Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays! Being in a state of grace and having our family gather around the table, is always a blessing for us! Megs and I do love the entire ritual from shopping, to cooking, to baking, to setting and decorating the table to the final moments when all the food hits the buffet. And then, we hold hands in a circle and count our blessings. It always feels like a miracle when the food is warm and everyone is seated eating at the same time! That’s why we thought it would be fun to share in the magic of our own delicious gluten-free Thanksgiving and give you the game-plan to make one of your own!
Peg’s created this planning schedule for those who may feel a bit overwhelmed by Thanksgiving and all that it entails, especially the timing of it all. Many of our students expressed that this schedule and tips helped them tremendously. We hope that you too will find it helpful when planning your Thanksgiving meal! Our wish for you is to have a stress free dinner AND that YOU too will enjoy!
Wishing you and your family abundant blessing! We are grateful for you!
The Curry Girls Countdown to a Delicious & Gluten-Free Thanksgiving!
1 Week Out: Plan Your Thanksgiving Dinner Menu & Get Organized!
- Decide on your menu and make your guest list. Always plan for a little more food, as leftovers are as important as the day itself! This plan is for up to 20 people with leftovers but is also easily expandable for more.
- Timing: Organize yourself by making your lists starting four days out. Then plan your time accordingly SEE BELOW
- See what you can prepare ahead of time
- What must be prepare the day of
- What’s left to finish in the last hour and what dishes need attending in the final minutes just before serving.
- Buy a small notebook and make notes so you will have them for years to come. What worked & what didn’t
The Curry Family Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Menu:
*Note:* Our menu is 100% Gluten Free and easily adaptable for dairy free too.
- Stuffed Herb Roasted Turkey
- Traditional giblet gravy
- Portabella Vegetarian Gravy
- Mashed Potatoes and or Cauliflower & Parsnip Mashers (for a lighter lower carbohydrate substitute)
- Scalloped sweet potato and apple tart or Aunt Cathy’s baked sweet potatoes
- Gluten-Free Bread Stuffing (we also make a traditional stuffing to keep everyone happy 🙂
- Cranberry Jello mold
- Grand Ma’s fresh cranberry relish
- Vegetables to choose from below. Click on a link for the recipe.
- Roasted vegetables (parsnips, carrots, beets, butternut squash)
- Blistered green beans
- Greens (Swiss chard with fennel)
- Sauteed Brussel sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, and carrots
- Organic frozen or fresh peas
Gluten Free Thanksgiving Desserts:
- Pumpkin Pie with whipped creme
- Pumpkin Squares
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Lemon pie or lemon squares
5-6 Days Out: Enlist your guests to bring something.
Below are some suggestions, as everyone wants to help in some way, even the non-cooks. So here is something for everyone to contribute to the festivities. You just don’t want to end up with too many of the same things or flowers or bottles of wine. Make a list of what everyone is bringing so you dont forget.
- Beverages such as wine, beer, sodas, waters such as natural sparkling or flavored.
- Bread and/or Rolls (not everyone at our household on Thanksgiving is gluten-free 😉 )
- Deserts; Pumpkin pies, cheesecake, apple pie, or pecan pie, ice cream or fresh whipped cream
- Appetizers; Celery sticks with cream cheese, or hummus, edamame mixed with dried cranberries
- Crudités, (vegetable platter and a dip)
- A side dish, if appropriate
- A honey baked ham
Reminder: appetizers should be light, not heavy so there is room for dinner.
Crunch Time! Thanksgiving Meal Prep Plan
3-4 DAYS AHEAD:
- Decide on your menu, who’s attending and what they’ll bring
- Make lists for farmers market, grocery stores
- Make a beverages list
- Shop for all fresh and staple ingredients
- Don’t forget to have on hand: meat thermometer, fat separator, lasers and trusses, a nice size roaster, heavy duty tin foil
2 DAYS AHEAD:
- Make portabella vegetarian stock
- Prepare herb butter
- Prep all vegetables: dice onions, carrots celery, mince garlic, ready herbs
NOTE: Store whole celery and carrots in water to keep them fresh. Diced onions, carrots and celery keep well in a glass container or baggie. Store fresh minced garlic in a glass container covered in olive oil.
