I like things to be “just so” and I’m a planner. I’d been planning for days so I’d be organized and all ready to go when it came time to entertain on Christmas Eve. My planning did pay off, but things were not “just so”.
Planning food for my family has become an interesting challenge for us. My dad is a celiac and can’t have gluten. My mom has allergies to dairy and soy. The gluten part has become easy. Even the dairy part isn’t too difficult. But soy is in a lot of stuff. (Stay tuned – I have a future post planned about soy.)
Anyway, I’d been scouring recipes to find a good balance between “regular” food and gluten-dairy-soy free food. I thought I had the perfect combination.
I decided not to make candy this year, even though I enjoyed doing it last year. Maybe next year. So, I went to Chocolate Storybook and bought some yummy stuff for those who could have dairy. Who can go wrong with Chocolate Storybook???
I made cookies on Saturday and a few other things on Sunday, including a couple of dairy/soy free sweets for my mom. Monday morning I got ham balls in the crockpot and finished up a few things. My plan then was to make the final recipes right before everyone was to arrive.
I’d been running around all day and finally made my way to the shower around 3:00. (Family was due to arrive at 5:30.) By the time I finished and was ready to get back to work, I started to feel funny.
I sat down for a while and was already thinking about what I could remove from the menu. I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish everything. I didn’t have full blown vertigo, but that “heavy head” feeling and I was definitely off balance.
I moved from the chair to the couch, and that’s when Tim knew things weren’t right. He was my life saver. He asked about the remaining food preparation and I told him to skip it. He said, “but what about your crab dip”? He knew it was a favorite. So, he jumped into action.
I had the recipe, the baking dish and most of the ingredients already laid out. Fortunately, he asked before he put the cheese on top, or else we might have had a sugar and orange peel mix on instead!!
I was able to direct him as much as possible from the couch. As 5:30 approached, he suggested I lay in bed, which I did. And I could hear everyone arriving.
At one point, Tim came in and said they were thinking about leaving. I said, “no, there’s too much food!!” I knew they could help him get everything in place. And I also suspected I wouldn’t be down long. Since I’ve been taking the medicine prescribed at Mayo, my episodes have been tolerable and short.
Getting everything ready
My planning paid off. I had plates, silverware, glassware all sitting in the bar area. I had all the serving dishes in place and labels for each one. The labels were mainly so everyone would know which foods were OK to eat but in this case, they helped Tim and my sister know what went where. I even color-coded them for the food allergies!! 🤓
When I got up around 5:50 (feeling much better), I checked the fridge and grabbed a few things that were missed. But overall, they’d done a great job of getting everything where it was supposed to go. No one would know things weren’t “just so”.
So, while in some ways our Christmas Eve was imperfect, it was perfect in all the ways that matter!! ❤
And lesson learned for next year – we will have less food!!
P.S. Bonus – tomorrow I will post two of the recipes I’ve promised. Unfortunately, due to my Christmas Eve issues, there will not be pictures. I’m bummed about that, but it’s the way it is. Nothing’s perfect after all!! 😉