The Holidays

The Holidays. It's a stressful time of year for everyone. But, going through the major holidays and being gluten free for the first time can be even more stressful.
So far, I've made it through Thanksgiving. All in all it went pretty well. 


I had a disaster with the pie though. I used the crust recipe I had previously used here. But for some reason it wasn't mixing together well and I pitched the whole thing. I decided my shortening was too warm and got the brainy idea to use all butter because it was already cold. Bad idea. The next day when I took the dough out and was ready to roll it out, it was like a block of solid butter! I ended up patting it in the pan. 


I had been so organized the week before. I had even cleaned my oven. So I set the thermostat at 450 for the pumpkin pie, placed the pie in the oven and checked on it a couple minutes later. Well, I must have accidentally gotten some of that butter crust stuck on the bottom of the pan because when I checked on the pie the whole oven was smoking! I had the worst mess you ever saw burning away on the bottom of my previously cleaned oven. I had to take the pie out, cool the oven and re-clean it. All the while, that way too buttery crust was melting into my pumpkin pie. 


It ended up that it didn't taste bad, but it wasn't quite right either.
The day after Thanksgiving, I sat and analyzed the day and the food. I didn't like how some things turned out, like the cranberry tart, the roasted vegetable stuffing, and the salad was ok but we didn't really need it. I liked the the turkey and the green bean casserole was really good. I made mashed sweet potatoes but I also made mashed white potatoes. To many mashes. 


I made my grandmothers style of stuffing and I felt like it was ok. Nothing to write home about.
But then as I was sitting there thinking about everything, in walks my daughter. She had just come home from work and had heated up a plate of leftovers. As she was eating the stuffing I made like my grandmothers she said, "Wow Mom, this tastes just like it always did. I can't really tell any difference". 


You know, that made my whole Thanksgiving. To be able to make something for her that tasted normal and something that is traditional for us. That was the best feeling in the world. Here I was thinking maybe it wasn't as good as normal, but I think I was just tired from all the cooking and too much food. What meant the most to me was, she was happy. 


Now my next challenge is getting through Christmas. I may have thought of certain things when I found out I couldn't eat gluten any more, but the first words out of my mother's mouth besides oh no and that's awful were, "But what about all those beautiful cookies you make!".
I have been known as a cookie baker for a long time. When I was in high school some 30 plus years ago, I took a tea room class. As a class we learned how to bake cookies for ladies who were having teas. People would then hire us to make cookies, cakes and or cheese balls for their event. Our main focus was Christmas cookies. 


I enjoyed the cookie making so much that I continued that tradition after high school and many of my friends would receive a gift box full of cookies each year at Christmas time. It's just not Christmas at our house unless I have a week of baking and cookies all over the house. 


For the last two years this has been a scaled down event. Two years ago I was recovering from a major abdominal surgery during Christmas. Then last year, I spent the holidays feeling miserable and consuming as much gluten as possible while waiting for the date to have my scope and biopsy. I did make a couple things, but mostly I just ate as many Cheeze-its as was humanly possible and lamented their loss as I was eating them. I ate a lifetime of Cheeze-it's waiting for that testing to be done. 


This year, I am feeling pretty good. And I am ready for the challenge of converting my old recipes. This weekend I hope to try at least one or two of them so you can check back and see how it turns out. Any advice for me?
These are some I hope to try. Maybe you have already tried these gluten free yourself. If you have found anything that works well for you, I would surely appreciate any advice from others! 


Pecan Tassies 
Mexican Wedding Cakes 
Austrian Hussar's Buns 
My moms cut out cookie recipe 
Strudel (recipe given to me by a German friend) 
Orange Spritz cookies 
Turtle candies (that's already gluten free!)
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6 Comments

Filed under Cookies

6 responses to “The Holidays

  1. Cassandra

    Well, if you want to do cut-out sugar cookies, I really like the rolled sugar cookie recipe from “The Gluten-Free Kitchen.” If you ice them, and then let them sit overnight, then they soften up to and taste like those cookies that are always by the front door at the grocery store.I don’t know about any of the other ones. I hope you have fun playing with them. 🙂

  2. Gluti Girl

    Cool, I will go check it out. My mom’s recipe has cream cheese in it and always gave them a unique taste. When my son and nephew were little they were just crazy about these cookies. I have memories of them going around in circles at my mom’s house and grabbing these cookies. Gosh, they are both 21 years old now. Hard to believe!

  3. Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D.

    I don’t have the baking gene, but I will live vicariously through you and your holiday baking. I am somewhat grumpy about the fact that I don’t have the knack for baking. And now…well, I will probably have to settle for some GFP Brownies :-(Just know I’ll be following your blog to enjoy YOUR cookies 🙂

  4. Gluti Girl

    Ginger, the first two I have made and I was not planning on making these two. They were my daughter’s idea. I will post on them either later today or tommorow, but they are very easy. You make them in a pan and it requires hardly any talent and very little mess! And I’ll tell you a secret about brownies too. I never mess with making them from scratch. I buy the Gluten Free Pantry boxed brownie mix at Walmart. I swear to you these are the best brownie I’ve ever had. Ever! I’m telling you my mom is the bownie police and she loves them. Just dump the bag of mix in a bowl, add 2 eggs and some butter. That’s it! I’ll get some pics up for you soon!

  5. Carrie

    Gluti Girl! I’ll be making several cookies this year for Christmas! I think your pie crust would have come out better using a butter-flavored crisco that has been refrigerated for an hour or so! That seems to work pretty well for me! It works well in cookies I have tried so far too. (even though I don’t really like using crisco, it REALLY works well in gluten-free baked goods from my experience so far!) I’m working on a shortbread cookie now! I didn’t have much luck the first time I made it, but I’m going to try again this week! I can’t wait to see your cookies!

  6. Karen

    Hi! I just baked a couple kinds of cookies, despite being about to leave the country. It just isn’t the same without cookies, is it?One is a linzer-type cookie, filled with jam, the other a shortbread with caramel and chocolate on top. (both GF, of course) Check it out at:http://glutenfreesox.blogspot.comHappy Holidays!Karen

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