- Cube breads for stuffing (We love using Udi’s whole grain and Rye Style GF bread to cube)
- Make cranberry raspberry jello mold
- Arrange flowers and decorate tables
1 Day Ahead: Have Any Volunteers? This is the day to say YES!
- Make Portabella gravy
- Prepare scalloped sweet potatoes and apple tart (par-cook the sweet potatoes)
- Ready pie crusts
- Make pumpkin and pecan squares
- Make turkey stock using the giblets
- Prep green beans and or greens and fennel (If cooking greens, wash and thoroughly dry them)
- Prep roasted vegetables* (butternut squash, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, beets, brussel spouts)
- DO NOT STUFF BIRD until day of.
*NOTE: When prepping, try to keep all the roasted vegetables the same size to ensure even cooking. 1” is a good size to cut or dice them
- Set tables with plates, forks, glasses etc.
- Prep celery for appetizer but do not add cream cheese until day of serving
- Organize platters and label them. Also include the utensil for serving so helpers will know what goes where.
Thanksgiving Day: Show Time!! And Your Day Plan
STEP #1 on Thanksgiving: Determine what time you wish to eat and count backward as to when the turkey will be ready. Remember an UNstuffed turkey takes less time than a stuffed one~ AND it will need to rest for 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes before carving.
Thanksgiving Day: Begins at 7 or 8 am
- Pre-heat ovens to 400 degrees
- Rinse turkey with coarse or Kosher salt and thoroughly pat dry or butter wont stick
- Prepare stuffing
- Ready roaster with rack and place heavy duty tin foil around roaster for tenting later on
- Place turkey on rack in roaster
- Stuff turkey and baste with herbed butter
- Keep butter on stove in a heatproof container with baster brush. It’s great when it melts.
- Put turkey in pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes uncovered, then reduce temp to 325 degrees.
- Ready and prepare mashed potatoes set aside to reheat 20 minutes prior to serving
- Make pumpkin pie and or other desserts
- Clean up morning mess
- RELAX FOR A LITTLE: shower, go for a walk on the beach, read…visit.
- Set timer for every 30 minutes to baste the big bird. It’s ok not to baste if walking
- If cooking a 30-32 lb stuffed bird it took 6 ½ hours at 300 degrees in at 10am, done by 4:30pm
- If cooking a 24lb stuffed turkey, I put it in oven at 11:00am was done at 5:00pm.
- Remember every oven cooks differently!
- Blanch green beans and set aside
2 hours prior:
- Cover turkey if necessary (if looking too brown and crispy on top)
- Bake sweet potato tart and mashed potatoes
- Set out appetizers, drinks
- Put ham in the oven
- Put roasted vegetables in the oven
1 Hour prior to eating:
- Warm the Portabella vegetarian gravy
- Put stuffing’s in the oven
- Ready peas in a pot if serving (Add frozen peas to boiling water. Cover and turn off. Drain before serving.
- Check to see if Turkey is done, if reads 170degrees in breast, and 185 in thigh it’s done. Make sure you don’t hit the bone when checking the temperature. Set turkey on stove covered. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
- Prepare vegetables ie: green beans or leafy greens or brussels and carrots.
- Make turkey gravy (takes about 5-10 minutes)
- Check things in oven, pull out if done and keep covered and warm.
- Set out jello mold, breads, and begin to have helpers plate those foods that are ready as the turkey is being carved.
- 5:30 ready to EAT. Share in a Blessing after everyone is seated and ready to eat. Enjoy your deliciously wonderful Thanksgiving Feast! ]
We wish you for you and your family a wonderful and Joy-filled, healthy & gluten free Thanksgiving!
We are grateful for all of you who follow us and support us here at Curry Girls Kitchen!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Celebration! May we all be abundantly blessed and grateful for all our blessings, family and friends!
In Love and with joy,
Megs and Pegs