Friday, March 27, 2015

Saying Goodbye

I wish could be with my husband's side of the family today as they say good-bye to his grandmother - his Mamaw.  She passed away on Wednesday, and James and Eva left for Louisiana yesterday to be with his parents. Samuel and I stayed home because we've both been battling a stomach virus. I think we're both on the mend today though.

Mamaw was delighted to be a great-grandmother.

 I don't know what these ladies were talking about, but it sure was funny. James is not the best with the camera, but sometimes he captures some true gems. He grabbed up my camera after I left it to chase down a child & I'm so glad he got that shot.

 James has many fond memories of his Mamaw. She was very involved in the lives of her grandchildren. He talks often playing at her home as a child and vacationing in Nashville with her and her husband. She loved her husband well, and she enjoyed life best when he was at her side. Mamaw loved to sew and cook, and she enjoyed sharing her talents with others. We have three quilts that she made. In her wisdom, she made baby blankets to give her great grandchildren before her grandkids were even married. She feared that her hands wouldn't allow her to sew by the time the great-grandbabies came along. I'm glad she prepared them in advance!  James' favorite recipe of her's was her cornbread dressing, and he went over to her home one day around the time we got married so she could teach him how to make it.  I'm glad he did this, and so was she. The recipe was all memorized & she had never measured any of the ingredients. James measured everything out, and put it to paper.  Here is it is - you have to start with homemade cornbread first.
- Verdell Thomas
1 ½  C.  Martha White’s Self-rising corn meal
1 Tbs. oil
2 eggs
1 ¼ C. buttermilk
½  tsp. baking Powder

Preheat oven to 400°.  Beat eggs before adding them to the rest of the ingrediants in a medium sized bowl.  Mix well.  Pour into greased and floured skillet.  Put skillet into hot oven.  Bake 20 min. on Medium rack, then 5-10 min. on high rack.

Cornbread Dressing
- Verdell Thomas
1 cornbread (see above recipe)
2 stalks of celery (chopped)
1 onion (white or yellow)
1 can cream of chicken soup

Crumble cornbread in a large mixing bowl.  Saute celery and onion in skillet.  Mix celery and onion with crumbled cornbread in the mixing bowl.  Warm a can of Cream of Chicken soup with 1 can of water in skillet then mix into dressing.  Pour into buttered 9x13 aluminum pan – cut slits into dressing with knife before baking.  Bake at 350° for 15-20 min.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bye-Bye Wheat

At a doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago, my doctor advised me to eliminate wheat from my diet.  This wasn't a big shock to me. I've recently had some blood work come back that may suggest I've got an autoimmune disease brewing, and wheat can be problematic for people with autoimmune diseases. I don't have any noteworthy symptoms, thankfully, so no diagnosis, no medication for now.
A few months ago, a pharmacist friend of mine let me borrow a book called Breaking the Vicious Cycle. That book outlines a diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), and my friend used it for his son following his diagnosis of Crohn's disease. After following the diet, his son is symptom free and not in need of any medication.  That is a huge victory.  However, the SCD plan is rather rigorous with a long list of foods to avoid - wheat is one of them, along with a host of others. Since I wasn't having any symptoms, it didn't make since for me to jump all in with it. One change I did make after reading the book was eliminating Splenda. I had been using it in my coffee and oatmeal. After giving it up, I realized just bad Splenda was making me feel.

After leaving the doctor's office, I decided that giving up wheat is doable. Coming from the girl who used to love and crave bread, that is a big deal.  Some friends gave me some good ideas of substitutions to make for wheat products in recipes, and I'm off to a good start.  Last Friday, the four of us went out to dinner at a little Italian restaurant. The bread didn't look appealing to me, so I didn't even want to eat it. The kids enjoyed it though.

I get most of my recipes from Skinnytaste, and you can find a searchable list of gluten free and paleo recipes there. I really love that the author post the nutrition facts for every single recipe. I had to give up my favorite Kashi granola bars, because they contain wheat. I started making my own, thanks to a gluten free recipe at Skinnytaste called Banana Split Bars.
So yummy!