I survived enormous obstacles and not one of them was an excuse to abandon my mission! I used to anchor myself to my kitchen for the convenience of feeding myself special foods while on a cleanse. It is pretty convenient as no prepared meal that can be purchased is up to standards. This week, this critical week, I did some traveling to see my daughter for four days and three nights.
I travel with a cooler of course and felt pretty well prepared even though I was in a rush out the door. After an hour of driving when I put the visor down and peeked in the little mirror, my cheeks were swelling up and my skin was turning blotchy. This was not good because I had already decided to eat that soup anyway! Of all the things! We’ve been so careful and dedicated.. am I really this sensitive?
Let me explain.
I have a busy and fairly hectic household right now. As of today, we are all doing what I like to call the GAPS program (the word diet makes me think it is something I do not want to do). As we cook nearly constantly we have all starting pitching in and in the rush of the morning, the rectangular plastic chicken drip catcher ended up in the stock and cooked for three to four hours. This was the very stock I was going to take on my trip leaving some for the house so they would be ahead of the curve as well. When we realized what had happened, we called New Seasons where we purchased our bird and asked if it was safe to eat the stock. They said no. This was sad, but no big deal overall. We tossed it out, chicken and all. I packed up two quarts of soup some ghee and homemade sour cream and I was on my way. Then I remembered something.. Earlier that morning while (not so surprisingly) I was making soup, I added just a couple of ladle-fulls of the contaminated stock. Hmmmm. What to do.. What could those chicken diaper pads be made out of anyway? Plastic, cellulose fiber and… yeah, those things are not on the diet. I made the clear decision to eat the soup anyway. After all, it was the most delicious soup I had made yet! I took grass-fed hamburger, meat stock, shallots, carrot and red bell-pepper and conjured up the flavor of spaghetti sauce. (I had to make it again for lunch today because I was looking forward to it so much!). This was one half of the nutrients I brought for my entire journey!
What it means when my face swells is that I am reacting to something I ate. I tossed the soup down my daughter’s garbage disposal as soon as I arrived. Morgan is a GAPS girl herself so she offered to give me her stock. I was so relieved I almost couldn’t believe it and good thing because unbenounced to her, the crock pot was turned off all night with the stock in it. I was left with some very thin (but tasty) red bell-pepper soup and a broken heart. I made it through the first night using half the soup and bought a raw, pasture raised chicken leg at the Whole Foods Market. I stayed with a friend and the chicken leg stayed with my daughter. In the morning, she had it boiling for me before I was out of bed and it was ready by the time I got to her house. Now that I am introducing the magical ingredients of stage two, I shredded the meat, added the homemade sour cream, simmered some shallot in the stock, drizzled a bit of raw honey and within minutes I was eating chicken salad. I even got to add basil! I bottled the rest of the stock in my now empty mason jar and put it in my cooler.
I forgot to mention earlier that I also threw a raw, frozen, grass-fed london broil in the cooler before I left the house. I thought it might come in handy or I could gift it to my daughter. I am so lucky to have a freezer full from a friend who raises ducks, cows and goats, but I digress.. In the most beautiful unfolding of friendship reconnection, we stopped by a friends on the fly and prepared dinner, (the easiest way for me to eat at someone else’s house while cleansing). Miracle of all miracles, she had some nourishing bone broth in her crock and she is not even doing GAPS! Two delicious culinary discoveries were made that evening. We cooked a butternut squash cubed in her aromatic beef stock and a bit of Ghee. We later decided to mash it so there was too much liquid. I poured the excess into mugs and it was undeniably and sweetly flavor enhanced. We were all shocked at the yummyness and I will now do this on purpose every time. Next surprise was born of my salad replacement. I made a beautiful salad with tiny red and yellow tomatoes, red onion, yellow bell-pepper and a coriander, cider vinegar vinnagrette. I am not to the raw food stage of the program so for me, I simmered some tomato and spinach in the beef stock. The run off liquid was also amazing! the spinach flavor and sweet note from the tomato. I am going to focus on stock flavor enhancements on my “Stock Options” page.
The next morning I had some left overs and a cup of stock before hitting the road. Then my cousin caught wind that I was in town and wanted me to stay over before heading back north. For dinner I reduced the second half of the red bell pepper soup and simmered it with some of the london broil. It made it more like steak and sauce which was a nice change from soup. There was a part of me that could not believe I was away from home this long and adding another day! I don’t think I will ever leave the house this unprepared intentionally, but it worked out so swimmingly. I was visiting a town that was fairly progressive, however, I still feel blessed.
Here is a shot of my daughter’s tattoo, the main reason for the trip.