Rosh Hashona is usually a time for families to get together. But my oldest, recently married daughter was going away upstate for the holiday, where the sleep away camp she used to attend is hosting a free event for families and alumni of the camp. I’ve never attended because I don’t think they can safely feed me there, plus it’s a LOT of walking around, just to get from where people sleep to where the food is served. It’s not exactly a handicapped-friendly facility. My younger daughter decided to join her sister, brother-in-law, plus a few other friends and go as well.
Jack had the great idea to invite our friends from Ohio to join us for the holiday, but they weren’t able to make it. Nor was I REALLY sure I was up to hosting a whole family right now, since we’re still not 100% unpacked or settled in. And then, the thought of having just the two of us for holiday meals was depressing especially since my ankle STILL isn’t healed, and I’m not sure I’m up for the walk to shul.
For most of my adult life, I haven’t had any extended family members I could stay by. I need somebody who observes the Shabbos and Yom Tov rules the way I do, keep kosher, and understand my dietary needs. So either I’m hosting or I’m home alone, and either way I’m cooking.
But that all changed when my daughter got married in June. Her husband is on a gluten-free diet, as are his parents. I’m not sure how his brother and sister are eating now that one’s married and one’s in Israel for school, but they ate gluten-free at their parents’ home. And once you’re cooking gluten-free, it’s not that hard to accommodate other dietary restrictions, such as no potato or corn.
So, for the first time since I was a teenager, I stayed with family for the holidays. I didn’t have to cook! They borrowed a wheelchair and pushed me to shul! The experience was simply amazing, and relaxing.
I didn’t eat “perfectly” while I was there. I didn’t have the energy to deal with bringing rice challah, so I ate the gluten-free oat challah they provided. I ate a LOT of oat flour products those two days! I also had this absolutely delicious low-carb coconut-milk ice cream. I felt good eating it, but I know that coconut milk is an avoid, the monk fruit extract is “not rated”, and it also contained erythritol which may be corn-based.
Something I ate didn’t agree with me. I’ve been tired and moody for the past few days, since coming home. My gut feeling is that it was the oat flour, and not the ice cream, but I can’t be 100% certain. I definitely plan to be more careful for the rest of the holiday season.