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What’s the most elaborate, complicated meal you’ve ever cooked? Was it a triumph for the ages, or a colossal fiasco? Give us the behind-the-scenes story (pictures are welcome, of course).

Tomorrow I will make a number of recipes I’ve never tried before, using ingredients I’m not that familiar with. Two of the people who are coming for Thanksgiving dinner are vegans (my son and daughter-in-law) and another young woman has celiac disease so she can have no gluten, in particular. Rather than make two of everything, I’m making some things gluten-free and some things as I always make them.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the turkey, but I’ll use cornstarch in the gravy instead of flour. One of deserts has a crust made of ground almonds (and more) and pureed cashews with pumpkin for the filling and a whipped topping from coconut milk. This is a whole new venture for me — what if it doesn’t whip? What if ground soaked cashews mixed with pumpkin just tastes weird? (This dessert is also Paleo — just to mix it up a bit more.)

My daughter-in-law is bringing Tofurkey for her and my son; and the the woman with celiac is making a macaroni and cheese dish which will be gluten-free, but the vegans won’t be able to eat that because it contains dairy. There will also be gluten-free stuffing, as well as my own traditional stuffing.

I’ve also been asked, thankfully, to make my chocolate pecan pie so five of us will eat that, or most of it! And someone’s bringing another dessert. I’m still wondering if I should make a regular pumpkin pie, but I think that would be over the top with the desserts.

And while my daughter-in-law’s mother is bringing her green bean casserole, only five us us will be able to eat that! I’m more of a purist with vegetables, and am making baked Brussels sprouts, orange squash with a little brown sugar on top, and smashed red potatoes (you boil them first, then smash them and brown them in the oven), and, of course,  homemade cranberry sauce with orange!

It’s going to be kind of a crazy mixed-up menu, and I have no idea how some of the dishes I’m making or others are bringing will turn out or work together. But there will certainly be plenty to eat.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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