Wednesday, November 27, 2013


When I was kid, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday since it signaled the beginning of the Season of Christmas that started the third Thursday in November and continued unabated through my birthday in mid-Decemer and lasted all the way until New Year's day.  

When I was very small, we went over the river and through the woods.  Actually it like more down the icy freeway and through Gary, Indiana - but anyway we ended up it Grandma's house, where we opened presents and watched a lot of TV.  Which was actually awesome, because we didn't have TV at home. When I got older, we stopped going to Grandma's and instead had a huge party with lots of my parents friends at a state park, which often included cross country skiing - depending on the weather - and always included making gingerbread houses and singing the first Christmas carols of the year.

Then, for a long time, it was my least favorite holiday.  When I was a young adult, so many things were in limbo.  The way we had done Thanksgiving no longer worked for many reasons, but I didn't seem to have a new thing of my own.

Now Thanksgiving is neither my least or most favorite holiday.  We do something different every year. One year we went to the beach, another year we went to Ikea and then assembled furniture all weekend, one year we ate hamburgers at McMennamins. Every year, we do have some kind of a big meal with our dearest friends, but that meal may or may not be on Thursday.  But there are always mashed potatoes (because they are the most important food at the Thanksgiving table, are they not?).  And I always take Elijah outside for a chunk of the day.  One year it even snowed!  And seeing his pink cheeks, I think about my folks, taking me outside on Thanksgiving day and then calling me in again to warmth and good smells.

Today, I baked gluten- and dairy-free cookies for the celebration we are joining tomorrow.  When  I was younger, I used to love cooking, although I was never much of a baker.  Then, we discovered E's allergies and changed the way we ate.  At first, I hated doing it - hated figuring out all the substitutes and ratios.  Hated adapting everything and starting over learning how to cook.

But when I was cooking today, I read in someone's Facebook status that she was making some cookies that I had never tried.  I most of the ingredients on hand, and found myself adapting them almost without thinking, and certainly without whining inside like I used to.  I thought of how grateful I was to the new friends who have so graciously invited us to join their family's celebration.  And then, I tasted a cookie.  They turned out pretty good - a little bit of an old thing, a little bit of a new thing, and all delicious.

A little bit of an old thing, a little bit of a new thing, and all delicious.
That's my hope for you this Thanksgiving day.  And, well, every day really.

Pumpkin Cookies, GF and DF
Adapted from Erma Rombauer, Joy of Cooking
"A spice cookie, with a mealy, rather unusual texture."

Preheat oven to 375
 Cream together
     1 cup Earth Balance spread
     1 cup sugar
Add and mix week
     1 cup canned pumpkin
     1 egg
     1 tsp vanilla
Sift together and add to above
     1 cup Bob's GF Biscuit Mix
     1 cup Trader Joes Just Cashew Meal
     2.5 tsp baking powder
     1/4 tsp salt
     2.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Stir in
     1 cup chopped walnuts
     1 cup raisins
Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and back for 15 minutes.

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