I never got to meet my grandmother.
My mom’s mom.
Growing up I was jealous of other kids who got to have both sets of grandparents. I had my dad’s parents, and they were wonderful.
But, you see, my grandmother (mom’s mom) died before I was born. When my mom was only 18. She had brain cancer. And when she died, my grandfather kind of disappeared on my mom. I only saw him a couple of times for real short intervals while I was growing up. So… there you go.
I never got to be in a world without cancer. I don’t mean that it didn’t exist in the whole “real” world. I mean “my” world as a child. It was always there.
Most other kids got to have that buffer in the beginning of life where people are invincible. Lots of grandparents are around. Cancer doesn’t exist.
Yeah, I never got that buffer.
I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself. Just telling you how it was/is.
Also trying to tell you how this post is all going to tie together with enchilada sauce, my grandmother and my friend, Renee.
You see, I met Renee not quite a year ago when a whole bunch of families moved to our town, and they all had boys in the Little Man’s grade, kindergarten. It was Christmas time, and they all came flooding in.
Now, we had only been in our new house for about 6 months, so we were still getting to know the area and the people. And meeting some of the boys that were joining kindergarten, we knew our Little Man was going to become friends with them. You just know, sometimes. Sure enough, he did.
So, I used that opportunity to worm my way into the friendship that was forming among the moms.
My one friend who already lived here has girls. They go to a different school, across town. So we haven’t been able to figure out a time to hang out since the kids went back to school.
Anyway, worming my way in…
I just liked the vibe from these women, and one in particular always had a smile on her face. She is just one of those people you want to be friends with because you will always be happy around her. If she ever gets sad or upset, she certainly hides it well.
That is Renee.
Well, earlier this year, Renee was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s fighting it like a champ and kicking its @$$. (Fighting Like a Girl, I should say.) And later this month, all of us are heading up to San Francisco to walk in the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure. (Please show your support and donate.)
So filling out my race page and asking for donations got me to thinking about the grandmother I never got to meet.
And that got me to thinking about the stories my mom liked to tell.
And that got me to thinking about one of her favorite stories about how my grandmother loved a sale. So much so that she would buy stuff on sale even if she didn’t know what to do with it.
Like refried beans. Now, we all know what the heck to do with refried beans, now. But in the 50s, in Portland, Oregon. Nobody really knew what to do with them.
But they were on sale.
No one else would eat them in my mom’s house, so my grandmother would slap some between two slices of bread and have refried bean sandwiches.
Now, I do not have proof that this actually happened, but since my mom tells the story over and over again, I am choosing to believe it did.
So in honor of my grandmother who had absolutely no idea what to do with Mexican food, I am giving you my Enchilada Sauce Recipe. It’s gluten free.
Did you know that enchilada sauce has wheat in it? Yeah, I didn’t until recently. Well, now it makes sense why I wouldn’t feel so good after eating out at a Mexican restaurant. Chicken enchiladas are my favorite.
I decided that I was going to make them at home a few months ago when I saw the enchilada sauce at Trader Joes. Then I checked the ingredients, like I always do. Oh, look! Wheat!
Well, I was not going to give up enchiladas. No way, man! So, off to the internet to find myself a way to make enchilada sauce myself. I found this recipe for regular gluten full enchilada sauce from Emeril. I adjusted what needed to be adjusted. I also changed the amounts because who the heck has a 10 oz can of tomato paste?! Couldn’t find one.
And, I had to search high and low for tomato paste without citric acid. If you have an issue with citric acid, too, check out Bionaturae Organic Tomato Paste. It comes in a jar instead of a can.
So, I hope you enjoy the enchilada sauce. It is really easy to make and freeze some for next time. I get 2 pints out of this recipe.
And, please do what you can to help fight breast cancer. If you are in the San Francisco area, come walk with us on September 28th. Or you can donate by clicking here.
(LOL, I never say that. Seriously. That’s the first time.)