Archives for: November 2008
DD decided that she and I should cook Thanksgiving dinner for my parents this year. A big production holiday dinner has become more than my Mom wants to do, since so much of her energy is spent taking good care of my Dad. Last year they bought a catered meal. It was good, but it wasn’t the same foods that we traditionally have. As DD makes progress toward health, she wanted to see if we could fix the traditional foods with mostly beneficial ingredients.
She got home Tuesday night, and we cooked all day Wednesday while my husband was at work. We were in new territory, adjusting family recipes to be in line with the BTD. My husband’s mom had taught me that rather than buying a self basting turkey with hydrogenated fat injected under the skin, I could make my a turkey juicy by filling the cavity with apples and onions. This year, at the suggestion of a friend, I added slices of lime to the apples and onions. The flavor was delicious – just a tiny hint of citrus. I did stuff the cavity pretty tight, so the turkey took longer than expected to cook. DD and I laughed and said that if we had been expecting company at 6:00 we would have been in trouble! But since we were cooking a day in advance, it didn’t matter.
Dressing was the biggest hurdle. We all love traditional dressing. I’ve blogged in past years about making it with corn bread and rye bread or cornbread and spelt biscuits. DD was adamant that we not use cornbread this year. After much discussion we decided to use flax seed bread and spelt biscuits. Except for that, we followed our traditional recipe. We didn’t tell anyone what it was. HH asked why it was darker than usual. We said it was made with whole grains. He said it was the best dressing he had ever eaten. Truly it was delicious. The spelt biscuits gave it the right texture. The flax seed bread gave it the right flavor.
We made cranberries using the cranberry part of Jayne's cranberry crunch recipe. The flavor is the best!
DD was for leaving out the sweet potatoes, but I knew my Mom & Dad would miss them. My Mom’s recipe calls for canned sweet potatoes mashed with milk, spices and orange juice. She tops it with marshmallows. This year I made it with the same spices, but with freshly baked sweet potatoes. I substituted pineapple juice for the milk and orange juice. It was not only good; I think it was better.
DD wanted pumpkin pie with no avoids. She decided we could make a pat in crust with ground walnuts. The first day, the walnuts were crunchy and had the appearance of a crust. By Saturday, the juices from the pie had mingled with the walnuts, so it was more like a pudding than a pie. It still tasted great, but the texture was best the first day. We used 100% pure canned pumpkin, and started with the recipe on the can. We substituted honey for the sugar, added ginger juice, and left out the milk. DD and I loved it. We are glad that there is one more piece for each of us tomorrow. The rest of the family liked it, but preferred my Mom’s pecan pie.
We rounded out the meal with broccoli and spiced peaches. My mom provided rolls and a relish tray. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. At church the Sunday before Thanksgiving we sang a chorus that sums up the season for me.
For all that you’ve done, I will thank you.
For all that you’re going to do.
For all that you’ve promised, and all that you are
Is all that has carried me through.
Jesus I thank you.
Thank you for loving and setting me free
Thank you for giving your life just for me.
How I thank you. Gratefully thank you.
Thank you, thank you, Lord.
A radio reporter took to the streets this week asking people about their shopping plans for the Christmas season. One question he asked was whether they planned any Internet purchases. I was surprised at how many people have never bought anything over the Internet.
When we lived in the city, I just bought a few things on line. There is a brand of nickel free earrings that I can’t buy in stores. I’ve bought lots of my camera equipment from the New York camera stores. We can almost always get a better deal on college textbooks on line than in the campus stores.
But it wasn’t until I moved to the country that I really started shopping on line. I can buy all the basic necessities in the town that is six miles from our home. But, it is a 60 – 80 mile round trip to a city shopping mall. So now I do a lot of Internet shopping. I expect the UPS man to ring the doorbell a couple of times a week.
Whenever I placed an order, I would bristle when I got to the question, “Do you have a coupon code?” No I didn’t, and I wondered where other people got them. Once I called customer service and asked. I got a vague answer like, “Um, well, sometimes we put them in our online newsletters.”
A few weeks ago I stumbled across the source for the coupon codes. There are four websites that have them, and you can get them for free. The first time I tried one, I wasn’t sure it would work. But it did – 10% off my entire purchase, just like that. I don’t think I have paid full price for anything since I found out about the websites. Here they are. The first one is my favorite, but sometimes I have to check all four until I find a code for the store where I’m placing an order.
In this economy, I’m watching my budget pretty carefully. There isn’t as much “disposable” income as there used to be. This is just one way I can make the dollars go a little farther. That leaves me more to spend on higher quality beneficial food.
We have had a lot of good food today. After church we had brunch at a restaurant called Mimis. I had a Tuscan Omelet – stuffed with spinach, artichokes, tomatoes and feta cheese. It was delicious. The waitress did give me a funny look when I asked to substitute broccoli for the potato chunks that are usually served with the omelet.
