Even though TECHNICALLY I’m defined as an “empty nester” because my son is on his own, married, and no longer resides at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, I don’t believe he’s ever further away than my heart.
I woke up on Saturday to read this email from my Angel Boy, which is the reason why I baked cookies early this morning and sent a package off to him while they were still warm:
Not ALL is perpetually enchanted in the life of Princess Rosebud; It’s still difficult to think about or talk about my son’s recent emergency life-saving surgery – I can’t even GO there to that place of “what if” — BUT the worst diid NOT occur and he’s making a full recovery.
Briefly, here’s what happened.
He had an obstruction due to a congenital defect we never knew he had, Meckel’s diverticulum. During his surgery, 24 inches of small intestines were removed because they were necrotic, along with 8 inches of ascending colon, his appendix, and lots of other small valves and little parts.
It all came about with no warning. Crazy, right?
Here’s that “if” again. IF my DIL had not fought the ER and been his best assertive advocate to insist they take a more proactive approach to diagnosis his pain (she just would NOT GIVE UP) and IF we had not had such an amazing surgical team led by Dr. Todd Stafford - well, let’s just say that we are all very grateful that he had such a dedicated team of doctors. Nuff said.
He lost about twenty pounds during his ordeal, and at six feet and 160 pounds on a GOOD day, that much weight loss made this normally fit and healthy young man look emaciated.
During his post-surgical recovery, his diet was limited to low fiber and low residue foods; a lot of Cream of Wheat, mashed potatoes, and chicken noodle soup. No vegetables, no fruit, nothing that would interfere with the healing of multiple incisions and re-joining of internal organs.
I’m happy to report that three months after the surgery, he’s defied the odds and is back to eating pretty much everything he wants, with only minor digestive upsets.
He went back to work, teaching a summer course at Yale, and I’ve been sending him healthy cookies and high protein bars on a weekly basis — and as requested, he’ll receive the lentil cookies on Wednesday, and that should keep him supplied until he’s here next week for a short visit. Yay!
You can be sure that I’ll be cooking and baking nonstop. I’m so HAPPY to have my Angel Boy here, surfing with tugboat man and best of all, close enough to touch and hug and play Scrabble and Bananagrams.
Every minute of every day, I’m grateful to be one of the luckiest moms in the world.
To read all about Angel Boy’s surgery, click on the following links:
- That Dreaded Call at 3: a.m.
- Time To Exhale: Hospital Update
- Full Circle From Hell to Happiness
- What Does a Cosmo, The Trauma Unit, and Mother’s Day Have in Common
A while back, I posted Alton Brown’s Lentil Cookie recipe that I discovered on Food Network’s website.
This time, I experimented and created a version that’s a bit more intensely nutritious.
They are quite dense, full of protein and energy, and would make a great snack for hiking.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup protein powder
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup smooth unsalted peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup brown sugar (If you use honey/agave, adjust the flour to accommodate the additional liquid)
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg (or not if vegan)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups lentil puree, recipe follows
- 1 cup dried fruit, I used a mixture of blueberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine egg, oil, vanilla, yogurt, brown sugar. Whisk briefly to incorporate. Add peanut butter and lentil puree and mix thoroughly. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, protein powder, ground flaxseed, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer to combine. use hands to mix. Stir in dried fruit. If it seems a little dry, add yogurt. Form the dough into balls about 2 teaspoons in size and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper Bake for 13 to 17 minutes, depending on your oven’s personality.
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups water
In a small pot over medium heat, combine the lentils and the water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and puree. If using immediately, let cool.