Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Unselfish Lady...Even with Terminal Cancer

My husband and I have the honor of caring for my mother-in-law this week.  She is in the final stage of bone cancer.  It came on suddenly and by surprise, since she had conquered breast cancer last year and we thought we would have many more years with her.  She is sleeping most of the time.  We are very grateful for modern medicine, and the great help it is for her to simply push a button to administer nearly instant pain relief through a pump. 

She is eating quite small portions due to her lack of appetite, but we feel she is victorious when she eats an entire container of yogurt, some watermelon, and a bite of chicken.  I am going to make Broccoli Cheese Soup for her lunch (see recipe below).  My father-in-law was a wonderful cook, and I converted his recipe to a gluten-free version.  I hope you will enjoy it.

There is a special and sacred feeling here in her home.  She may have weeks or months left on this earth.  Even with all she is going through, she is completely unselfish.  She was concerned last night that we hadn't sent half of the watermelon home with our son and his wife.  She wanted to make sure they would have a chance to see the two strollers she had found at garage sales, and pointed out that they could choose the one that looked most comfortable for the baby.  She has been and continues to be one of the most unselfish people I have ever met. 

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 cups fresh or frozen chopped broccoli, or mix of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon gluten-free chicken bouillon powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
2 cups chicken broth, as needed

1.  In a large pot, boil vegetables gently in water until tender.  Save the vegetable water to thin the soup as needed.
2.  In a saucepan over medium heat, stir brown rice flour into melted butter to make a thick paste. Add milk, bouillon, and pepper, stirring constantly.  After the sauce thickens, sprinkle in grated cheese.
3.  Add sauce to cooked vegetables in soup pot.  Add chicken broth and reserved vegetable water until soup reaches desired thickness.  Warm soup slowly.  Do not boil.

Serves 5 to 7

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