Winging It for the Ascension

From the The Easter Book by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., (Copyright, 1954, by Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc. ) I found that

[i]t was a widespread custom in many parts of Europe during the Middle Ages to eat a bird on Ascension Day, because Christ “flew” to Heaven. Pigeons, pheasants, partridges, and even crows, graced the dinner tables. In Western Germany bakers and innkeepers gave their customers pieces of pastry made in the shapes of various birds. In England the feast was celebrated with games, dancing, and horse races. In central Europe, Ascension Day is a traditional day of mountain climbing and picnics on hill tops and high places.

So I served chicken for our Ascension Sunday feast. Yes, Sunday. Our diocese is one of the many in the United States where the Ascension feast is observed on Sunday.

For our Ascension Meal, I used a new cookbook I have from the library. I believe I will have to purchase one for my own shelves, as this book is fabulous! Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet and Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family by Cybele Pascal. All recipes are free of the Top 8 allergens: Tree Nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs. And, as the title says, this is a whole foods diet. We strive to eat organic and whole foods whenever possible, so this cookbook falls in line with our family diet.

Our dinner was Greek-style Chicken with Lemon and Oregano, with brown rice, broccoli and Basic Biscuits.

Greek-Style Chicken with Lemon and Oregano

A very simple dish, for any season, serve hot or cold. Very moist, with wonderful gravy to pour over chicken and brown rice. 2 Thumbs up by Hubby. My only change to the recipe was a bit more salt, seasoning the pieces before adding the sauce. So tasty for being so easy to bake!

medium_Greek Chicken.2.jpg3-lb. chicken, quartered
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
lemon slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except chicken and lemon slices. If desired, salt all sides of the chicken. In roasting pan or baking dish place chicken skin side down. Pour sauce mixture over the chicken. Cook chicken for 30 minutes, basting with juices one time. Turn over chicken and cook 30 to 40 minutes more, basting a few times. Check with thermometer to see if chicken is fully cooked. To crisp the skin, place under broiler for 2 minutes. Garnish with lemon slices.

One of the areas I’m trying to expand is bread type foods that ds can eat. Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook has a recipe for Basic Biscuits, suggesting use for sweet or savory occasions, even for Sloppy Joes. I used soy milk instead of rice or oat milk, and Spectrum Shortening, and only a pinch of sugar (granulated, I confess!). The biscuits were pretty good. The next batch I won’t roll as thin and will sift the flour more. These pass the second day test…without heating or butter these still were palatable and not too dry.

It’s a little more difficult getting used to different flours for baked goods having been raised on wheat products. The texture, color, taste, smell are all so different. Oat flour has a faint sweet cinnamon flavor and odor. This recipe was not dry and crumbly.

Using these flours makes me feel like I’m going back in time. People didn’t always use wheat flour, but a variety of flours. The finely ground white flour was only for special occasions. Barley and oats and rye and buckwheat, and many others were used. So I’m getting in touch with my “traditional side.” What’s that saying, “Nothing new under the sun”? I can label this allergy cooking or historical baking. As these didn’t turn out well visually, I’m not providing pictures this time. There are variations, such as Herb Biscuits, Currant Biscuits and Orange Biscuits, also hints for use of leftover dough to create a popover…but I’ll let you check the book yourself out for these tidbits. You won’t be sorry!

Basic Biscuits
1/2 cup barley flour
1 1/2 cups oat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. maple sugar or beet sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. chilled vegetable shortening or coconut oil
3 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice or oat milk
1/2 cup rice or oat milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (Sift) and combine dry ingredients and cut in shortening until texture is like coarse meal. Stir in egg replacer, then add rice/oat milk (or soy milk) small amounts at a time and work into dough.

Flour hands, rolling pin and board or counter before emptying dough out. Mold into a ball with as little handling as possible. If too dry, sprinkle a few drops of milk and work in gently. Roll out until 3/4 inch think and cut with biscuit cutters (2 1/2 inch suggested size). On a lightly greased and floured cookie sheet (or on a Silpat mat) transfer the biscuits and bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Makes 8-10 biscuits.

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