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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Back From A Family Emergency

Skiing, Trees, Snow, Field, Snow Field

We had a family medical emergency last week, and we needed to return to Philadelphia (we are snow birds).

Fort Lauderdale
The Fort Lauderdale airport was relatively empty (we took a 6 am flight) and our flight to Philadelphia was only 60% booked. Yay! On the return 10 am flight a week later, it was 80% booked and felt a little crowded. We had to Uber each way to our residences but the drivers and we wore masks, and I opened the window for a few seconds now and then.

You may remember that I had Covid about 5 weeks ago.. Am I protected from getting it again so soon?

9 Degrees!!
The weather was in the single digits when we got there. Despite keeping our spare car in the garage, the battery was dead. After a visit from AAA we were able to drive to my sister in law's house to help her nurse a very sick (and dying) husband in a hospital bed in her home. The hospice nurse came every morning for an hour but only Mon-Friday. All the siblings showed up and we took turns playing nurse, cooking, talking, praying etc. 

 Luckily all of our winter gear is in Philadelphia area. We had a snowstorm one night followed by an ice storm. By morning it warmed up to 34 degrees and everything melted. We stayed for a week helping to support my sister in law and making a daily commute to visit with my mother in law an hour a way. 

Pumpkin Cream Soup, Meal, Soup, Delicate

Eating Whole Food Healthy- But the desserts got to me
I tried to eat healthy whole food while I was there-  although many family members are gluten free and dairy free and they were bringing baked goods and someone also brought gluten-free Oreo type cookies which I could not resist tasting (4 or 5 cookies over 6 days). 

Soup Hit The Spot
I shopped for some fruit and salad as soon as we got there - and made a pot of (link to recipe) butternut squash red lentil soup which is not in my cookbook but is one of my favorite soup recipes that I developed after I had already published my cookbook. 

Make It Easy
I bought pre-cut peeled and cubed butternut squash and used organic salsa instead of buying onions, tomatoes, chili peppers, and sweet peppers. It's such a time saver. With my Instant Pot, I was able to whip up a delicious batch of warming soup quickly and set it to pressure cook it in just 9 minutes. 

Great Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free Very Easy Dinner
I also made my hot rice and chickpea dinner which is topped with chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, cumin seeds, cracked pepper,  and sesame seeds. Another easy gluten-free vegan dish that can be made with lots of shortcuts because I didn't want a lot of pots and pans to clean up.

My Shortcuts
1. I bought a large container of cooked rice from the Chinese restaurant ($3.00) I could have bought their brown rice, but I really wanted white..
2. I opened a can of organic chickpeas
3. I chopped tomatoes and avocados
4. Added the seasonings 

5. I heat the rice and chickpeas before adding the tomatoes, avocado, and seasoning. 

We bought take out two nights. 

Green, Smoothie, Drink, Healthy, Food

I bought the ingredients for a smoothie for each morning.

1. Organic baby spinach
2. Frozen blueberries 
3. Cinnamon and turmeric ( which I had in the cupboard) 
4. Alma powder (a high antioxidant powder) 
5. Almond milk 
6. Banana

I am back now in Florida as of today and feeling the warmth of the sun penetrating my skin and loving it. 

Beach, Pier, Sunset, Sea, Ocean, Water

We are glad to be back.

Ardea Herodias, Great Blue Heron

Sharing on Weekend Cooking at The Intrepid Reader and Baker.

Note: All of my recipes starting in January of 2021 are vegan and oil-free. All of my recipes have always been gluten-free and vegetarian.


  1. I am glad that the things are settling down a bit now in Philadelphia and you are back to the warm Florida and able to enjoy some sunshine, which we desperately NEED some right now. The butternut soup sounds so good for the grey cold weather we have over here.

  2. It is heart warming to hear how families come together to help when someone is in need.

  3. My heart goes out to you and your family. And I can imagine how nervous you must have been flying with the threat of COVID. As always, I enjoyed your vibrant pictures. The smoothies are especially gorgeous. So glad you're safely back in sunny Florida; enjoy!

  4. Well look on the bright side. You got to experience the terrors of winter, but now it's all behind you. I live in the north, so I never know when a snow or ice storm is going to happen tomorrow. And it goes on for months!

  5. The pumpkin soup looks so delicious 😁! Stay safe. Thanks for sharing.

  6. So great that your family all came together in support during the emergency! You should have natural immunities, having had it. I've also read that heat is death to the virus. Sunshine & good antioxidants.

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It's good that you were able to be there for the family's time of need.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  8. Your soup looks so appetizing, and the shortcuts are great timesavers. Thanks for sharing them.

  9. The sun will cure anything! Rest and have a good time.

  10. Heavy snow and snow-storm have hit here since last Friday. Weather is very cold. We consume warm winter soups alot. Also butternut squash red Rentil soup sounds good. It is really a good option for the cold days. Stay safe and healthy.

  11. I am sorry to hear that you have faced such challenges in your family. I am glad that you were able to be there with your family.

  12. So sorry to hear about your loss! And such a tough time of the year to travel. I feel for you.

  13. I am very sorry too and glad you were able to travel up there. It's cold here for a few days but not like North of us. Take care and thanks for sharing the recipes!


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