Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Posts tagged 'thanksgiving'

Happy Thanksgiving!

And a Happy Birthday to the Oldest Kidlet, who has amused us all with the ways he’s responded to Happy Birthday.

When I said it to him, he was still in bed, playing the new Legend of Zelda game on his 3DS. He looked at me, somewhat sleepily. “Happy Birthday to you,” he said.

“Babe, that’s not how that works. It’s just your birthday.”

“Oh, right.”

Then when my mom said it about 15 minutes later, he said, “Oh yeah.”

And 10 minutes after that when my dad said it, Oldest Kidlet looked up and said, “Why did you kiss me?”

Then last but not least, when TheBoy woke up and said it to him, he said “Happy Birthday…. to me.” Yes, he almost said the exact same thing he said to me, but caught himself. Ridiculous kid.

Last night, we prepared the turkey. We’re in Florida right now, staying with my parents. (Thieves beware, the only reason I’m posting this now is that we live with my in-laws, and they’re home. I live in the house that’s never empty) But since my mom’s a vegetarian, and my dad isn’t- we realized it’d be pretty silly to leave a ton of turkey leftovers. There’s only so much turkey one man can eat. We also made mashed potatoes last night.

Today we’ll be doing a pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, stuffing- and pulling out yesterday’s leftovers. My mom’s having shrimp and mahi mahi. Should be delicious. I’m also trying to make a mushroom gravy so that everyone can have it.

But it’s a great trip so far. I get to cook in my mom’s brand new kitchen (as in, they hooked up the stove on Tuesday), and do what my mom and I do best- goof off in the kitchen together.

Here’s to hoping that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (for those in the States – I wish anyone else a happy Thursday).

What are you enjoying today?

Mistakes I’ve Made: The Wee Hours of the Morning

We had a lovely Thanksgiving here. The food was ready on time, everything was warm… and a lovely time was had by all!

Only I made the mistake of eating all the side dishes, two of which had dairy in them. Usually I (TMI territory here) wind up with cramps and other urgent type digestive issues. Back before I had the diagnosis, it would occasionally get worse, and I’d vomit for hours until my stomach was completely empty.

Around 1:30am, I woke up from a dream where I was in a world of LEGOs that kept vomiting little LEGO pieces. Every little minifig was puking. It was surreal. And woke with the feeling that I was going to throw up. And I did. Again and again. I went back to sleep, and woke up a half an hour later with the same feeling. And so it went up until about 4:30am. (Weirdly, the worst part wasn’t the actual vomiting, it was the panic when I’d wake back up with the feeling I was going to puke.) Somewhere in there, I was laying on the floor of the bathroom with a plastic container to puke into. Pretty pathetic, I know.

It was an excellent reminder that food reactions aren’t always the same, and that cheating on restrictions just isn’t worth it.

So please, while this was my own damn fault- this is proof positive that if a friend or family members says they don’t eat something… believe them. Cajoling them into trying just a little (and trust me, I didn’t eat a lot) could wind up putting your loved ones in a lot of pain. Just not worth it, no matter how good you think the food is.

I have a bunch of small Le Creuset baking dishes, and I think that for these shared holidays, I’ll just make my own smaller versions of side dishes and do what I do with LK- make them the night before, and reheat in the microwave. Because frankly- I love cooking, so a few extra dishes to ensure my own sanity won’t be much of a problem.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been a wee bit out of it this week. Sorry for the lack of posts.

Last year was a success when it came to Thanksgiving, so far as allergies went. I cooked the day before, making the Little Kidlet’s meal. So we’re repeating that. Right now I’m roasting a turkey breast (which doesn’t seem to be as golden as I’d hope, but we’ll just keep going with it) and already made LK’s sage stuffing. (While it’s too late to buy the ingredients for this Thanksgiving, this is a GREAT stuffing, so add it to your lists for your next holiday!)

