By Ruth Lanton
Yesterday we went to visit some relatives. An aunt from Baltimore came to visit another aunt in NYC. Her decision to come up was made at the last minute, leaving us very little time to work out the details before the visit itself. It’s a 50 minute drive to the NYC aunt’s home, and it’s been a hectic week already with school coming up.
Sunday morning, we had breakfast then got on the road. When we arrived, we started to discuss lunch plans. There are several kosher restaurants in the area, but it’s hard to find safe foods for me in restaurants. My kids are healthy enough to have the occasional “cheat meal” but I can get very sick from even trace amounts of wheat, corn, or potato. I didn’t relish the thought of being run down and out of sorts for the next several weeks from one meal out.
We finally decided to go to her co-op and do some grocery shopping instead. Going shopping with 7 people was rather chaotic, but we put together a nice meal. We bought two HUGE heads of lettuce, scallions, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, avocado, baby carrots, hummus, avocado, canned tuna, lemons, cottage cheese, and rice cakes. We came home and started making a salad, with hummus and baby carrots put out for an appetizer. Salad dressing was made with fresh lemon juice plus olive oil and salt that she already had in the house. We made a tuna salad with the canned tuna plus lemon juice and mayonnaise she already had. She sliced the avocado and put it out on its own plate.
Unlike many other social meals I’ve experienced in the past few years, I walked away from the table completely satisfied. I didn’t get sick from the meal because there wasn’t anything in the meal that was bad for me, except for the cherry tomatoes that I easily avoided. All in all, it was a very pleasant family get-together. Not only did I enjoy time with my relatives, but I didn’t even have to worry about getting sick from the food I ate or getting sick from not eating enough.
Before leaving, I told my hostess that we need to do this more often, and that next time, we should prepare the exact same meal- only she should do the food shopping before we get there!
Image: Carl Larsson, ‘Around the Lamp at Evening’ (1900)