Tag Archives: dietary restrictions

Giving Thanks: Alex’s Feast!

27 Nov

As far as Thanksgiving specifics go, I am thankful for so very much, but especially this drawing that Alex brought home from school.

The kids had to draw their ideal Thanksgiving Feast.   I’m sure most kids would put the traditional “Turkey Day” fare, but this is Alex’s design for the menu of his perfect Thanksgiving.

Why am I so grateful for this particular drawing?  It took so much pressure, and potential criticism, off my shoulders.   Alex and I cannot eat the Publix prepped bird and sides that my mom has gotten for the past few years.  I also don’t trust most of her cooking as she tends to forget that most things like “broth” (for example) are not singular ingredients and if we ignore the labels on packaged foods we can wind up in deep doo-doo (as I found out last Christmas and wound up missing most of Christmas Day because I was too sick to even move).

So with only the two of us requiring special foods, and Alex not being a fan of any turkey except low-sodium Public deli turkey breast (and then he only seems to like it if it is given to him over the counter as a “taste”), I let out a big sigh of relief.  This year, with my current level of fatigue, I did not have to brine and baste a turkey breast in the oven.  I did not have to make stuffing and sweet potato casserole from scratch.  Sure, I would have loved some roasted turkey that I could safely eat, but this fatigued state I’m in has also adjusted my appetite to next to nothing (I’m chasing my low blood sugars and adjusting my pump pretty constantly).

I prepped and chopped all of Alex’s menu items, and packed them bento lunchbox style and brought them to my Mom’s house.

He ate raw carrots (sliced into long planks), cantaloupe, bread (the express bread recipe that came with our bread machine tastes kind of like Carrabba’s bread when warm), herb dipping oil for the bread, american cheese, fritos (I forgot his garlic mill at home, but he was cool with it as he had specified that it was “optional”), deli turkey, and ice cream (though cookies and cream was specified, we couldn’t find any so he had Hagen Daas Chocolate Ice Cream.  My dad even picked up a pint of it, so we had extra ice cream.  You should have seen how wide Alex’s eyes got when he saw a freezer shelf with only ice cream that was safe for us to eat.  He promised he’d let me have a taste. Such a sweet kid.

I also took a cucumber and used the peeler with the little cross blades.  I ran it along the length of the cuke and it made long cucumber “spaghetti”…. I also made a tiny little batch of very light pumpkin fettucine and a few loaves of my crusty cheese bread (my mom requested it).   Alex ate a nibble of the cucumber and a nibble of the fettucine.  I was so proud of him for at least trying them.  The fettucine didn’t seem too pumpkiny in flavor.  I think the pumpkin, without the benefit of nutmeg or cinnamon, really brought out the eggy-ness of the pasta, even though I really just substituted a couple of tablespoons of pureed pumpkin (I’m still working through the case I bought from Amazon.com last year!) for one of the eggs and used a bit more semolina.  The color was fantastic, but he wasn’t thrilled with it.

It was nice to see my parents and Uncle Richard, and to meet my parent’s friends from their community.  Alex ran through his iPad battery fairly quickly, and then he occupied himself by playing with Gizmo (my mom’s “baby”  Brussels Griffon rescue… He’s around 3 and such a sweet pup)…

I’m thankful that the day was fairly uneventful. I do wish that I had my appetite and the energy to cook a feast again this year.  Maybe next year….

Now for the winter holiday season…

I’m going to take a nap first… Hope your Thanksgiving was mellow, happy, and low on conflict!  :-)




Baking 2: Electric Boogaloo

10 Oct

The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry. -Simone Weil

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
Mother Teresa

Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.
Nikolai Berdyaev

The wretch who digs the mine for bread, or ploughs, that others may be fed, feels less fatigued than that decreed to him who cannot think or read.
Hannah More

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.
James A. Baldwin

(love love love BrainyQuote.com)

Bagels/ Laugen (pretzel)Bagels (by me!) The grey/weird speckles are Celtic grey sea salt. Yum!

We found out rather quickly, that all commercially available breads at our local supermarket (Publix) contains either soy, a soy derivative, or ascorbic acid.  All of these ingredients are on our list of forbidden foods as Alex and I try to build our health and learn to live (and hopefully live well!) with G6PD deficiency.  The only bread we have found is pita bread, and while we enjoy it sometime, we both had been craving some fluffy, more leavened bread.

First off, I ordered an inexpensive Sunbeam bread machine from Amazon.com.  That solves the daily bread issue- I can make a 1.5lb express loaf in an hour, without any kneading or oven heating to make my arms and hands hurt more (from the kneading and the hand-wringing when I get another sky-high electrical bill…thankfully the cooler season is almost here, so I will be able to shut off the air conditioner. Woohoo!).   This is a pretty good solution, and allows me to make a loaf every day.  We usually have fresh bread at dinner (the express loaf, while still warm, tastes just like Carabba’s bread according to Alex) and the rest of the loaf is used to make Alex’s school lunch for the following day (now that Smucker’s Uncrustables are off our menu. They were a staple during my pregnancy with him and have been a staple for him since starting school.)   However, I noticed a neato looking book on bread on Amazon.com and coincidentally, my friend Marissa mentioned it the next day.   So I considered that a sign and bought it.

It is called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”  and it is fantastic.  All of the breads are for the most part, “no knead”.  Basically you mix up a base dough in a large batch, using a mixer with a dough hook or just a large spoon or your hands.  You mix just enough to combine the ingredients, but not enough to actively knead it to develop the dough.  Most of the doughs can be kept in the fridge for up to 14 days, and the book features many recipes and suggestions for using those doughs. All of the doughs can be used to take multiple types of breads, so it’s not like a person who actively bakes using this book will get bored over the 2 week period, from eating the same loaf constantly.

However, being creatures of habit, we have found that the Olive Oil Bread is our favorite and it is perfect for pizza, focaccia, calzones, even a simple rustic round.  I do find that one batch of the Olive Oil bread dough only lasts us a couple of days as I’m definitely not on my feet yet, so when I am I like to get as much done as possible.  It’s hard for me to cook anything, but if I make pizza for Alex on one day, I’ll set up a few mini-pies so he will have lunch for school and a snack the next day, and Jeff will have leftovers.

Anyway, just wanted to share this awesome cookbook with all of you…. It has definitely put artisan bread within the grasp of this arthritic old gal, and in the mouth of my little one with all of our “contraindicated” foods.

Oh and the best part?  You should see how much Alex is eating now and how happy he is!   It’s an incredible change and it just makes my heart smile to see how strong he is getting.  It’s making-me-all-teary-wonderful!



P.S. Thanks to my friend Marissa, for suggesting this book!  Please check out her amazing art & visit her Etsy shop!

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P.P.S. Does anyone have an easy to use ice cream maker they really like? (I’m thinking an electrical one, to preserve my energy)

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