Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Rehash

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Now that it's over, I'm wondering how all of you did with this food-filled holiday. I cooked for my relatives this year for the first time in a long time, so although I was hoppin' in the kitchen all day, I didn't have to face my usual worries about food cooked by others for my severely allergic child.

In past years, I've had some cooperation (such as no pecan pie served) and some not-so-great moments, like a child who refused to eat the Thanksgiving dinner but instead insisted on a peanut butter granola bar at the "kids table" with my daughter. At Thanksgiving, just like at school, we need a peanut-free table for her so that was awkward, especially since it wasn't even my home.

I've also been concerned about things like what type of bread is used in making stuffing, what's in the turkey gravy and of course, desserts.

What about you? I had posted Thanksgiving tips--did any of you find that those strategies worked? What did you feel was your biggest problem with food allergies--if any--over Thanksgiving? And please feel free to share your success stories--we need those too!

I'm open to your comments and questions. With more winter holidays coming up quickly, we're going to need all the nut allergy strategies we can get!


Mary Beth said...

Glad your Thanksgiving was a success! I love to cook, so I am always happy to prepare as much of the holiday meals as possible, however one cooking question I always run into is how to replace a nut-based streusel topping... It seems every yummy holiday casserole or dessert involves nuts, and many have a streusel with nuts which can be removed. But what to replace it with? Any suggestions from the chefs out there?
Another situation we face every year in our house - advent calendars!! Both kids love them, but I have yet to find a nut-safe advent calendar. What we have done in the past is "trade" the treat for a safe treat but I think my daughter is beginning to feel sad about that...

Jenny said...

Hi Mary Beth,

To your streusel question: I usually use a mixture of butter, brown sugar and flour that usually constitutes a streusel recipe and omit the nuts.

Other ideas I've had are to use nut-free granola for crunch as well as Grape Nuts cereal (of course they are not really nuts.)

These add crunch and a "nutty" texure without the real thing.

I know what you mean about Advent calendars--my daughter was just asking about those! Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates does not make them --yet--(we should all write to them and ask for them) but they do sell a variety of Christmas chocolate miniature candies that are the perfect size for an Advent calendar. Also, they will give your child a variety of chocolate shapes and characters, just like a real calendar.

Check out and scroll through their Christmas selection!

Thanks for your comments!

Kim Lutz said...

I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving. This year my sister's in-laws completely stepped up and allowed our pot-luck Thanksgiving to be completely safe for my family.

For the streusel topping idea, you can also you toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds with the shells removed) or steel-cut oats. Both give a nutty texture without the nuts.