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Traditional Thanksgiving with a Twist

Traditional Thanksgiving with a Twist

Thanksgiving is the Chef’s Holiday. Many of us have seen “Chef” and “The 100 Yard Journey” and taken on those personas so much that we have our children calling us “Chef” instead of “Mom.”

Part of the fun is to plan, make lists, and plan some more. How can I make a more tender and juicy bird? Breast side cooked down, then up? Marinate in milk and olive oil, put butter and sage under the skin? What about sides dishes? So many choices!

I have been known to scour restaurant menus to see if I can make the most memorable Thanksgiving ever.

But what everyone really wants are the classics. The food that reminds us of our parents, grandparents and happy, less complicated times, possibly with a modern and healthy touch.

In 1863 these United States were going through some tough times: Civil War, countries afar wondering if we were as strong as we had projected. Not too much different than today?

President Abraham Lincoln decreed, “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they (the graces of the Almighty) should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

It seems to me that we should also see it fit to be grateful and thankful for the abundance in our lives these many years after.

I thought this year it would be great to really take it back and think of the foods our ancestors enjoyed on those early Thanksgiving celebrations. Lobster, turkey…there really was no dairy or grains on the first Thanksgiving in 1621, so what better way to celebrate than blending classic Thanksgiving fare with some dishes that are gluten free and dairy light? Try to limit your selections and enjoy the clear taste of healthy eating. For the purists, there are many classics that still remain the same.

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Lobster and Corn Chowder (Gluten Free)
Maple and Ginger Glazed Roasted Turkey (Gluten Free)
Black Rice, Couscous and Cranberry stuffing
Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Gluten Free)
Roasted Carrots (Gluten Free)

Set the table with all the colors of fall. Serve plates on wood cutting boards and tie up napkins with twine and leaves. Add lots to candles to make the evening glow.

Enjoy the day and your family around you and bless you and your families.

Happy Cooking!