Welcome to Week 2 of A Gluten Free Holiday 2011! Last week, Amy kicked off the festivities with Seven Tips for Healthy Holiday Baking. This week’s topic is “Thanksgiving Favorites,” hosted by Kim at Cook it Allergy-Free. Hop over to Kim’s blog to see what favorite she’s sharing today and to link up your own Thansgiving-based dishes. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this week’s cookbook, The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen by Laura Russell:
[Enter to win the book at Kim’s blog!]
Now, since Canadian Thanksgiving occurred a month ago, many of you have already encountered my own list of favorite Thanksgiving recipes that I posted here (and please do feel free to use them for your American Thanksgiving, too!). Personally, I’m not averse to celebrating twice. So let’s get to it! 😉
I was chatting yesterday with some online buddies about Canadian-vs-American Thanksgiving (I’d say the tacit consensus was that Americans make more of a fuss about it) and I admitted that, in the home of my childhood, we never actually celebrated T-Day. My memory about it is fuzzy (who am I kidding? My memory about everything is fuzzy these days), but I think the first traditional Thanksgiving celebration I attended was at the home of my first boyfriend’s mum.
I was madly in love with Spaghetti Ears and adored his mother, an Irishwoman who had been widowed at a young age and lived on her own in a little bungalow across town from the university. She was a pixieish woman, perpertually smiling, her dancing blue eyes flitting about the dinner table as she regaled us with stories of her Irish relatives and friends. Her cheeks were permanently flushed pink and her bobbed gray hair, normally hugging her head like a shawl, would swing back and forth as she reached across the table to pass bread or pat my hand. She also made the most delicious curried beef I had ever tasted (okay, so it was the only curried beef I had ever tasted). And I still possess–and use–the hand-knit tea cozy she gave me for Christmas almost 30 years ago, its red and green woolen stripes just as vibrant today as they were back then. I was honored to be invited to her holiday celebration!
Although I loved the idea behind the Thanksgiving feast (and the feast itself) from the first time I experienced it, the cranberry sauce was one aspect I just couldn’t rally behind. I always found it far too sweet for my taste; in fact, canned cranberry sauce is the reason I thought I didn’t like cranberries for many years. Last year, I decided to combine the crimson berries with some stewed apples for a stellar Cranberry Apple Compote, which I was happy to eat alongside nut roast or on toast, and the HH was delighted to enjoy with his turkey. This year, I opted for something a little different:
[Plumberry Sauce atop a buckwheat breakfast cake, accompanied by chocolate almond butter.]
Today’s recipe comes courtesy of our organic produce delivery, which arrives like clockwork every week ,whether or not I’ve finished up the previous week’s fruits and veggies. As has happened in the past, I left some plums in their paper bag to languish on the counter, unnoticed until it was almost too late to save them.
I decided to combine the soft, squishy plums with their hardier, tarter cousins, and cooked up a quick Plumberry Compote. It offered up the perfect mix of tangy, sweet, and spreadable, with a deep magenta hue and gemlike brilliance.
[How I freeze my plumberry sauce. . . no, the color in the photo isn’t off–this pic is frozen apricot spread.]
I hope you give this unconventional cranberry sauce a try. The flavors work beautifully in tandem to offer up a thick sauce that is nearly sweet enough even on its own, without added stevia. It’s also tasty enough to use as jam on toast–something traditional cranberry sauce can’t quite match, which means that leftovers will actually get used! It’s quickly become a favorite condiment here, as it can be used by the HH on his Thanksgiving turkey (that is, if he had had turkey this year), can be spread on some savory nut roast, can double as a chutney with a nice Indian curry, or can be used in lieu of maple syrup on a stack of pancakes or a breakfast bake (as in the photo above).
Yep–it’s time to forge a new tradition, I say!
And don’t forget about the fabulous giveaway this week!
Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Maggie at She Let Them Eat Cake
Alta at Tasty Eats at Home
Hallie at Daily Bites
And my post on Dateless Date Squares from last week, click here.
[A new favorite–breakfast bake topped with Plumberry Sauce and chocolate almond butter.]
Plumberry Sauce or Jam (Suitable for ACD Stage 2 and Beyond)
This sauce is so easy to make, it’s almost embarassing to write it out as a recipe. Freeze any leftovers in silicone muffin tins, then pop out and store in plastic bags in the freezer, for up to 3 months.
6-7 small, ripe black plums, pitted (leave the skins on)
2 cups (480 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
In a small food processor or blender, purée the plums. Transfer to a medium pot and add the remaining ingredients except stevia.
Cook, stirring frequently, until desired thickness is reached and most of the cranberries have popped (if you have a splatter screen, this is a good time to use it. Otherwise, place a lid on the pot with just a crack open to let the steam escape. That way, you’ll avoid speckling your stovetop and any other surface within sight).
Once the desired thickness is achieved, add the stevia and stir well. Pour into a clean glass jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Alternately, freeze in silicone muffin cups, then pop out of the cups and keep frozen in a plastic bag or freezer container for up to 3 months. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml).
This is my contribution to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays this week.
Three Years Ago: Such a Tease
© Ricki Heller, Diet Dessert and Dogs