Discouragement, encouragement, and food. Lots of food.

  • A few days ago, I was looking in my spice cupboard, and thought, “If anyone were to ask me what my top three spices and herbs are, I’d tell them:  rosemary, sage, and cumin.”  Not that anyone is asking.  🙂  But, as if in confirmation of my seasoning choices, the food section of yesterday’s Arizona Republic had a nifty article on the top four spices that are great for brain health:  turmeric, rosemary, sage, and cumin.  I have a big pouch of turmeric, but I must admit that I have used it for medicinal purposes, as I’m not really fond of the taste.  But, I use the other three liberally and frequently.  (Fresh rosemary, rubbed sage, and powdered cumin.)
  • After a recent, horrible, rather discouraging reaction to apples — who is allergic to apples??? — it appears that Fiala can tolerate carrots.  It doesn’t appear to be exacerbating any skin problems, and doesn’t seem to affect her digestive system or otherwise seem to put her out of sorts.  Bless God!  Seriously.  If she can do carrots — which are healthy, portable, and easy to prepare — that would be such a huge blessing.  As we quickly approach her 2nd birthday, I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently, inquiring if Fiala is growing out of any of her allergies.  It doesn’t really appear so, though the very good news is that I am managing her skin much better.  She used to get infected once every 6-8 weeks, but it’s been since late June that she had an infection.  So, she’s still reacting badly to all but a very few foods, but she’s in good health, and I am very slowly making discoveries about things she can well-tolerate.  (She can do pineapple, too.  Did I mention that any time in recent weeks?)
  • I don’t typically do all that well with surprises.  I woke yesterday in a funk, sad and discouraged over a number of things.  My hubby — of course — noticed, and wrenched out of me a little conversation about what was the matter…  Later in the day, he called me to tell me he had obtained a babysitter and he was taking me out.  That made me cry, and for all the wrong reasons.  I got stressed out — instantly! — over the fact that I had a mere three hours to prepare myself, my home, and my five children for us being gone that evening.  And I had planned to go grocery shopping that night, so I was struck with thoughts of, “Is there enough food in the pantry?  In the fridge?  Freezer?” for two more days, as I have small group tonight, and won’t be able to shop until Friday.  PLUS, I thought, “This is so NOT what I need.”  And though I didn’t want to pass up the too-rare opportunity for a night out with my hubby, of the things that were troubling me, I just didn’t think an impromptu date night would be any kind of answer.  HOWEVER…  I was able to get my act together, prepare dinner for the kids (braised lamb and turnips with rosemary for Fiala, leftover soup for the other four children, and fresh farinata for all), get myself showered and ready, tidy up our home, and find a place for us to go, within my allotted three hours of prep time.  We went to a restaurant called the White Chocolate Grill, chosen because of its gluten-free menu.  It’s a lot pricier than any place to which we would normally (or even abnormally) go, but my hubby had suggested we try something new, and after we fired up the Phoenix Celiac website, we decided upon the WCG.  The WCG has worked extensively with a local celiac, Nina Spitzer, and her company, Gluten-Free Absolutely! to craft a terrific g.f. menu.  My husband and I ordered off of their special “Date Night” menu (about $28pp, one appetizer, two salads, two entrees, and one dessert), which had ample g.f. choices. We split a delicious grilled artichoke, each had a field greens salad (with goat cheese — yum!), he had a grilled filet mignon with marinated mushrooms and the most amazing roasted carrots (a huge mound of them!).  I had a delicious balsamic rib eye with fresh tomato and mashed potatoes, which were semi-rustic and tasted faintly of nutmeg.  And, we had warm, heavenly, chocolate souffle cake.  Plus, delicious coffee, which surely must be fresh-brewed, per cup.  IT WAS ALL AMAZING.  They had a glitch in their computer system, and my husband’s dish came out about ten minutes after mine. For our “trouble”, the management comped us my husband’s dinner, even though we said it was no problem at all.  Wow!!  So, anyways.  It turned out that I did, most certainly, need a night of my dear husband’s company.  We talked about everything but the kids, minus a small conversation about Fiala’s very expressive face.  😀  And, actually, though I have no idea what the carb-count was of my dinner, I didn’t blow my diet too badly, as my husband ate most of my mashed potatoes, and I had hardly eaten anything up until dinnertime (I tend to eat less when I’m troubled).  🙂  Not that that was the point, but it was lagniappe to an already wonderful night.  I woke up this morning, refreshed, thinking, “What a difference a day makes!”  Cliché, but true.  I feel much better about life in general.
  • Edited to add:  Click to read an expanded version of my review of the White Chocolate Grill on the Gluten-Free Travel Site.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 14, 2010, in Celiac Disease, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Encouragement, Family, gluten-free, Marriage, Medical Stuff, Reviews, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I loved your post…but right now I REALLY love that you used the word “lagniappe”! (I’m SUCH an English teacher’s daughter!!! hee hee) I love having friends that aren’t afraid to use words most people only ever see on a vocabulary test! Thanks for the review of the restaurant…I’ll have to check that out someday!

    • It’s from having gone to college in New Orleans. It’s a common word there!! There are a lot of words of French extraction which have worked themselves into the everyday vocabulary there, similiar to how we Arizonans throw around many Spanish words.

  2. Well, I’m allergic to apples. And bananas! So I feel for poor Fiala. Can she tolerate pears at all? That’s what I substitute for apples when I can, or when I miss a crisp piece of fruit.

    • No, no pears. We haven’t tried pears in a while, but we’ve had unsuccessful trials before… and that was one of the things for which she tested positive to the 3-day skin exposure test. 😦 I had forgotten that you were allergic to apples! I think I remember, now, you mentioning that before… probably the LAST time we were unsuccessful with apples.

      • Well, I never have welts or anything; it wasn’t until i had an anaphylactic reaction and ended up in the ER that I got allergy tested and apples were one of the foods I reacted to. My allergies are tricky. I’ll get headaches, digestive upsets, nothing that you would, on the face of it, take as an allergic reaction. And it all builds up and I get anaphylaxis.

  3. Yes to the apple thing. Judah had TERRIBLE welted, almost pussy sores that would show up on his bum within minutes of eating apples, apple juice, apple sauce etc. Poor guy. I often wondered if it was the pesticides. He is going on 4 now and can finally eat them in moderation.

    Yes to the grumpy, not wanting another responsibility no matter how kind the gesture thing.

    Yes to the pleasant surprise when I trust my hubby and let him dote on me a little. I really DID need that.

    Yes to the not hungry when I’m down thing.

    Yes to cool words. I so enjoy people with a sophistocated vocabulary.

    Well, there ya have it. We AREN’T alone! 🙂

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