Are you hosting Thanksgiving? I’m not hosting Thanksgiving. I may, in fact, not host Thanksgiving ever again. Except for the imaginary Thanksgivings of the future where my grown children come and bring everyone important in their lives to eat & give thanks. I’m not usually one to wish away time, but I dream of that. In these dreams, I look like either Meryl Streep or Diane Keaton and am dressed like Annie Hall. Every Fall, I dream about dressing like Annie Hall. And then I do something stupid like break my ankle and can only wear one shoe for a month. There goes my dream, right out the window.
I have hosted Thanksgiving in the past, and sometimes it went well, and sometimes it really really didn’t go well. Actually the food went well (I’ll give thanks for that), but the rest didn’t exactly. So I said, I’m just not going to do that again. Except my language may or may not have been more colorful. Since we’re the only ones gluten-free, at one point in time, it seemed like it would be easier to host than to cater an entire Thanksgiving meal for just my son and me and haul it in the car for 2 hours. We’re talking a cooler on wheels sort of situation. Well, it wasn’t easier or better. For so very many reasons. So I’m back to the cooler on wheels. Because I won’t have my son not have a proper Thanksgiving meal. No ma’am.
All of that kind of got me wondering what it’s like when you’re the grown-up and it’s you who are gluten-free, and not your child. Would you bring the cooler on wheels just for yourself? Probably not. I bet I wouldn’t. And then I have to wonder why. I have met so many women who are the only gluten-free member of their families, and they don’t bake for themselves. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about that. Why don’t we take better care of ourselves? We should care for ourselves as ferociously as we care for our children. Not because we need to be there for them, but because we need to be there for ourselves. And enjoy food like these amazingly flaky savory mini pies.
So much of the talk out there about gluten-free Thanksgiving is how to take care of others, like your children and your gluten-free guests. I wish I could take care of you. (Yes, there is a bit of irony in that, I know, but I also do take care of myself I really do.)
These mini handheld savory pies are made with what I can say, without reservation, is the Very Best Gluten-Free Pie Crust I have ever had the great good fortune to eat. It’s kind of your basic foundation recipe for gluten-free pie crust, but. But.
But there is finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese mixed right into the pie crust. This Cadillac of cheese blends right into the dough, but makes the dough itself smoother and the crust even flakier and more wonderfully fragrant than a traditional pie crust. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, oh how it browns.
You don’t have to fill these with cauliflower if that’s not your thing (except if you haven’t had roasted cauliflower, I am here to suggest that you really haven’t had cauliflower the way nature intended). Try just the Asiago-rosemary-thyme cheese sauce. Or maybe roasted kale and cheese instead. But this is how you serve a Thanksgiving side. And if you’re worried that it might be too much work for Thanksgiving Day, go ahead and make it now and freeze the unbaked pies. Bake them right from frozen, and if anything they’ll be flakier and more gorgeous. Pie crust loves to be frozen. Whatever you do, take good care of you. And cheers to that.