I really enjoy food. I always have and I’m proud to come from a long line of women who show their love and care by feeding people. Having to go gluten free was hard for me because different foods have such deep meaning and connection to wonderful memories. Pie reminds me of Holiday dinner’s at Grammy’s where she would put card tables end to end connected to the dining room table my Papa had made her. The tables would stretch the entire length of the dining room into the living room there were so many of us. Pancakes remind me of my Daddy on Saturday mornings singing as he made us breakfast. Ice cream reminds me of my Papa who would take us to the local hard scoop shop and then drive us around the countryside while we counted deer.
Food binds us together. We see this in scripture. How many times is Jesus described as dining at someone’s house? The first of his recorded miracles takes place at a wedding banquet. Banqueting tables are described as being in heaven and the Psalmist talks of a table laden with food in Psalm 23. All of this culminates in communion and it illustrates how important meals shared with each other are.
That’s why being gluten free is sometimes really hard. It’s not just inconvenient and limiting but it closes off so many of those special food memories. That’s why I keep struggling through terrible recipe after terrible recipe in the hopes that I will find some that can be great substitutes. This week was a week of successes! They are finally making gluten free cream of mushroom soup (the brand is called Pacific organic) and gluten free tomato soups (Lots of companies including Dole)! These are key ingredients in many a holiday dish. One of my favorite foods growing up was my mom’s enchiladas. A distinctly americanized version of the Mexican dish it has both types of soup in it (Meijer brand enchilada sauce is gf as well). I LOVE this dish and I made it this week and it was wonderful. It was tasty and wistful and it’s stupid to say that a silly casserole brought tears to my eyes. I also found gluten free lasagna noodles and made my second favorite dish growing up! Mmmmm. I have a very clear memory of my mom pulling lasagna noodles out of the boiling water and lying them over the center sink divide while making my birthday lasagna . I remember thinking she loved me a lot because she was willing to do all that work (thank goodness you don’t have to precook the noodles anymore)!
One of my dearest friends had a baby this week and I’m taking her food because I remember how hungry I was while nursing. It brings me such joy to feed the ones I love. I found this cookie recipe and they’re so HUGE! I can’t wait to give them to her and hear her laugh when she sees how big they are. (Great excuse to see that brand-new baby btw).
While I strive to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, I’m glad that I was taught the beauty and value of recipes passed down and the joy of food shared with the people we love. I’m also overjoyed that they’re making more and more foods gluten free so I can continue to rediscover the foods that mean so much to me.
What foods are important to you and your family?