Eating Safely at the Relatives

Hi folks, long time no post. It has been a tough 3 months. My 8 year old grandson left this summer to be with his family in Florida. My mom moved to Massachusetts just before Aiden left. Last week my mom passed to a higher plain. We had celebrated her big 100th birthday on Sept 9th. I brought up a gluten free scratch angel food cake baked the night before. I sliced it horizontally to make two layers. My sister made a fluffy icing of egg whites with boiling hot Karo syrup poured in slowly. I threw shredded coconut all over the cake. My mom ate 2 slices. She ate more for breakfast in the morning.

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My sister and I made our family’s company chicken dish; she used some gf flour to roll the chicken pieces in and for the sauce.  It is served with plain rice.  I made gf crab cakes for my mom the next day as lunch. We had steak tips that night with buttery mashed potatoes. The following day we had a second birthday celebration with wild rice salad that is quite beloved and swordfish kabobs done on the outdoor charcoal grill. I made an Indian cheesecake in the Instant Pot of two ingredients; a can of sweetened condensed milk and a cup of whole milk Greek yogurt. I flavored it with the zest of a small lemon and 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice. An uncooked oatmeal cookie crust underneath. Easy peasy baked in the IP for 30 min and chilled for 4 hours. You would never guess it was not made with eggs and cream cheese. Again, all gluten free and really no fuss either. Great food, made gluten free with a minimum of effort and from fresh ingredients.  The swordfish was layered with onion wedges, pepper chunks and cherry tomatoes from the garden. The best quality swordfish my sister could get at the fish market in town. Far better than swordfish I have eaten in fancy restaurants in Boston. My brother-in-law knows how to grill it to perfection; juicy and flavorful.  Our mom enjoyed it all. She had four servings of the wild rice salad; it has plenty of bacon, fresh spinach, red onion and a kick ass vinaigrette on it. We just love the flavors.

I went back up last week to say goodbye to my mom in her last days. My sister made simple food; gently roasted salmon with mashed potatoes one night and a trombolini squash lasagna that had the best homemade tomato sauce ever. No noodles yet flavor for days. The focus of my visit was on our mom and I could relax knowing I was able to eat safely. I made some carrot soup for lunch while I was there and a fig ricotta cake that disappeared before my eyes. A great use of the fresh figs I brought up. Even in sadness there can be tasty safe gf meals. Just takes a bit of planning; my sister keeps a bag of gf flour for when I visit and I brought the cup for cup flour for the fig cake and my own cheesecake pans both trips as using her pans would have been chancy. She bought me a 4 pack of Schar gf ciabatta buns and I got some excellent smoked ham at Trader Joe’s for sandwiches.  She opened a new jar of mayo and marked it gf for my safety. I brought gf oatmeal and cereal for breakfasts.  No fuss, no mealtime stress.  The focus was on our mom and meals were good but simple as no one was up for fancy. My mom loved flavorful fresh food. She taught me how to bake cookies and I taught myself all the rest. I do have several of her recipes and made them gf years ago. She used to say my angel food cake couldn’t be gf as it was so delicious. It was definitely gluten free Mom. I am glad I could bake it many times that way since I had to go gf in ‘13. Rest in peace and I know they have angel food cake up there for you Mom.

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