Tonight the group wanted to order pizza. Since I had eaten eggs for lunch, I knew I needed some meat for dinner, not pizza. I fixed myself a bowl of asparagus left over from an earlier meal and canned salmon. I did eat half a piece of pizza to be sociable. I used to really miss pizza, but I can honestly say that tonight the asparagus and salmon tasted better to me than the pizza.
Even with a piece of pumpkin pie, I was easily within the 70% rule. Overall on this trip I've probably eaten 85-90% beneficials and neutrals. I have not had any trouble with stomach inflammation. I am confident that my weight is unchanged. Perhaps most important the 70% rule gives freedom from anxiety. Traveling and visiting with friends could become incredibly stressful if I were preoccupied with finding 100% beneficials. But finding 70% beneficials and neutrals is easy. And the joy of fellowship and relaxation of being away from the daily grind more than makes up for the few avoids I have consumed.
One interesting and moving experience from the reunion was a trip to the memorial at the site of the Murrah Federal building bombing in Oklahoma City. There was a hearing going on that morning, and a tape recording of the hearing survived the blast. In the museum we sat in a quiet room with simple government style office furniture listening to the tape. Suddenly the hearing is interrupted by the sound of explosion, followed by the sound of screams. There were exhibits about the destruction, tributes to the 168 victims, and the meticulous investigation that resulted in the conviction of the bomber. We left the museum with a mixture of horror and sadness, mixed with admiration for the way the community pulled together to minister to the families of the victims and survivors.
The area where the building was has been turned into a grassy park with a glass and brass chair symbolizing the office of each of the victims. The place where the street was is now a quiet fountain. If you are ever close to Oklahoma City, make sure you visit the memorial.
Dr. D. once wrote this in his Q&A column, “Generally 70-80% total compliance works well in most people (out of 10 food choices, 7-9 being neutral or beneficial choices)” When I am at home, I am more compliant than this. I probably eat 70% beneficials and 29% neutrals. Avoids are very rare. But when I’m not at home, this rule allows me to relax and enjoy myself with friends without feeling unnecessary guilt or anxiety.
When my Honorable Husband was in Viet Nam, he had three close Christian friends. These four young men encouraged each other, prayed for each other, and pulled each other through a difficult time of their lives. One of them has passed away; the others have remained friends for 40 years. We all live in different parts of the country, but every five years or so, we get together for a reunion. This weekend, we are together in Oklahoma City.
The wife of the fellow veteran in whose home we are meeting knows I am on a “different” diet. She wrote before we came to ask what I could eat. Her husband is diabetic, so I told her that I could quite happily eat what he ate. I knew that he limited bread and potatoes as well as sweets. I figured that left meat, fruits, and vegetables. This has worked out great – actually even better than the 70% rule. I’ve had a few sauces that I wouldn’t have eaten at home. I enjoyed a small serving of fried okra. Tonight I’m looking forward to a surprise dessert.
Right now everyone has decided to go to a local mall for a walk since the weather is cold. They’ve given me four minutes to post this blog and get my coat. I’ll continue tomorrow or the next day.
We have three or four pairs of cardinals that live in the trees behind our house. I’m sure they have suffered along with the other wildlife during this incredibly dry summer and fall. The last time I remember it raining was sometime in June. However, today while I was fixing lunch, we had a brief shower. As I watched out the back windows, the cardinals came out and perched in the top branches shaking their feathers and enjoying the rain. That has nothing at all to do with today’s blog, but it was such a beautiful sight.
The first time I tasted flax oil I was sorely disappointed. It tastes like fish. In fact I remember looking at the label on the bottle, thinking that perhaps I had picked up cod liver oil by mistake. I use flax oil once in a while because I know it is highly beneficial, but I have to coax myself to do it.
A while back someone gave me a recipe that called for toasted sesame oil. It was ok, but I wasn’t wild about the taste. So that bottle of oil has been neglected in the back of my refrigerator. I knew that if I didn’t use it soon, I’d have to throw it out, and I hated to do that since sesame oil is beneficial for Hunters.
One night last week I mixed half and half of these two oils that I don’t like on my salad. Don’t ask me why – it must have been a masochistic moment. Incredible! The combination was good – not fabulous like the flavor of a newly opened bottle of extra virgin olive oil – not heavenly like a spoon of freshly made ghee – but good.
I thought it might have been a fluke, and I tried it again yesterday. Somehow the flax oil is less fishy, and the toasted sesame oil is less overpowering when the two are mixed together. As I’m typing this blog, I’m eating turnip greens with grilled onions and canned salmon, topped with a half teaspoon each of flax and toasted sesame oil. It’s a surprisingly tasty combination. In addition, it is very beneficial for Type Os who are Hunters. If you are not a Hunter, experiment! Perhaps you will find another tasty combination using an oil that is beneficial for you.