Tag Archives: gluten free

Pie for dinner

With Mom being ill right now, one of the things she misses most is going out to eat. Like I’ve mentioned many times before, we didn’t do anything fancy as a family, but we still enjoyed our dining out experiences.

When my parents decided for a “special occasion” meal, we would head to a stable of family-friendly restaurants. One of my favorite destinations was Polly’s Pies. I’m always excited to find out that a place from my childhood still exists, and apparently the regional restaurant chain is still going strong. I remember there used to be a long waiting list, sometimes we would mill about for a half-hour or more to get a table. I usually ordered a Polly burger, my dad would get the turkey dinner and Mom would get the tuna salad sandwich. Somehow, we saved room for dessert, which was the whole point of coming here in the first place!

One of my family’s favorite restaurants. Image: http://www.pollyspies.com/

Polly’s, as you might guess, was known for their pies. What’s funny is that my memory is fuzzy on what kinds of pies we ordered. My dad wasn’t much of a dessert guy (and was a penny-pincher) so I’m guessing he just had a bite or two of whatever my Mom got. I think we stuck mainly with fruit-based pies, though they also offered cheesecake. All I remember is my mom telling the waitress that she was going to have to roll us out of here we ate so much!

I just took a peek at their online menu and I remember some of the items! So weird, since it’s been over 20 years since my family has dined at a Polly’s. I’m even more impressed that they have a gluten-free menu! I have to be on a gluten-free diet, and a pie-based restaurant is the last place I would think would care about catering to the gluten-free crowd. Sadly though, no gluten-free pies!

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Dad’s prayer to me

Dad and I had very few one-on-one conversations with each other. My mom usually led the family discussions, and my dad would just kind of hang out in the background. Over the years, he learned to tune out my mom quite effectively! (Mom loves to talk and doesn’t necessarily seek feedback, so that’s why their relationship worked.)

Years ago, before Dad had dementia, I told my parents that I had tested as gluten intolerant and had to go on a gluten-free diet permanently. My mom had a ton of questions, but my dad didn’t have much of a reaction either way. Not a big deal, Mom was the cook of the family.

Years later, when Dad was at the moderate level of dementia, my mom gave me the following prayer request. It had been an extremely difficult day (which I will explain in another post) and my mom pulled this card out of her purse and quietly said, “I thought you would want this.”

It was one of those Catholic prayer request cards. Dad had filled it out, but never mailed it. I’m glad he didn’t. It’s a bit difficult to read, so here’s what it says:

“My daughter Joy who has an eating problem for several years now. She is restricted to a diet where she has to avoid wheat in her food. Under no circumstances can she eat food with wheat in it. Your prayers will be appreciated.”

Wow. I was blown away that Dad had been paying attention all those years ago. My mom and I shared a sad smile across the table as Dad sat next to us, oblivious to the emotions filling the room.


Filed under Memories