour instead of wheat, but maybe it wasn't. I have to say, though, that the pie improved over time, and last night it tasted quite good, but I think I'm returning to my old p-pie recipe, if I can find it.
The blueberry-pineapple tart didn't photograph well, but it sure looked good in person. This was my first attempt at a gluten-free crust, and I thought it was a big success. It had both pleasing taste and texture, despite the fact I didn't follow an actual recipe. I have a question, though, for experienced xgfx bakers. Although the tart was great when I served it, the leftover crust got kind of mushy the next day. Is that typical or was it because of my ingredients? (brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, coconut flour, walnuts, Earth Balance, maple syrup.)
Oh yes, we also had pre-dinner tidbits, but they didn't get well-photographed, unfortunately. I made baba ghannouj, a tray of calamata olives, stuffed green olives and marinated artichoke hearts, accompanied by a bowl of Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips. The eggplant for the baba ghannouj was roasted over our gas stove burner so it would taste smoky, like the grilled eggplant traditionally used for this dish, but the eggplant was so huge, that I got discouraged about halfway though the roasting, and finished baking it in the oven. The time spent toasting on the stove-top was enough to impart a smoky flavor, so now I know I can partially roast in the oven if necessary. Or maybe I can just use liquid smoke next time. :)
The mystery cat (I call her Tinkerbelle) showed up to join the family for our Thanksgiving celebration, and made herself right at home.
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