The first holiday after Mia was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes — Thanksgiving.
For ten years, we had given thanks in Santa Barbara. The holiday coincides with my birthday and ironically as most of the country takes to the kitchen, I take the weekend off. We enjoy a lavish spread hosted by someone else and enjoy each other with the gift of no dirty dishes.
That first year was anything but relaxing. A panic crept into me as I tried to envision how I would carb count the foods offered. In the end, I couldn’t. I pushed stuffing and buttery mashed potatoes around my plate, feeling too guilty to eat, because I had denied my daughter her cherished carb-laden favorites.
By New Years Eve, I made a resolution. We would celebrate. We had so much to honor didn’t we? Mia had been given a second chance, not to mention was finally healthy and thriving.
Preparing for spring’s onslaught of celebratory brunches, I developed an arsenal of recipes. Pecan Pancakes topped with whipped cream that tasted more like dessert than breakfast. Spiced Granola sprinkled over yogurt and blackberries. Blueberry Muffins better than the version I used to pack in kindergarten lunches. A Frittata so fluffy it was like eating clouds of goat cheese. Mia could enjoy everything, her blood sugar wouldn’t sky rocket, and we could all relax and find laughter once more.
What I had learned was simple enough, but for our family, it was life-altering. Brunch could be delicious with breads and treats, savory dishes, and a full palette. Dinner could be well-rounded and flavorful with salads and sides that you enjoy so much you go back for seconds, maybe thirds.
Already overtaxed, we strive for things that are simple and we all fall guilty to the routine. But I’ve learned, albeit slowly, life is in the details. So pick up flowers from the market or better yet, pick wildflowers, I promise they will make you smile. Set your table, it will save you from hunting for a fork later. If you’re feeling crazy, light candles, because isn’t everyday worth celebrating? Remember what used to make you happy … a decadent dinner, mad tea, beachside picnic … create it again.
Beauty is everywhere, you only have to look for it.