Many years ago FabGrandpa and I used to hang out with a bunch of people who got together two or three times a week for pot luck suppers. It was at a different person’s home each time. Every family that came brought a dish to share, and whose ever house it was at cooked the meat, whether it was weiners on the grill, a pot roast, fried chicken, or whatever.
It was in the days before I found out I had to eat gluten free, so the things I made and took to share were always full of gluten. I made this one squash casserole that I had been making for years, the one that I had adjusted the original recipe to make it MINE. The one I used to make and tell my children it was pie, and they could have some if they ate their dinner. The one that I took to family reunions and other family get togethers, and people would sidle up to me and say, “Karen, that squash casserole is better than the ones your mother makes. How do you make them?” And I would always tell them the ingredients that I use to make it. And the next time I saw them, they would say “Karen, I made my husband a squash casserole using your recipe and he didn’t like it. What am I doing wrong?”
The conversation would continue, with me asking questions like “did you cook the squash with butter?” And they would say, “Yes, I did.” And I would ask “What brand of butter did you use?” and they would say “Country Crock” or “Parkay” or whatever else brand of margarine that they had used. And then I would ask “Did you use club crackers?” and they would say “Yes, I did” and I would ask “What brand of club crackers did you use?” and they would say, “Well, I used saltines.”
And then I would tell them, if you didn’t use real butter, and you didn’t use real club crackers, then your finished casserole will not ever taste like mine and your husband will never like it. And they don’t get it.
So, what I am trying to say here, is that if you ask ME for MY recipe, and you don’t follow it to the letter, then what YOU end up with will never be the same as what I made. Get it?
And so now that I have got that out of my system, I have to say that whenever a recipe is given out, here or anywhere else, you can certainly make substitutions for any and all of the indgredients. Just don’t expect what you make to be the same as what the original person made.
What made me think of this today is that FabGrandpa and I have been talking about changing to a mostly vegetarian diet. This discussion has come about because we watched a documentary on TV last night about healing your body through changing your diet.
As we discuss this between us, we have talked about whether or not we want to continue to eat chicken, fish and seafood, cheese, and eggs as a part of our new eating plan. And this is important to talk about. Because tonight for dinner we had Black Bean Nachos. We really enjoy this particular combination of foods. But, if we decide to cut the cheese (hahahaha, I said cut the cheese!) out of our diet, we could no longer have Black Bean Nachos. We would have to substitute something for the cheese. And we probably wouldn’t like it as well as we like cheese.
So, if you have changed your diet as part of a new eating plan, to improve your health, what substitutions have you made? What things did you cut out? Do you like your new way of eating? Do you feel better now that you have made the changes?
I’ll go first: I cut gluten out of my diet in April of 2007. I have substituted rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, buckwheat flour, and sorghum flour for the wheat products I used to use. I cut out everything that is made with wheat, rye, and barley. I do like my new way of eating. It took a while to get used to it, but since I feel so much better than I used to, it is easier to eat the things I need to eat instead of the old things I used to eat.
So, there it is. An informal survey of the peeps who read my blog. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions you may have as we work out this new eating plan.