Because Thanksgiving was such a huge family celebration, Christmas was understandably low-key, with just me, my parents and my grandmother. And when I found out my dad had accidentally agreed to have Christmas dinner at the neighbors’ house, I was a little miffed. I enjoy cooking Christmas dinner. More importantly, I wasn’t guaranteed a Christmas dinner if the neighbors didn’t cook GF. Well, call it a Christmas miracle, but it turned out I could eat everything, save the rolls, on the table.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Christmas Eve, my mom and I cooked a delicious meal that I didn’t photograph because I was busy making sure my scallops were warm and fully cooked. The meal was petit filets, seared scallops with a lemon white whine reduction, baked potatoes, sauteed green beans and crustless cherry cheesecake for dessert. It’s not hard to make crustless cheesecake – just buy one of those no-bake cheesecake kits and don’t use the crust! we served them in pretty little bowls instead of on a plate with cherry pie filling on top.
Christmas morning I slept all the way until 9:15 before getting up to see what Santa brought. My sweetheart sister Carrie Mae read this and bought me this as a result:
A cute Christmas apron for all the bread-baking I’ll be doing for the people who bought me the bread machine when I get back to Gainesville. Here I am making fudge in it:
You’ll notice the apron has kittens on it. From other family members I also received a cat mug, two cat ornaments and some other miscellaneous catphernalia. I am not trying to perpetuate the idea of me as a crazy cat person, but apparently my family is. It’s because of these guys:
Catsby and Daisy have only been a part of the family for a few months, so I’m thinking by next Christmas the crazy cat lady stuff will have calmed down. Nevertheless, I do love the apron.
Now, I mentioned Christmas dinner was a pleasant surprise. It was a simple meal: ham, green bean casserole, potatoes au gratin and rolls. One thing about the GB casserole: Mom and I experimented with crumbling sour cream and onion potato chips on top in lieu of the traditional fried onions – and it worked! An ingenious substitute if I do say so myself.
For dessert, a neighbor had brought two cake-breads – apple butter and banana. I naturally assumed I’d just be having hot cocoa when we got home. Then she mentioned she likes to stay away from wheat, and substitutes oat flour for regular flour in all recipes. I’ve seen oat flour used to add texture to things, but never as a pure substitute. I quickly used the Droid to make sure it was safe, then dug into the super moist, faintly oaty cakes.
Now, oats are tricky. It’s fairly well-known that most rolled oats are processed on the same machinery as wheat and wheat flours, and can cause some people to feel ill. I tried to reintroduce oatmeal into my diet about a year ago and after a month or two it started to make my tummy hurt, so I’ve relegated it to a special treat, and this seems to be a viable solution for quite a few Celiacs. However, the breads from last night were made from my old buddy Bob’s Red Mill GLUTEN-FREE oat flour, grown on gluten-free farms and manufactured in a dedicated facility. Can’t beat that.
I intend to try this recipe in the near future using the oat flour and the bake setting on my bread machine. I thought it was quite fortuitous that our little Christmas dinner with neighbors had a gluten-free dessert just by happenstance. Merry Christmas indeed.