Saturday, December 19, 2009


We don't eat fast food at our house, but sometimes I wish we could.
Oh, I don't want the grease and the carbs and the junk. I've never big a drivethru kinda chick. Just that word, "fast" seems so delicious sometimes. I miss fast. Everything about our eating at Casa del Rooster seems slow since we went GFCF, and not just slow, but tedious, dull, and unfulfilling. If it can't be tastier, I wish it could at least be quicker and painless.

I am glad we went GFCF, because I know when my son is on the diet, he has fewer complaints of stomach pain, more comfortable digestion, and, according to our documentation, better focus and behavior. But I am not good at GFCF, because I am not a natural cook, and the half dozen things I learned to cook well before we had kids don't translate into things my boy can eat, so my grocery budget has quadrupled as I try to make up for my lacking skills by buying from Applegate Farms, So Delicious, Energy, Amy's, Ian's, Pamela's, etc.

At my house we now eat separate, kind of pathetic, uninspired meals. Oh, most of us eat quite healthy food, and I feel a surge of joy when I give my kids nutritious meals that they enjoy. But it takes about forever. It takes four grocery stores, orders from Amazon, 25 mile drives to a specialty bakery, time spent scouring gfcf blogs, sneaking off if the rest of us want to enjoy some delicious gluten the boy will covet... food has lost its joy in a lot of ways, and at Hanukah and Christmas, I find myself a little bummed about it.

Yeah, all you great cooks out there? Especially you soulful food writers at (Never) Too Many Cooks? You put me to shame. I want to be more like you, but it ain't going to happen. I love to read about your delicious creations, but as a voyeur. My chef's hat is off to you, and I sincerely hope your families appreciate you.

Feeling a little homesick as the holidays approach and my East Coast relatives hunker down to watch the snow fall, I especially long for the comfort foods of my upbringing. They will not by on our table this year. But I wanted to share them with you, and maybe they will inspire you. Don't worry about how they sound, trust me about how they taste. They are perfectly satisfying, and they taste like love. Make them if you get the chance. Would I lead you astray? No, I can assure you I would not.

"Candied Sweet Potatoes"
(No, you have never had anything like this, I promise - recipe from faulty memory, handed down through generations, and my family doesn't measure)
Bake several big fat sweet potatoes on cookie sheets lined with foil until the smell fills your house and you can hardly stand it you're so hungry, then hull them out of their scalding skins into a bowl of butter, and lots of it. (I have a special pair of potholders for this very purpose, used only in November and December each year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.) Stir in 1 or 2 jars of Marshmallow Whip (those wonderful glass jars filled to their blue lids with jetpuffed marshmallowy goodness and heart clogging corn syrup). Add a few dashes of vanilla and plenty of brown sugar. Fold in coconut. Yes, just what I said, you can thank me later. Grease a baking dish (I use 11x17), and spread your heavy sweet potato mash into the dish. Heavily sprinkle brown sugar all over the top, and then another sweet sprinkle of coconut. Bake it again.
Share with people who will go back for fifths, sixths, and blame you for it a week later when they cannot zip their pants. You will still be smiling.

Blueberry Cream Pie
Preheat to 400
Mix together about a cup of sour cream (lite is fine), a couple tablespoons of flour, about a cup of sugar, and a beaten egg.
Fold in blueberries (pint to pint and a half)
Pour into a pie crust (I like graham cracker best)
Bake 25 minutes, while making topping
topping: 3 TB flour, 2 TB butter, 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Sprinkle topping on pie and bake 10 more minutes
Chill - should be eaten COLD.
I have TMJ, and when my grandma made this pie for me, it always caused me to smile too wide, so that when I chewed and smiled like that, my jaw ached. What a fool I looked like, grinning ridiculously, stuffing my face, holding my jaw, eyes watering in pain and ecstasy! Holy cow how I miss that.

Ho ho ho!
Bon appetite.


pixiemama said...

Yes, the (Never) Too Many Cooks shock and amaze me. And... they seem to LIKE all that crazy cooking! Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, I totally understand how you feel.

Since going GFCF I have become very depressed in the kitchen. My favorite kind of food to cook and eat is Italian and having to eliminate cheese has cut out SO many of my favorite dishes. Comfort foods that I crave like Ravioli or a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch on a cold winter day - gone.

I often feel like my cooking is tedious and unfulfilling. We eat the same things every week.

I have lost a lot of the joy as well. That's part of why I wanted to do (Never) Too Many Cooks- to keep me motivated to look for new things to try.

Slowly, I'm getting more excited about cooking again. This return to the basics of sort has been somewhat freeing - it's much easier to cook simply than all the complicated stuff I was eating before.

Anyway -just wanted you to know I totally, totally get how you feel.

Happy Holidays!