As many parents with autistic children are following a gluten-free/casein-free diet, I thought I would share recipes Pamela could eat in our Thanksgiving feast. My mother found an awesome and completely gf/cf recipe for cranberry fruit conserve. The only change I made was I skipped the zest (which I detest) and used only one cup of sugar. Mom gave me two lemons and pecans fresh off the tree! Everybody raved about the conserve, and they were none the wiser about its lack of zest!
I made two kinds of gf/cf pie: a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. For the pumpkin pie filling, I follow the directions on the back of a can of Libby's 100% pure pumpkin, substituting coconut milk for evaporated milk. For the pecan pie filling, I follow the directions on the back of the Karo light corn syrup bottle for classic pecan pie, substituting coconut milk for butter. For the shell of each, I made a pecan nut crust. For one shell, grind up about 1 1/2 cups of pecans with 1/4 cup of gf/cf flour (I used sorghum) in a food processor or blender until you have a fine meal. I poured the meal into a bowl. I boiled water, added one tablespoon of hot water to the meal, and mixed it together. Because the meal did not form a ball, I kept adding a tablespoon of hot water and stirred until a ball formed. I oiled a pan and pressed the meal into a pan with a small pizza dough roller to smooth out the shell. I added the filling and baked as prescribed in the recipe.
I made mashed potatoes by boiling four peeled and cubed baking potatoes and a head of peeled garlic. Once they were soft, I mashed the potatoes with a mixer and added salt and olive oil to taste. They were not as fluffy as those made with butter and milk, but very tasty. My mother made a standard gravy out of cornstarch, stock, and salt.
I made both two half loaves of cornbread, one for cornbread and one for stuffing. To make a loaf of cornbread, I mixed the dry ingredients in one bowl (1 1/2 cups cornmeal, a half cup gf/cf flour--sorghum, a teaspoon sea salt, and a tablespoon gf/cf baking powder) and beat the wet ingredients in another bowl (two tablespoons honey, two eggs, 1 1/4 cup coconut milk, and two tablespoons oil). I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stirred gently. Then I poured the mixture into an oiled 1.5-quart loaf pan and baked in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.
I baked a typical Southern style of cornbread stuffing. I chopped two stalks of celery, half an onion, and four ounces mushrooms and sautéed it in olive oil. At the last minute I added two tablespoons of minced garlic to the sautéed mixture so it would not burn. I chopped half a cup pecans and two boiled eggs. I cubed a half loaf of cornbread. Then I mixed it all together with three eggs and my favorite stuffing seasonings (thyme, marjoram, and sage). I added several cups gf/cf chicken stock until the mixture was moist. I poured it all in an oiled dish and baked it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the top looked crusty.
Pamela's special diet, which brought about tremendous improvement in her quality of life, reminds me of a person for whom I am thankful and whom I never met. That is Dr. Bernard Rimland. His newsletters gave me all kinds of wonderful ideas for helping Pamela, and I still look up information to this day. He died on Tuesday and that is a great loss to the autism community.