Guide to a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

The smells, sights, tastes and drunk uncles of Thanksgiving make it the national holiday that we know and love. Turkey drowned in gravy and cranberry sauce, cornbread that crumbles in your mouth and heaping plates of mashed potatoes all come to mind as Thanksgiving classics. Sadly, much of this delicious nourishment contains gluten. 

Celiac disease, a disease in which the small intestine is unable to process wheat, rye and barley, affects about 1% of the population, including myself. As the holiday season nears, I often get asked, “What do you even eat?” and “Wait, you can’t have bread?” followed by a look of astonishment. To give non-celiac individuals a look into my holiday rituals, I’ve composed a brief guide to a gluten free Thanksgiving. 

Go crazy on the cranberry sauce 

This step is relatively easy, as everyone loves cranberry sauce.

The Secret World of Collegetown’s Restaurant Monopoly

Every Cornellian is familiar with at least one of the Collegetown restaurants owned and operated by Kevin Sullivan: Jack’s, Luna’s, Pronto, Ithaca Ghost Kitchen and Loco. While all of these Collegetown restaurants are unique, most share two key similarities: consistently decent food and consistently substandard customer service. While I have never visited Loco, I have ordered from every other restaurant owned by Kevin Sullivan. My typical experience often involves abnormally long wait times and order mix-ups. Each time I have ordered takeout from Luna’s or Jack’s, I arrive when the ordering app says my food is ready only to find an additional wait at the restaurant.

Plant-Based Eating Is Taking Root in the Fast Food Industry

Along with the majority of young drivers, I have long held a deep affinity for drive-throughs. After all, there’s nothing quite like sipping on a refreshing Dunkin’ iced coffee on the way to class or balancing a carton of piping hot french fries in your cup holder. During the first year of the pandemic, as restaurants remained shut down and we were all prevented from socializing, I would often find myself coasting through the Taco Bell line just to feel some sort of human interaction. Drive-through fast food became both a social activity and an appetite-quencher when my friends and I needed a quick snack or just an activity to fill our time. 

I did not grow up with fast food as a large part of my diet, but many Americans did. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 36 percent of children and adults eat fast food everyday.

An “Objective” Judging of Chocolate Halloween Candies

Halloween season is fully upon us, which means it’s the time of year to stuff our faces with candy and feel no remorse. In our childhood days of trick-or-treating, we all had our favorite candies that we would trade anything for and others that we would gladly give away for free. But which candies are objectively the best? I’ll use the following four metrics to score many of our favorite chocolate based candies (sorry chocolate haters). This will be scored from one to five with five being the best.

Anabel's Grocery is located in Ann Taylor Hall and operated primarily by students. (Thomas Law / Sun Contributor)

Anabel’s Grocery: Just Your Friendly Neighborhood Grocery Store

“This place will be my new home for the next four years,” I muttered to myself as I lay my eyes on the soaring Clock Tower. It’s my first time being on my own, far from home for so long, and a sense of loneliness stirred inside of me. My lingering desolation deepened for every step I sauntered down Ho Plaza. Outside of the Cornell Store, waves of incoming freshmen paraded with their parents, swinging their carnelian red bags after getting Cornell merchandise for the family. 

As I squirmed through the crowd, I found myself outside of Anabel Taylor Hall. On the sidewalk, a person with an apron saying “Anabel’s Grocery” was passing out cups of kombucha.

Cornell Cafes Go Beyond the Pumpkin Spice Latte With Varying Success

The official start of commercialized fall is when you spot the first sign for The Starbucks  pumpkin spice latte. Fall flavors like pumpkin, ginger, clove and cinnamon are baked into warm breads, cookies and various Trader Joes special edition snacks, and sprinkled in coffee for a few months during the year. The pumpkin spice latte itself seems to be a bit overdone, but cafes are becoming more creative with their fun fall drinks. 

On Cornell’s campus, the school-run cafes are offering Starbucks’s PSL, but the few independent cafes — aka Gimme and Café Jennie — have come up with different options. Although I don’t normally choose sweet drinks, I do enjoy the warmth of fall flavors and switching up my normal latte order. I spent a little too much money, but hopefully my taste tests will help others find their new fall favorite.

Dining Halls as a Vegan

One of my favorite daily activities is checking the Eatery app to scope out the various dining hall menus. Somehow, there is nothing more exciting than investigating which dining hall has the best dinner choices that day. I always start the search with high hopes and then end up circling back to my go-to’s: Risley and Keeton. As a vegan, I have never had trouble finding delicious, satisfying and healthy food within Cornell Dining. However, sometimes it takes a keen eye and some good luck to get it.

The Ins and Outs of Trader Joe’s Fall Selections

With the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner, there is no better way to celebrate the season than with Trader Joe’s fall food and drink selection. As someone who has regularly shopped at Trader Joe’s from an early age, I knew I had to purchase my favorite fall treats in addition to some new, exciting items. While many instantly filled me with fall joy, others fell flat.  

I would definitely purchase the pumpkin bagels. Even though they might not have had the strongest pumpkin flavor, they are delicious and hearty. They go especially well with the pumpkin cream cheese, as it has a stronger pumpkin spice flavor that makes up for the lack of it in the bagels. That said, I would still only use a little of the cream cheese because it can become quite overwhelming quite quickly. 

Continuing the theme of breakfast foods, I would recommend you pass on the pumpkin flavored overnight oats.

Eating Lavish on North: A Trial Lunch at Morrison Dining Hall

When you first see Morrison Dining Hall, you may ask yourself, “Am I at Cornell or Hyatt Regency?” 

With the expansion of North Campus, some freshmen have had the privilege of enjoying the new gym and dorms. If you’re thinking,“Why is our tuition so expensive?” Now you know. But, before I give you a sneak peek of Morrison Dining Hall (which opens in Spring 2022), I want to offer some good news: you can have a hotel-quality lunch at Morrison every Thursday! So, if you feel like eating at an on-campus Shake Shack or Panera Bread, next Thursday is your chance. Anyways, let’s explore Morrison Dining Hall together! How’s the interior?

Falling Into Autumn With Apple Harvest Festival

As I approached the commons, the harmonic melody of a violin welcomed me to the Commons entrance. This was just the beginning of the 39th annual Apple Harvest Festival, running in the Ithaca Commons from Friday, Oct.1 to Sunday, Oct.3 this year. All over the Commons, the smell of apple crumble, kettle popcorn and fried food permeated through the air and mixed with the damp rain. This was my first experience at Apple Fest, and it only enticed me to visit every booth to check out the apple treats and local goods that merchants brought. The main area of the Commons was focused solely on apple products like the famous homemade apple crumble, apple cider donuts and local apple cider.