Most of my childhood memories have food attached to them and when the Holidays roll around, I am bombarded by flashbacks of hoards of people and mountains of food. My dad came from a family of 6 children and all his sisters, brothers and their families lived within 50 miles of each other in Idaho and Montana so we had epic holiday celebrations several times throughout the year. In the summer time there were cook outs and barbecues, dubbed "Kayser Barbarian Meat Fests" (two of my uncles were hunting outfitters, and the rest of us hunted so meat was always the most plentiful of the food groups). Wintertime holidays in Idaho/Montana are all about hoping the power doesn't go out, cranking up the wood stove dimming the lights, sipping cocoa or egg nog, listening to low holiday tunes, but above all sharing in all of the delicious treats that all of the aunts and uncles and grandparents brought to share.
There are a few dishes that will forever represent classic holiday celebrations for me. My Aunt Sue made English Toffee, Aunt Cathy made this amazing apple pie with cheddar cheese baked into the crust, and my Mom made Russian Tea Cakes and Spritz cookies. My Great Grandmother, the first of her Russian/German family to be born in America, always made prune Kucha, a sweet sour cream custard-filled sweet dough, the recipe for which has been passed down at least 4 generations. Then there were the huckleberry pies, the avocado cream pies (Mom's were the best) and homemade bear smokies.
Needless to say, none of these delicacies were gluten-free. As a matter of fact, I am reasonably certain that none of us even knew that such a thing as gluten-free existed. So, because I want to pass on the warm memories and heritage of my childhood Holiday celebrations to my daughters, I have adapted the family recipes handed down to me to be not only gluten-free, but just as delicious as I remember them.
Is there a food that epitomizes the Holiday season to you? Is there something that you have been deprived of since you went gluten-free? I would love to know your favorite holiday treats and experiment to come up with recipes to share with all the gluten-free foodies out there.