Back in October I was given the opportunity to help a fellow food lover break free from a list of food restrictions that her wonderful husband Carl was forced to follow in order to stay out of the hospital. When this opportunity first presented itself, I didn't know this person personally as she was a friend of a friend. I also didn't know where to begin, faced with a list of so many things that were off limits. It was then that I decided to reach out to my local blogger friends and ask them to pool their creative talents to come up with a handful of recipes that would give this fellow food lover a chance to bring back the passion to her table. I had full faith in my local food bloggers for they have big hearts and creative souls when it comes to food. As I expected, the social food community came through and within days I was able to hand over a handful of recipes. (To read more click here)
Update: I traded notes with Catherine (our lady in handcuffs) via e-mail the other day to check-in and see how she and Carl were doing. In Her words "Carl is holding his own and I'm holding my breath. He had one more serious scrape with the kidneys in December and then things seem to have settled down. I have tried all the recipes we were given and loved them. And I continue to try to find new ways to feed him foods that taste good and adhere to his dietary restrictions. I've found that Whole Foods is one of my best allies, although there's a good reason it's called 'Whole Paycheck.' Thanks again for all you did for us."
When I asked if she had any other requests that we could possibly help her with she added this note... "If anybody has suggestions on dairy substitutes that are not soy or nut based, I welcome them. One other challenge we have is eating out. We have found that the places that provide sodium and fat content are easiest to navigate; the best place, so far, is Mimi's. They have a delicious fish dish that is 300 mg of sodium, which is great. If anybody has suggestions for their favorite chains, please let me know that too. I know that's not quite your realm, but if I cooked every day, I'd be an insane person."
She also told me this little story... "Christmas dinner was a real challenge. My mother, who just turned 90, has low sodium and actually needs more salt; he can have no salt. She's Irish and wants potatoes with every meal; he can't have them. She thinks bread is the foundation of every meal; he can have bread but in limited amounts. She is underweight and needs fats and sugar; he can't have those things and on and on! But it all worked out!"
This little story about Christmas dinner really brought inspiration to me. Amidst all of her stress, Catherine was able to bring everything together for her family and make it a joyous dinner. Hats off to you Catherine because in the long run, it's not always what you sit down to dinner with but whom you sit down with! I'm jus' sayin'!
Feel free to add your comments so that Catherine may be able to read them. I personally would like to thank the following bloggers who contributed to this challenge and encourage you to check out their blogs which are full of amazing stories, recipes and ideas.