So how do we do it? I have my own roasting pan that never has any stuffing go anywhere near it. I have a bunch of plastic containers with green lids (unlike the rest of the food storage). I also bought a bunch of plastic serving utensils in green. The idea is that the green will help signify what’s meant for LK so that cross-contamination won’t happen.

I also prepare his foods in the kitchen first. So that way I know the kitchen is clean, and then I know they stay allergen-free for him. And little by little I’ve convinced family members to ask me first before giving him anything to eat.

The only other part of his dinner will be some boiled potato (I pull out some of the potatoes before I mash them) and some asparagus.

So what are your plans? Have any helpful suggestions for doing dinners that have people with dietary restrictions? (Here’s a great link about how to treat friends with food issues/restrictions)

Allergies vs Thanksgiving

As you all should know by now, the Little Kidlet has a slew of allergies and I have a gluten issue. On a normal day, this means that LK and I have a lot of separate meals from the rest of the family.

But how does it affect holidays? Well, in the past, I’d roast a turkey for LK and make sure he had a couple of sides. Now that I’m on a restricted diet, we’re going for broke- I’m going to make a separate meal for her and I.

How to handle it? I bought separate tupperware containers for LK and I with different colored lids so that it’ll be obvious which leftovers are ours. I found matching serving spoons (all bright green) so that it’d be easy for family to look at an item and know that it’s the allergen-free ones, and not theirs.

And to minimize contamination, I’m making most of our food tomorrow. The only thing I won’t be making are the mashed potatoes- but I’ll be making those for the rest of the family, too. After I boil the potatoes, I’ll be setting aside some to make for the Little Kidlet, then use the rest for the big batch of mashed potatoes (then I’ll set aside some of those for me). Oh, and I’ll be labeling all the plastic containers just so we all know what is what.

The menu:
A roast turkey, unstuffed – I bought a fresh one from the store, and made the people at the store laugh because I was looking for the smallest bird while everyone was looking for the biggest ones.
Sage stuffing – I saw this recipe and thought it looked delicious. Instead of making it in the crock pot (next year: tiny crock pot), I’ll do it in the oven and just microwave it the day of.
Gluten free turkey gravy – this I’ll make the day before with the drippings from the turkey, reheat the day of and thin it out if I need to (I bought a LOT of a chicken broth that I know is gluten free).
Mashed potatoes – for LK, I’ll make a batch with almond milk and butter.
Roasted asparagus – a family favorite, I’m really making this one so that LK and I have a veggie on our plate. This will be made day of and at the last minute since it’s so fast (400 degrees for 10 minutes!)

And for me, a pumpkin cheesecake with a gluten free crust. While LK can’t have this (it isn’t dairy-free or egg-free), I can’t live without a dessert at Thanksgiving. He’ll have his favorite snickerdoodles. I didn’t think about experimenting with pies until now, so I’ll start a few trials to prepare for Christmas.

Now, this brings me to an observation I’ve made over the last week. When you start talking about cooking for someone with food allergies, people usually make some pretty crazy assumptions.

A woman I worked with at Disneyland has some similar allergies to LK and posted on Facebook that she was making blueberry muffins. In the comments were several people who said (and I assume they were joking) things like “you’re taking out the best part” or “are they even considered muffins anymore?” And I was suddenly very annoyed.

Why? 80% of the time when I say something about being on a gluten-free diet, the person I’m talking to will reply with “I couldn’t live without [insert gluten filled item here].” Which for someone still struggling with keeping to my diet, is pretty rough. Because yes, I do miss croissants and crusty french bread. But I’m still surviving. Which is the important thing.

When I mention my son’s allergies, everyone responds with “then what does he eat?” Well, there’s a lot he can still eat. Considering it’s been 3 1/2 years of a diet without those allergens, and he’s close to 75th percentile for height and 50th percentile for weight… I think he’s doing just fine. Plus, he doesn’t know how amazing a buttery croissant is. So he’s absolutely fine with his world as it is.

