I’m so thankful that in many ways, we’ve moved beyond simply surviving! Now that we have a little more time and energy, we’ve enjoyed the challenge of preparing gluten-free, corn-free, and potato-free food suitable for special occasions in addition to daily needs.
In 2009, when our family gathered to celebrate Christmas, I was just getting a handle on Brody’s food needs. I took some food Brody could eat along with some additional servings to share. I wanted to give our family members the opportunity to try out some of our new recipes. My brother motioned to the portion of his plate with the samples and said, “This is my taste of Brody’s World.” That moniker came to mind as I was considering what to serve our guests when we were celebrating our neighbors’ wedding a couple of months ago.
Since I wanted to be sure Brody could safely enjoy the food at the reception, I thought through what I could serve that would be “Brody-safe” and also worthy of being served at a wedding reception. I decided on a menu of hearty appetizers and tasty desserts. Based on various recipes I had collected throughout the years of meeting people from all over the world, I came up with the following menu:
If you click on the photo of the menu above, you’ll get to see a larger (and legible!) view. We chose a day for the reception which worked for the bride and groom and which was a day off work for both Brody and me. Brody and I had a wonderful time working together to set up our apartment and preparing the food. We really enjoy working on projects together.
The other guests helped by bringing some of the food items and special dinnerware needed to make the reception a success! We squeezed 7 adults into our little apartment, and everyone was a good sport with trying my experiments with the recipes.
Since the lighting in our apartment doesn’t lend itself well to taking photos after sunset, only a few of these photos are from the reception itself. I took most of the photos on subsequent days when I made the recipes for us to enjoy again. Some of the recipes are in our book, A Recipe for Survival, and other recipes were designed specifically for this reception. If you’re interested in the recipes for the dishes shown from our book, may I suggest ordering our book? 🙂 If you would like any of the new recipes, just let me know!
While it’s hard to see the crackers in this picture from the reception night, they were heart-shaped! 🙂
You can see another view of the hummus and crackers from a previous post on this website.
For the hearty appetizers, we started with Danuta’s Snitzel. When I was thinking about making an appetizer like meatballs for the reception, I remembered a recipe given to me by Cindy during our college days. Cindy is a friend whom I met at the beginning of our junior year of high school in Tucson, AZ. We have wonderful memories from high school and college, and I’m thankful for her ongoing, albeit long-distance, friendship now. Some of our good memories center around yummy food, and her mom, Danuta Kemp, is an excellent cook! I decided this reception was the time to convert Danuta’s Snitzel recipe into a Brody-safe version.
To represent Asia in our tour, I decided to prepare the Indian Style Lentils (page 94 in A Recipe for Survival) along with a new recipe, Naan. No matter which country’s cuisine I’m tasting, I seldom have met a bread I didn’t like! I have great memories of the pillowy Naan at an Indian restaurant in Kansas, so I wanted to try making a version that would work for Brody. I read some recipes online for Naan, and decided on a recipe and method that would work for the reception night. Have you heard the saying, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”? That saying was true for me in this case. I chose to bake the Naan instead of using a pan or griddle since I wanted to sit with our guests at the table for the reception and not be in the kitchen, preparing the next course. Sometimes, my very first attempt at a recipe turns out marvelously, and I was so thankful that this was the case for the Naan experiment, since I wanted to serve it to the bride and groom and our guests that night! I followed the technique described in A Recipe for Survival to convert the recipes I found for Naan on the internet into a Brody-safe version, and everyone loved the taste and texture of the result. We have enjoyed the Naan and lentils several times since; here is a photo from a recent day:
For the desserts, we served Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd and raspberries and Brenda’s Birthday Brownies with ice cream. In September last year, I began developing the brownie recipe in honor of my friend, Brenda…. and Brody has since perfected the recipe! Now that Brody is so much healthier than our dark days in 2009 and 2010, he takes an active role in improving the recipes I start. Additionally, I’m so thankful for his partnership in the daily food preparation.
I enjoyed developing a gluten-free Angel Food Cake for this reception by converting a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The Lemon Curd was a natural partner to the cake since I designed the curd recipe to use up all the egg yolks left over from separating the egg whites for the cake. Below is a picture of the cake from another day. Tea from my friends in Sri Lanka rounded out the dessert phase of our meal.
Finally, the reception gave me an excuse to freeze ice cubes containing raspberries and mint leaves for the lemonade. 🙂
If you are still struggling to find food that works for your loved one, I hope you are encouraged by our experience…. in time, and with practice, you’ll not only find foods for daily survival, you’ll find ways to thrive and really enjoy life again… you’ll just be living in a different world than you used to live in!