Friday, December 9, 2011

Soy Free Party Food

Tis the season for parties. And my husband and I have actually been invited to a small gathering at the home of one of my co-workers. It's a bit of a potluck with each guest bringing an hors d'oeuvre, dip or some other nibble. He has warned me that when they were purchasing their party foods, they forgot about The Soy Thing."You might want to bring something that you know is safe for you," he said, "I don't know what others are bringing."

Now, I'm not a completely unreasonable person most of the time. At least, I hope not. With family and very close friends, I do expect a modicum of respect and caring and thus my rant over the Thanksgiving meal; but I do understand that The Soy Thing can be overwhelming and downright annoying for regular people. Our office luncheon this year is being catered at $12 a plate. I did inquire as to what was being served and just told my boss and the co-worker coordinating it that while my husband (who is a volunteer at my office) will have no problem with this meal, I'll pack my own. I even offered to pay for my plate to make the budget come out right. I think they were surprised, but did not argue with me over much about it. And they did not accept my offer to pay for something I can't eat.

But here is a co-worker I actually like and who actually likes me, inviting my husband and I over for a cup of cheer and a few nibbles. He was concerned enough to warn me and that is good enough for me.

So, what shall I bring?

I'm inclined to keep it simple and go for a tray of peeled shrimp with a cocktail sauce made from fermented catsup (see page 104 in Nurturing Traditions). Note: I think she spells catsup incorrectly, but I could be the one incorrect on this.

I have some thinly sliced Wild Alaskan Salmon in my freezer. I hope to try this recipe in the future to make my own lox. I'm going to pull out a package of that and let it thaw. Then I'll take some of my yogurt cream cheese (ironically, the stuff left over from making whey) (page 87 in Nurturing Traditions), mix it with some capers, minced organic green onion and a little garlic and cumin, salt and paper. This mix will be smeared over the salmon. The salmon gets rolled up and then sliced into "wafers" or "pin wheels" and served with a little chopped parsley from my garden sprinkled over it. Red, green and white: I can't get more into the holiday spirit than that!

If I can get a good deal when I go to the fish market for the shrimp, I may also pick up a pint of fresh, local oysters and then swing by the store and get some Smithfield Bacon. Now, I do know that Smithfield is generally associated with the very evil people of big ag, and bacon with nitrates is not something I normally consume. But bacon wrapped oysters baked and sprinkled with a tiny bit of Old Bay, is just a stunningly decadent treat once a year.

It's kind of like Christmas cookies. I'm still trying to get my brain wrapped about how I will handle that dietary disaster. The Chocolate Cherry Truffles I shared here, are one idea. And I like the Sugar Plum recipe I snagged from Nourished Kitchen. I'm pretty sure I can adapt Snickerdoodles to a sprouted wheat and real butter and use organic sugars. But what is the NT answer to the white flour, white sugar, rolled and cookie cutter with colored icing? I mean, these things are memory makers for our family and my boys still talk about decorating cookies with me every year. I want a couple of cookies that I will be able to make with my future grand children that will hold the same magic for them.

Any ideas?

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