I suppose I’m saying, give people with allergies a break. It’s tough. You can’t go out to eat without asking a million questions- it’s even hard to eat at other people’s houses without interrogating them. It’s one thing to ask me how I handle it. It’s another to lead off with how much my life must suck.

Because honestly, even with all the label reading and a small (but growing) list of trusted restaurants- I still have a pretty great life.

Day 22 of NaBloPoMo

School recitals & fits of rebellion

Today was Little Kidlet’s first big school recital. They tend to have something once a month. It could be a parade in the schoolyard or a bigger show in the school’s chapel (it’s at a church).

Off I went with camera in hand. Despite being there early, there were people in rows ahead of me who politely promised not to lean into my camera view, and then did just that. I’m not sure how good the video actually is, yet. Next time I’ll just have to be there earlier- especially since the next one is the Christmas pageant.

Since LK is in the tiny kid class (confession: he’s 4 and has no interest in potty training. So he has to go in with the little kids. We’re trying some new tactics next week when we’re off of school), he got to sit down and snack on some fruit jellies instead of having to stand and sing. So I have a video that occasionally shows him chillaxing while wearing a turkey hat. It’s pretty awesome.

Afterwards, they were serving pumpkin bread the class made with some butter the kids made as well (they put whipping cream in baby food jars and let the kids shake them until butter formed). The parents are invited to come back to join in on snack time. Which might have been great if LK hadn’t spotted me right at the end of the performance. He saw me just before they were whisked out the door, and I couldn’t get outside in time to walk with them.

By the time I caught up, he was in tears. He went off to try to use the bathroom, but was insistent we leave. He didn’t want to eat the cookies I’d brought for him (Enjoy Life’s soft Snickerdoordles) and just kept insisting he wanted to go home. So I did the right thing. I politely excused myself and left him crying there with his teacher. (The other teacher later told me he only cried for 10 minutes, and that they all do that for the first play/party combination) It was painful, though. Especially since I just sat in my car and wrote for the final hour he was in preschool.

Of course, there’s a weird side effect to going to these programs. I find myself surrounded by wealthy families in their luxury cars/SUVs. Stepford moms with their high heels, perfect manicures and designer attire. Every time I’m there I just have this immediate urge to dye my hair pink, get a tattoo and buy a leather jacket. Just because I feel like something has to cancel out the Stepfordness. (I won’t even get started on how frustrating it is to listen to how self-centered a lot of them are, too. One bragged about how she knows they ask the parents to sit down during the program, but she’s going to stand anyways. Then she asked how the other mom liked her Louboutins. NOT MAKING THIS UP.)

I do plan on dying my hair some unnatural color soon. Maybe before Christmas! The tattoo on the hand, I’m pretty sure that’s a temporary desire.

Am I the only one out there that gets fits of temporary rebellion?

Day 16 of NaBloPoMo

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day, I’d like to take a moment to mention what I’m thankful for.

I am thankful for my family and close friends, who keep me sane. My mom is wonderful, and while we don’t see each other as often as we’d like, she’s almost always just a phone call away- whether it’s to help me get through a meltdown, or to gush over a TV show we both watch. My in-laws are just as important, as they’re the ones who put up with my madness (as well as the kidlets) on a daily basis and I love them all dearly. And Jerad! I’m thankful for him- everyone should have as great a best friend.

I’m thankful for my boys-though they keep my on my toes and have probably caused my premature graying, they truly are sweet kids. Full of love, full of joy, and full of a desire to discover new things. I’m thankful for TheBoy, whom I love thoroughly and who supports me in everything I do. And who works at a job that sometimes seems thankless because he wants to give us everything.

I’m hurriedly typing this while I do my current duty- keeping the living room clean. Later I’ll start mashed potatoes. And that’s all I’m doing today, other than eat. Mwahaha.

Happy Thanksgiving! May it be filled with warmth, love and some good food.

Update: I am also thankful for my dad, who used to give me lifesavers when I was having a rough time, and totally needs to start that up again. (That’s what you get for saying I didn’t mention you, Dad)

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