When @sift666 and I go to family gatherings, we need to take our own food or go hungry!
In 10 days time it will be officially summer here in New Zealand and we haven’t had spring yet! It was a mild winter, followed by a shocking spring. But after more than a week of torrential rain, earthquakes and then storms, today was a beautiful almost-summer’s day. We took the bus out to my brother’s place in Lower Hutt for a family get together.
My other brother, who lives in Dubai, is in NZ for a couple of weeks. My sister drove down from Dannevirke (3 hours drive away) and my parents came down from Masterton (about an hour and a half), and we sat out in the sun laxing out.
Having been various different versions of gluten free / starch free / low sugar or Paleo over the past 20 years, we know that going to my family means platefuls of food that we can’t eat. Today Mum brought a roast leg of lamb, so we could have some of that, yay. Other options included sausages (gluten), bread rolls (gluten) with some kind of faux dairy spread (trans fats), tomato sauce (sugar), little pies (gluten), peanut butter and chocolate slice (gluten, sugar), pikelets (gluten, sugar), jam (sugar), whipped cream (but with icing sugar in it).
Honestly, we wish we didn’t have to be such fussy %^&*s. If I could eat all that stuff every once in a while, and get away with it, I would. But we know what we feel like afterwards if we eat those things, and it’s not good.
We usually take a few special treats for @sift666, as he has to be even more fussy than me, but we also like to take something we can share. Today I decided on cheese and pineapple sticks, with a twist.
Now, can somebody tell me, is this a NZ thing? Or is it common elsewhere? You just cut a block of cheddar cheese into squares, drain a can of pineapple chunks, and stick one of each on a toothpick. Lather, rinse, repeat, till you have a plateful. Voila – a plateful of finger food for a “pot luck” gathering.
The twist? Other ingredients. I baked up a pack of pork and herb sausages, and cut them into chunks. I peeled a small Lebanese cucumber and sliced it up. I opened a bag of smoked salmon. Now I have 5 things to mix and match.
Photo by @kiwideb; sorry it’s a bit crap
The combinations were:
• Cheese & pineapple
• Cheese & cucumber (well, there would have been, but I ran out of cucumber)
• Sausage & cheese
• Sausage & pineapple
• Sausage & cucumber
• Salmon & cucumber
• Salmon & cheese
This was just what we had to hand. But you can make any kind of antipasto collection into a toothpick array. Think of salami, different cheeses, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, slices of capsicum, marinated mushrooms, grapes. I know it doesn’t look as fancy as a plate of antipasto, but it keeps people’s fingers clean. I like a bit of protein and a bit of fruit or veg. But you can do all protein, or all fruit and veg. The possibilities are endless.
After we laid out our selection on one of my sister in law’s serving plates, @sift666 whipped out his camera. My sis-in-law was gobsmacked. “Why are you taking a photo?” “I’m going to do a recipe post.” “You’re kidding.” “No, really, I am.” “But what’s the recipe?” “Well, it’s not really a recipe, as such…”
I know it’s dead simple. I know you all know how to do this already. But I also know that sometimes your mind (my mind) is a blank, and a little suggestion from someone else is what you need to set the creative processes going.
Frankly, after the various challenges of the last week and a half, I’m surprised I could think of anything. And you’re probably all just relieved that I’ve stopped going on about earthquakes!
Thanks for reading
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Some of my previous posts:
RECIPES AND KITCHEN TIPS: Choc Blackcurrant Smoothie ~ Paleo Cottage Pie ~ Feijoa Pear Smoothie ~ Grain free, dairy free Pumpkin & Cashew Bread ~ Tip for storing ginger & tumeric ~ Grain Free Banana Cashew muffins ~ Warming winter soup ~ Healthy Chocolate & Fudge ~ Jerky with vegetables ~ BREAKFAST ideas ~ Choco-mallow protein bars ~ Equipment for the real food kitchen ~ Carrot Almond bread ~ Grain free Fruit & Nut bar ~ For MORE RECIPES and my 15 step Whole Food cooking course, see my recipe website.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION: The wide variety of healthy diets out and what they have in common ~ The travels of Weston A Price and his discoveries about healthy diets ~ Good fats vs bad fats ~ DNA testing for better Health & Fitness ~ DNA testing part 2: How Well Do I Digest Carbs? ~ DNA testing Part 3: I can’t eat Carbs & How to Manage that ~ About the Gut & Psychology syndrome (GAPS) diet Part 1 ~ GAPS diet Part 2: Foods we can’t have ~ GAPS diet Part 3: Foods we CAN have ~ GAPS diet Part 4: What if I can’t eat some animal foods ~ Salicylate intolerances ~ Thoughts about Breast Health ~ I’ve got a cold & how to handle it ~ Sleep like a kitten Part 1 – 3 tips ~ Sleep Well Part 2 – What’s your sleeping style? ~ Sleep Well Part 3 – Resetting your body clock