May 15, 2008

Mother’s Day…and a Gluten Free Stuffing Idea

This is a few days late, but I’ve been busy and things needed to swish around in my head for a few days. Like many people I know in this crazy-busy world I had a non-traditional Mother’s Day. My mother lives in Michigan and I live in New York, she was here a few weeks ago to visit right before my great aunt passed away, so I got to spend a little time with her.

For the past 8 years since I moved away from home I’ve always schemed with my father to make sure that she has flowers, and I send her small gifts and I always call. This year, as I was on my phone getting the news about my aunt I saw that Barnes & Noble was going to have a book signing for Jimmy Carter’s new book that night. I waited almost two hours in the almost rain and was able to get her a signed copy of A Remarkable Mother and managed to get it to her in time for Mother’s Day.

But that’s not the end of it. This is the first Mother’s Day I’ve spent living with my boyfriend and his family and his mother is so sweet to me. We don’t speak the same language, but we care very much for each other. When we were first introduced it was hard going, but I’ve developed a real soft spot for her, and she takes care of me. Since she’s the ‘mother’ I live with I wanted to make sure she had a special day too.

My boyfriend’s family are not big into celebrations or gift giving, they come from an impoverished background in South America, family time and actions are much more valuable currency in this house. The family usually takes her out to dinner on Mother’s Day, but this year my boyfriend thought she’d appreciate a home cooked meal more. When he asked her, she requested that I make a roast turkey.

The family had their first ever, after 13+ years in America, traditional Thanksgiving dinner last year and loved it. Of course I made all the ‘traditional’ fixings gluten free; turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. They liked it so much that I made another turkey for New Year’s Day. Since no one ate very much of my cornbread stuffing, despite saying they liked it, I tried to think of something to put inside the turkey to keep it moist. Something that they would eat, and if they didn’t, something I would be happy to eat a lot of.

Sometimes ideas rattle around in your head, waiting for the right time to emerge. Apparently, some of my post-Thanksgiving ideas came to fruition now, in the spring, for Mother’s Day. This is by no means a spring meal, but what I cam up with was this: 1 large sweet potato, 2 gala apples, 1 white onion, 1 Tbsp maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. I chopped up the apples and sweet potato and the onions, tossed it in the maple syrup and cinnamon and stuffed the turkey with this.

What I ended up with was a deliciously moist turkey, with dessert right inside. (unfortunately, everyone was so hungry I wasn't given the opportunity to take any pictures) It was delicious and again, everybody loved it. Two hours after we ate I went back into the kitchen I found his mother sitting at the table eating all the little bits of meat off the bones, completely happy. It was so wonderful to see her have the day off from taking care of her husband and sons (and me) and really enjoy the turkey I made for her.

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