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Ah, family.  I do love to have family dinners, but as we all get older and live farther apart it gets harder and harder to just go to Costco and buy a couple of rotisserie chickens, a bag of salad of some kind, a huge bag of tortilla chips and salsa and call it a day.

Let’s face it, our family’s grow, they shrink, they grow AND everyone has at least one (most of us have more)member who has some kind of a food intolerance!

Our family?  Celiac disease, dairy allergy and intolerances, diabetics, high blood pressure and kidney issues, as well as diverticulitis, all seem to overlap and make putting a meal on the table some kind of “trick“.

In a couple of weeks our OC family will be here to have a bit of a celebration.  Our member with extreme celiac’s won’t be able to come but we still have all the other issues.

Last trip-I checked with Costco and found out that by tried and true standby protein was made with a seasoning that had gluten!  Not a problem-just bought a lot of “quarters” and grilled them without anything on them.

This meant it was “safe” for our members on a salt-free diet.  But while it was safe to serve tortilla chips and salsa for part of the family, the other half couldn’t touch it.  Bought and prepared white rice (brown rice was not allowed) and made it with literally nothing but water and a bit of EVOO.

While our honoree has picked out a scrumptious menu of chicken, True Food Kale salad, noodle kugel and cheesecake-I will also have to make an added set of side dishes of iceberg lettuce with a few veggies if they want and yes, the plain rice.

I’m fine with no dessert since everyone else will enjoy the cheesecake!  I’ll have a “toppings” bar of sugar free chocolate sauce, cool whip/whipped cream and if they look good-berries for those who are allowed to have it.

The other meals?  I’ll just wing it.  The real meaning of any family meal is just that we can all sit down together and enjoy a few days of chatting.  It doesn’t really matter what’s served, just who we‘re serving it too.

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