Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving: A Celebration of Simple and Flavorful Food!

Gluten Free in DC enjoyed getting away from the city during the Thanksgiving break! The husband (whom I’ll now refer to by his real name, David) and I went to Onancock, Virginia with my parents, grandparents, brother and his wife to celebrate the holiday. In the year that I have been diagnosed with Celiacs, I have become more and more aware of just how much food is a major part of all of our celebrations, traditions and holidays so I am appreciative to all of my family members on both sides of my family for making the holiday season gluten free friendly!

You might be asking yourself, where in the world is Onancock? Well, Onancock is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which is the peninsula off of Maryland. Yes, it’s actually Virginia. You can get to it by driving through Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of MD. (See map above for more details.)

So why do I love the Eastern Shore? The Eastern Shore is always a much needed break from life in D.C. My parents have a house on a small creek that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. In the summer there’s lots of boating and cocktail hours on the dock, but I think the winter is my favorite time to be on the Shore. There’s no internet, no major cities within an hour’s drive and most importantly, no schedule. The typical day consists of reading, napping, watching college sports on TV, and cooking yummy food. Not only do I love cooking on the Shore, but I also look forward to planning the menus. It’s so nice to have plenty of time to cook and it’s always fun to cook with the husband, Mom and my sister-in-law, Alden. (The other members of the family tend to stay out of the kitchen!)

This year for Thanksgiving dinner we continued our new tradition of cooking beef tenderloin instead of a turkey. We still cook a turkey breast so that we can have cold turkey sandwiches with canned cranberry for lunch, but for the meal itself, we eat beef tenderloin. David cooked the tenderloin and I must say that he did an amazing job. He tested his culinary skills by cooking the tenderloin on the grill for the first time. The flavors were unbelievable even though David prepared the meat simply using only olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary.

As sides for the meal, we made mashed potatoes and green beans. My mom’s trick with the green beans is to cook them on the stove, drain them, and add a little butter, salt, pepper and vinegar. The vinegar gives them a great kick but it’s not overwhelming. They are so simple and easy.

To top off the meal I purchased from Whole Foods a variety of pies and their creamy biscuits, all from the gluten free frozen section. The Whole Foods pies are perfect because everyone has strong feelings about what pie flavor they prefer and the pies are small so you don’t feel badly buying a variety. While they might seem a bit pricy, it's so worth it to be able to enjoy dessert with everyone else! We had a sampler of apple, pumpkin and cherry pies, which lasted us for desserts beyond Thanksgiving day.

The Shore was a great escape from the hectic city and a perfect time to enjoy delicious food cooked with love!


Anonymous said...

Betsy, just found your blog. I live outside of Richmond, but am from Alexandria. Love the DelRay restaurant review. My son lives on the ESVA in Accomac, 5 miles from Onancock. I eat at Bizotto's with delight and safety.

Betsy said...

That's great to hear! I'll have to check it out the next time I'm on the Shore. Have you been to Herbal Instincts (Natural Food Store) on the way into Onancock? They have tons of gluten free food! We do a lot of our grocery shopping there and they are so friendly and helpful. I plan to blog about them soon.