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Christmas came together after all

After the various disruptions to family life in the last 2 weeks (death and funeral of a cousin, medical problems for niece), we've managed to pull Christmas together pretty much as we'd have liked to have it. We'd been talking about giving the adults' presents on Epiphany, if necessary. But the shopping got done (thank heavens for online stores, esp. Amazon), the menu has been planned and adjusted for diabetic concerns, and I'm just waiting on the prime rib to get to temperature before we start the last-minute dinner prep.

The nephew (age 6) is thrilled: he got lots of huge boxes, bigger than his sisters and more of 'em, mostly toys like Playmobile stuff. Much is dragon/castle/knight themed, as his room now has a dragon painted on the wall. Younger niece is buried in her Gamecube (I think it's a Gamecube--some variety of handheld game box). Older niece has the "iPod grin"--there was a iPod nano in her stocking. Big Christmas this year. Adults, having made extensive use of Amazon wish lists, have Good Stuff, too.

The dinner menu is prime rib, sauteed mushrooms, scalloped potatoes, squash-cheese casserole, green beans, broccoli with buttered almond topping, and whole-wheat angel biscuits. We'll save the dessert for tonight, which will be strawberry squares made with Splenda Blend instead of sugar. Oh, and the dog (next door) and my cats are happy--they get the dried beef that's trimmed off the rib roast after it dry-aged in the fridge all week.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
Merry Christmas to you!

Nancy, it caught my eye, your mentioning your niece's recent diagnosis of diabetes and the adjustments you made to the Christmas dinner menu to accommodate her.

When the SunSpouse was diagnosed with Type-II a few months ago, I went hunting for recipe books to help me learn to cook what he needed to eat, and also to get a feel for adapting favorite foods to the diabetic diet limitations. One "hit" and several "misses" later, I offer the by-far-best I found: The Complete Step-by-Step Diabetic Cookbook, published by Oxmoor House, ISBN: 0-8487-1431-8. Its only drawback is that it was written before Splenda sugar substitute was available, but that is actually quite easy to adjust for.

We've had success with a combination approach, both learning entirely new recipes and adapting familiar old favorites. A bit of a struggle at first, it's now become much more routine, nearly second-nature... as it will, in time, for your niece and those around her. Please let her and her mother know that I send a prayer, and encouragement, for their success!
Dec. 27th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement, and for the cookbook recommendation--I've just ordered one from ABEbooks. I see that there's an updated version coming this spring, too.

I've had one other cookbook recommendation from a friend at work, one that looks to be a different focus. It's "The Calculating Cook: A Gourmet Cookbook for Diabetics" by Jeanne Jones. Out-of-print, but there are lots of used copies out there. The one I ordered hasn't gotten here yet so I can't give you a personal report on it yet.
Dec. 27th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
Ahhh. More gooder. Thanks for the alert on the coming updated Oxmoor House book. I shall pounce upon it with great glee, when the time comes.

The thing I found most annoying and least useful in the two other cookbooks I bought was their attempt to "simplify" the standard ADA & Natl Institutes of Health diabetic Exchange Lists. Which lists are the soul of simplicity, fer pity's sake! Thus, by trying to create their own new!improved!simpler! methods, all these other cookbooks really accomplished was to foster a gimmick, not anything useful. Disappointing. I fervently hope that Oxmoor sticks to their plain, straight-forward, trust the cook to have a working brain, thanks, nutritional analysis method. Sheesh. Just gimme the numbers; honest, I can do the third-grade math from there. Really. *schnort*

As Type-II, we probably don't have to be as obsessively precise in our measurements as a Type-I does, except in the initial phase of getting stabilized (where your niece is doubtless still at in the learning curve). Then you move into discovering what all the numbers, measurements and readings actually mean, how all the puzzle pieces and cause-and-effects fit together. And finally, you achieve a sense of "routine maintenance" about the whole thing--gradually it comes, but it does come, please be reassured.

Good luck!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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