June 25, 2011 § 7 Comments
As it turns out, there are several things that a strict diet of no added sugar cannot guarantee. It won’t guarantee you won’t get poison ivy on your neck. It won’t guarantee you won’t suffer a wracking coal miner’s cough so alarming that all activity in public places ceases until it subsides. And it won’t guarantee you won’t have to put down your nineteen year old kitty cat.
That’s been my week, how about you? As far as I can tell, we’ve had a good week and a half of summer vacation, and already it’s kicking our butts. My eleven year old has a bruise the size of a pear and the color of an eggplant on her upper thigh and a nasty looking puffy ankle from some Lord-of-the-Flies-style shenanigans at a friend’s potluck the other night, and my six year old came home from that same event with an inexplicably puffy eye and, of course, more bug bites to add to our rather sophisticated collection. After a nice long hike another night we returned home to find a tick firmly attached to Greta’s ear, as well as a generous sprinkling of the aforementioned poison ivy- or is it poison parsnip?- across my entire neck. I look so festive that the fellow who mows our lawn actually took a step back when he noticed it.
Plus it’s been raining like the dickens, and this morning I made the incredibly difficult decision to put down our kitty who’s been with me since my last year of college. Yes- basically half my life has been spent in the company of this furry, orange little guy. Right now I’m waiting for the rain to stop so I can resume digging the hole in the backyard for him. Yeah, it’s been way too eventful around here.
With so many things going on- trips to the vet, running out of band-aids and topical Benadryl- it’s hard to focus on something like a Year of No Sugar. Suddenly, it all seems so… random. Pointless. In my sadness and anxiety about our cat, I’ve had virtually no appetite and absolutely no urge to cook. This week has been the week of using up all our convenience meals- that one frozen bagged pasta we can have, Annie’s mac and cheese, bagels.
At least I can report that I didn’t turn up at that potluck empty handed: I brought my dextrose Coconut Cake, courtesy Sweet Poison author David Gillespie’s recipe, which he developed with his wife Lizzie, who I fervently hope is writing a cookbook as we speak. This is the second time I’ve made this cake and I must say it can complete with any other coconut cake… It’s delicious. The kids, who had banded together and were roaming the drippy lawn and crowded living room like packs of wild dingos, discovered the cake about twenty minutes after I set it on the buffet and I’m delighted to say it disappeared forthwith. I actually had to jump in and hurriedly snag some to make sure my kids got dessert- since of course they wouldn’t be having any other sweet that might make an appearance at the table.
It’s hard at a potluck to know what items will truly be sucrose-free, heck, usually I can’t even tell what half the dishes are. So we just go with our instincts: avoiding all dressings, pita and sandwich breads, any deli meats, meat cooked with barbecue sauce, and so on. We ended up getting by just fine, getting our fill with fruit salad, olives, french bread and a lovely pasta salad made with garlic scapes by our hostess Eva that I had no choice but to go back for seconds of.
So, life is good. Life goes on. Someday, this wretched cough will truly subside. Someday, I won’t be so sad about losing my kitty. The bug bites will heal and maybe we’ll even stop picking at the scabs (no promises, though.) The chickens will keep laying eggs and the tomato plants will get bigger. If you’ll pardon me though, it has stopped raining now, so I better go finish digging that hole.