For me, being with family after a long stretch is like coming home. Be it months, years, days or even hours......time with family conjures up all the weaving history of hardship and laughter and trials and joy that has shaped me into the person I am today. It's this sense of nostalgia that reminds me to be ever grateful for all that I have been blessed to have: precious healing, moments of forgiveness and food on my plate (even when it was sometimes scarce.)
My story, like so many other's, has had its share of hardships, but the memories of love far outweigh any difficulties that I've experienced. Bellies aching with laughter at my mothers stories, and the way my fathers gentle voice spoke wisdom and comfort into my ears was always far more real to me than any pain that we saw. Long nights of traveling and singing and dancing and (more) laughing; sharing stories with my siblings late in to the night; oh the stories missionary kids can tell! Our life was like a book of great adventures, full of culture, food, color, music, laughter, crying and loving and pain.
With such strong early bonds like this it's difficult to grasp how years can pass now without us all being together again. Scattered across the world, our children are born and grown without ever playing together in the same dirt. Distant countries are explored, new flavors are tasted; new songs are sung as our different stories are being written. And each time we do get to see each other we are all just a little bit grayer.
We watch as our children play together and laugh like old friends. They each have their own stories, flavors tasted, adventures taken, and memories made. We watch as they blossom like we did all those years ago. They soak life in and grab everything it has to offer them. And we know that one day they will all meet up in a park somewhere in the world to share nothing more than a simple chicken salad and the stories and memories they've collected; watching their children play together and dream of all the adventures that they could one day have.
Last week I was blessed to get to spend a little time with my brother Bryan, his beautiful wife Christi and their gorgeous daughter Greta while they were visiting the states from their home in Honduras. Needless to say, little Greta was overjoyed by this exciting splash pad in Dallas and by the attentiveness of her cousins....and auntie of course! My brother filmed this short video of our time together at the park (one of his many talents). I know it probably won't make you cry, but I do every time I see it. Enjoy your family this Fourth Of July holiday and take in every precious moment you have with them!
This is a great chicken salad option for those on an autoimmune protocol diet, allergic to eggs or even if you're just wanting a quick option for lunch. It can be prepared ahead of time and served whenever you're ready. We like to eat in wrapped in butter lettuce leaves. Delish!
Mayo/Egg-Free Apricot Chicken Salad
2 roasted & chilled chicken breasts or 2 cups leftover roasted chicken meat, cut into chunks
3-4 apricots depending on size, cut into bite size chunks
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 small handful of mint, coarsely chopped
about 1/4 cup thick cream from the top of a can of coconut milk (I use Natural Value)
Coarse sea salt to taste
Cracked pepper to taste (this really makes the dish!)
I like to use roasted chicken for my chicken salads. It tends to produce a more tender meat that blends well with the other flavors. You can use leftover roasted chicken meat or just roast 2 oiled chicken breast in a baking pan with about 1/4 cup of broth/wine at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until done. Let rest for 5minutes, cube then chill. Sometimes I flash chill them in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
In a medium sized bowl toss all the ingredients together until well coated. If the coconut cream or milk is still too liquid once added to the salad, chill the entire salad for about 10 minutes or until it thickens up. This shouldn't be a problem though if the chicken was cold.
Serve chilled with butter lettuce or over greens for a delightful summery salad!