Happy New Year to all who are celebrating the Jewish New Year. This year's dinners created mixed feelings for me. Family is so very important, especially at the holidays. It doesn't matter what holiday we celebrate, what religion we are, what we believe. What matters most, is that we have family to share it with. Sometimes we have to turn our close friends into family. That's what I had to do.
I have three sisters. My eldest sister is a teacher and lives in upstate New York. I see her at least one time a year thank goodness, but it's hard with our schedules. Next in line is Ellen, of I Am Gluten Free. She lives in Massachusetts. I visited her this summer and we had a fabulous time. Laughed till I well, we won't go there! She is amazing, fun, loving, and zany, like the rest of our sisters. My twin sister just moved to North Carolina. Yes, there is a huge migration out of Florida to N.C., S.C., and Georgia. Seems the taxes, heat, melting pot, and more, have pushed many people to leave. So this Rosh Hashana was the first one I have ever, and I mean ever spent without a family member to share the holiday with. My daughter is at the University of Central Florida and didn't come home. She will be home this coming weekend for Yom Kippur, the holiest of our holidays.
At my table sat new and old (veteran)diners. I made the typical fare including a lot of sweetness for the new year. This time though, I made sure to make 90% of the meal gluten free. I did make noodle kugel and barley but that was all I had that didn't touch my lips. The main dish was from the Silver Palate Good Times cookbook, Chicken with apricots and currants(I used raisins). Yummy and delicious! The leftovers make awesome chicken salad. The jello mold was cool and refreshing. I made stuffed cabbage for the first time also. It was out of this world delicious! I have a friend who doesn't eat beef so I substituted ground turkey. They raved about it! Then, so not to deprive myself, I made a noodle kugel with Tinkyada White Rice Noodles. It was so good my daughter preferred it to the original one with egg noodles. Yeah! Last but not least, I made a gf Honey Cake that was the best I've ever had, with or without gluten. Easy as pie, I mean cake, and I promise you, this is a keeper! Please try it for me. You won't be disappointed.
And so, back to my heart, I tried to make the best of the situation without my loving and wonderful family surrounding me. I loved having my friends there but there's nothing like the real thing! Fortunately, my sisters and I are gathering next month on Cape Cod for Ellen's daughter's wedding. I cannot wait to sing and dance with my sisters. It's too bad it takes so long to realize how important and dear our siblings are. Growing up our mother taught us to accept one another because family will always be there to support us no matter what occurs. May she rest in peace, MOM, you were right. They are the best and thank you for teaching us to love one another.
I hope you too, find the joy I have found in my sisters. In good health....
Gluten Free Honey Cake
3/4 C turbinado sugar or white sugar
1 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup orange juice
3 cups Pamela's Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix (GF)
1 1/2 teaspoons gf baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Cover the botton of a 9" circular baking pan with parchment paper, then spray the inside of the pan lightly with baking spray.
3. Stir together the flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
4. Separate the eggs. In one bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. In another bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, honey, oil, applesauce and orange zest,
5. Using a whisk or hand beater, add the flour mmixture and orange juice to the wet mixture slowly. When mixed thoroughly, fold the egg whites carefully into the batter, stirring just until ingredients are fully combined.
6. Pour batter into pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Remove from oven and allow to cool before carefully removing from pan and placing onto a cooling rack.