Category Archives: Holiday meal

A Chinese Holiday Celebration

Our delightful Chinese neighbors invited us to have dinner with them on Christmas Eve.  The dinner party also included another Chinese couple with their high school daughter.  The home was very festive, and was decorated for the holiday, with lights outside, and a tree with gold ribbons and ornaments inside.  The dining table  was beautifully setIMG_1788
with all the food set out.  We were going to be treated to a hot pot meal.  This is rather an Asian version of fondue, and our meal consisted of meat, seafood, vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, noodles and greens.  All were gluten free.  IMG_1790
It is a very social method of eating, with people putting their food choices into the heated broth, and retrieving the morsels after they are cooked.  Utensils included small strainers and chopsticks, with forks provided for those of us less practiced with chopsticks.  The cooking pots are divided, so that the diners have the choice of using a more highly-seasoned broth on one side, or a milder flavor on the other.  Dipping sauce was distributed to each person’s bowl.
Our hostess took much of the responsibility for cooking the selected food for my husband and myself, as well as her children.
Reflecting on the experience, I am struck by how our neighbors have so successfully adopted many American traditions, and yet retained traditional Chinese customs and meals.  They have done it all in a rather seamless integration.

A Gluten Free Thanksgiving

This year, three of the guests at our family’s Thanksgiving dinner were on gluten free diets, so there was an abundance of options available.  Some of the dishes were naturally gluten free, such as the turkey, cranberries and salad.IMG_1769Other dishes were GF adaptations of conventional recipes.  Noodle kugel requires some advance planning.  Even though many GF products can be found on grocery shelves, egg noodles aren’t among them.  They had to be ordered from a New York supplier.  This is a dish I love, and it was worth the extra trouble to put it together.

IMG_1767There was GF macaroni, GF stuffing, and the usual mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and more. IMG_1768Gluten free desserts included brownies, apple crisp and orange and almond cake. (More about this later).   IMG_1766
The brownies were a special Gf recipe.


Apple crisp is naturally gluten free, and there are a number of available recipes.  The orange and almond cake sounded wonderful.  I checked a number of recipes before deciding on the eventual choice.  I even was able to use my heart-shaped pan.  Sadly, the result was a disappointment.  Reviews online suggested that it should have been a home run.  If anyone has had success with this type of cake, I would love for you to respond to this blog.

By any measure, it was a great meal with family and friends.

Until next year –



November, 2015