Thursday, September 5, 2013

Smoked Lemonade and a Celebration! - SCD Legal and Paleo

This week marks the start of my 34th year.  Time really flies.  This year, in particular, has flown by for me.  Between moving to a new place, getting laid off, and planning a wedding, it's been a non-stop roller coaster ride in Spork Town.

All the more reason to find times and reasons to slow down.  Especially if you've got a nice cold glass of smoked lemonade.  Relaxation and an escape from the hectic pace of life is especially important for people with autoimmune diseases like Crohn's.  Overtaxing the body and mind can lead to flares and increased symptoms.  And that leads to just plain bad things.

Now for me, nothing beats a good party.  I should say, a party I'm not hosting.  Being with people you love, eating good food, laughing - there's nothing better.  But parties of any kind can be concerning for folks on special diets.  I know they create a fair bit of anxiety for me.  What am I going to eat?  Will they have legal food for me there?  I don't want to insult them by bringing my own food!  I couldn't possibly ask them to make something special just for me!

And the truth is, after all this time and most of my relatives and friends being very familiar with my dietary needs, I still struggle with these things.

One of the first, and still most frequently received, advice I get (and that a lot of traditional dieters get) is to stop seeing food as fun.  Stop thinking of it as a way to celebrate.  Look at it as fuel.  Or medicine.  Or anything other than enjoyable.  I guess the theory is if you don't expect food to be good or fun then you won't be disappointed when it isn't.  And if you don't celebrate with food you won't be tempted to cheat.  Huh?  Since when is it okay to not enjoy food if you want?  Why can't you celebrate with food if it's healthy for you.  I think you can.  But you do have to plan for it.  But a little planning goes a long way.

This year B and I celebrated solo.  We cooked a good meal and enjoyed each other's company.  We cooked an elaborate meal like one we could have gotten at one of our favorite restaurants.  I'm not saying you should do what we did and cook all day.  But a little planning can produce a great, celebration-worthy meal. What did we have?

Barbecue Ribs, Baked Beans, Roasted Asparagus, a great cocktail, and some chocolate cake.  All SCD Legal.  Mostly Paleo friendly.  Oh, and this amazing Smoked Lemonade!

So I encourage you all to keep celebrating with food.  Cook it, eat it, love it!  Be cautious but don't stop celebrating!

Smoked Lemonade
Adapted from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons
Makes about 1 quart

  • 2 cups wood chips (we used hickory)
  • 6 to 8 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup honey syrup and more to taste
  • 4 cups seltzer and more to taste
  • Soak the wood chips in water for 15 to 30 minutes then drain.
  • Place the chips into your grill smoker box or into a foil packet with vent holes.  Place the box onto the primary burner or your grill, under the grate.  Turn all grill burners to high.  
  • When your wood chips just begin to smoke, turn the primary burner to medium and turn the other burners off.
  • Slice the lemons in half and place them cut side down onto the grill grate on the cool side of the grill.  Close the lid and smoke the lemons for 30, or as much as an hour.  Do not let them burn.  A few blacked bits on the surface are fine.  
  • Remove the lemons from the grill.  When cool, juice them into a non-reactive container with a lid.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the lemon juice to a pitcher (save the rest of the juice for another use).  Add the honey syrup.  Stir well to dissolve.  Taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • Add the seltzer.  Stir well to combine.  Taste the mixture and add more seltzer to decrease the amount of smokiness if desired.
  • Serve over ice.

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