Real Life

“If you would stop feeding him like this, he would go ahead and die.”

“It’s time for my breakfast Mom.”IMG_7115

“What’s for lunch mom?”

“I’m ready for my dinner Mom.”

“Mom, I’m hungry.”

Is this not the typical cry of any male child from toddler on…?

Yesterday’s lunch was delicious; I thought why not share this one. Jerk Wings and a Cucumber salad… a quickie lunch.

Coming off the heels of a few tough days, I lost my composure last evening when my oldest son called to say, “Mom, I like what you’re doing with your blog.” Thank you, Thank you… I am quite excited about my new adventure and his confirmation. Then he added, “You need to write more about Fredrick.” It is not clear to me yet what happened but I vehemently disagreed with him explaining, I need to have something happening in my life without involving your brother. Where did that come from?

Perhaps, too much jerk on the chicken… (Seasoning to taste is important…)

Living life with cerebral palsy, my younger son is non-ambulatory, has chronic pulmonary disease, epilepsy and because of Frontal Lobe Disorder he has an unbelievable conduct disorder… Tolerable only because he masks many of his behaviors with the gift of humor… Can you imagine 25 years of being a caregiver and having nothing but loving thoughts? Last night was one of those “not-so-loving thought” moments. There was a time I would feel guilty when my need to breathe for just me became lost in the overwhelming demands of this precious child, now man-child. It does not seem fair to neither him nor me or our family, but it is life happening.

One afternoon during a visit with one of his many sub-specialists, a consulting physician reading through my son’s nutrition notes asserted, “If you would stop feeding him like this, he would go ahead and die.” (Terrible? Not so much to me.) There was no offense taken nor anger from me because this same physician’s previous participation in my son’s health management during acute illnesses was stellar; I knew his heart towards both of us. Whenever out paths cross, he takes my hand and apologizes profusely for the actions of his colleagues who chose heroic actions at the birth of an extremely premature fetus… “They were so wrong to do this to you and little Freddie.” Therefore, my response was simply, I am not trying to kill him… and we laughed. We laughed together. My commitment from day one was and remains quality of care and life for my son.

During his teen years, we endeavored to dine out with him and it became far too stressful. Even after making a reservation to visit my favorite local restaurant during the quiet time between lunch and dinner, it was just too much. Finally, I decided he could just as easily enjoy restaurant quality meals served at home and with the added benefit of organic food.

So, all is well in our Tiny Kitchen serving up Great Taste within the realm of a Big Heart.

Jerk Chicken Wings (one of his favorites)

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Chicken wings (separate as you prefer)…

½ onion (sliced in half-moons)

4-6 garlic cloves (smashed)

1-2 tsp. freshly grated ginger

Zest of one orange

¼ cup olive oil

1 or 2 bay leaves

1-2 swirls of honey (about a tablespoon if you don’t store honey in a honey pot)

Jerk seasoning:   Salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, allspice, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, thyme, oregano, freshly grated nutmeg, ground cloves. … You can finely chop a teaspoon of a Scotch Bonnet pepper for a Jamaican Jerk… However, do everything to your taste… This pepper is hot!!!

Salt and pepper (use freshly ground if available) chicken and toss with fresh and wet ingredients. Set aside. Mix all dry ingredients to your taste… I start with a teaspoon of each… except for nutmeg… I use ½ tsp.). Taste your dry ingredient mix for your desired taste. Scatter over chicken to coat (I wear gloves and massage all ingredients into chicken). Arrange in roasting pan. Cook in a preheated 400°F oven… Roast 45-50 minutes for crispy wings. One-half hour into roasting, if you want… add your barbecue sauce. (Shake pan to make sure your wings are not sticking.)

(Note, I do not add brown sugar to my jerk seasoning because we count carbohydrates to maintain healthy glucose levels for my son.)

Cucumber Salad

Sliced cucumbers, Roma Tomatoes and Red Onions … All organic.

Toss with a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and a swirl of honey. Lightly salt.

Plate and Eat… Bon Appétit  

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