So, we have got to address this first and foremost.
Does eating certain food make life richer?
My grandmother ALWAYS fixed breakfast casserole when I was at her house. That breakfast casserole gives me the warmest memories of holidays, of her care and knowledge of what we liked, of sitting in her kitchen waiting patiently as it finished in the oven. That breakfast casserole is probably one of my favorite meals and a fond memory of a strong and beautiful woman in my life.
However, it doesn't fit in with my current food values. All of those memories gone, right? Nope.
I get that certain foods and drinks remind us of powerful love. Celebrations shared with the people we care about.
It is a commonality we share. Eating.
It is the easiest of activities for most, so a general go to for socializing. It prolongs togetherness. It is fulfilling in its predictability.
FOOD IS POWERFUL, but at a cost if we don't address quality. (NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER ARE NOT GROUNDS FOR TWO MONTHS OF EATING WHATEVER IS PUT IN FRONT OF YOU.)
Replacement of the HABIT (we have already gone over this) is what you need to do. We aren't changing the cue (celebration) or the reward (happy feels with friends and love). The type of food can be adjusted and surprisingly will not burden the outcome of your level of celebration. It might initially alter it, but the creation of a new memory will replace the difficulty.
So how do you do this??
I would like to introduce you to GOOGLE.
Yes, shocking, I know.
You can pretty much find any recipe in a paleo or Whole30 form.
You simply google the name of the original recipe and put "paleo" at the end. (Hark!)
That is the easy part.
Now I know what you are thinking..."It doesn't taste or look or blah like Grandma's."
It probably won't! However, if you are known for this recipe, I guarantee you weren't gifted with the skill of that recipe. You learned how to make it...so you are going to have to...
Yes. Cooking is a skill.
While you practice, read the comments in the recipe to see where people slipped up, what they did differently, or if it tasted like crap.
There is always more than one way to cook something.
Once you have replaced the signature dish, now you get to spin it as a new memory.
1.) Create an Evolution of a Recipe Card. I cherish recipe cards, but how cool would it be to see the history of the recipe? Times and ingredient sources are a changing! Document meaningfully.
2.) Your first go around, don't tell anyone you changed it. Wait for feedback and then grab pictures of the reactions. It might be surprise or disgust! The new memory will be meaningful, Mr. or Ms. Crocker.
3.) Write a thank you note to the person who made the dish originally (alive or passed) and let them know how important this food was to you and why you are changing it. The memory is powerful and should be carried on, just a tad differently. Attach it to the old and new recipe cards.
If these exercises don't make fun memories, then perhaps you need a mindset change ;)
Yes. scarcity can cause creativity in the best way.
So you might be curious about my Grandma's Breakfast Casserole? My mama makes it for my girls every time she seems them. It fits in with our food values now, tastes delicious, and makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I will absolutely make it for my children's family for holidays and special occasions whatever their food choices are. I look forward to nurturing my family with what makes them thrive...
And I will think of my Grandmother every time I do it, even if it is gluten free now.
Does eating certain foods make life richer? Sure. But the richness isn't from bags of ingredients used to create taste. The ingredients of that warm feeling comes from the caring hands of the people who make the food.
Choose your memories, friends.
Erin and Rod