Think for just a minute. Do you have a particular food that you associate with a specific person? So when you smell or see this food, it immediately floods your mind with memories. Do you have a picture of that food in your head right now? Well for me, that food is carrot cake. You may be asking, “Why carrot cake?” Well, let me explain. You see, carrot cake has a very personal story behind it for me.
In my very first year of marriage, my father-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer. My mother-in-law quit her job to become his full-time caregiver. He had chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, and 2 intense brain surgeries to remove a tumor causing cancer, but the tumor had been there too long. As a result of cancer invading his brain, he lived for only about 14 months after the initial diagnosis. My sweet Father-in-law passed away on Christmas Eve, 2001.
During the 14 months, while my father-in-law was sick, my husband and I were blessed to spend almost every Sunday with him. We would just sit and visit and take care of him while allowing my mother-in-law some much-needed time to herself. Sometimes I would just sit with my father-in-law while my husband helped my mother-in-law. Although it was often sad and overwhelming, I really cherished this time with him.
Also during this time, many of my in-laws’ friends would drop off meals, and help out in other ways. One of my father-in-law’s favorites was a homemade carrot cake. A sweet, dear friend made him this carrot cake every week, per his request. He raved about it often. He always asked me to share it with him. This became our special time, to sit, chat and eat carrot cake together on Sunday afternoons. Luckily, carrot cake has always been one of my favorites too. Now, every time I eat it, I am flooded with those special memories of my father-in-law.
Years later, when I was diagnosed with food allergies I didn’t eat a lot of foods I had in the past, and carrot cake was one of them. It took me a long time to learn how to cook gluten-free and allergy-friendly. Once I did, carrot cake was at the top of my list. So I made this gluten-free carrot cake in honor of my father-in-law, Gary. I still picture our Sundays together whenever I eat this cake.
I sincerely hope you and your family can connect in a special way while enjoying this allergy-friendly carrot cake.
Don’t forget to leave me a message in the comments and let me know what you think of this recipe and share any foods that warm your heart with special memories.
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