Over the last few months I have been cooking and delivering meals for an 84 year old women with chronic kidney failure that attends dialysis treatments three times a week. I don't know much about dialysis but what I do know is the treatment is very exhausting with a diet that is highly restrictive. The first couple of times when making deliveries she would meet me at the door and we would exchange friendly chit-chat. However, over the last few weeks our exchanges have evolved. The door is left unlocked, I let myself in, and then set about making my prepared meals comfortable in her refrigerator. I can tell she is tired. Sometimes I find her sitting in the dark and fear that's only because she is too weak to stand to turn the lights on. One look at her swollen feet and I know my job is more than providing her with dinner. I have a self-appointed side duty of providing small but important creature comforts. Nothing extravagant, as doing so might burden her with conversation she is too tired to have. Instead I address a few minor things to make her evening a little more comfortable. I turn a light on, move the TV remote closer and serve her a meal on the seated portion of her walker so that she can eat at a "table" and have mobility when she is ready. The last thing I want her to do is stand-up. "Rest Lori, just rest... I got this".
Unfortunately, I only provide dinner so what's to be done about breakfast you ask? Well, let me introduce you to the Dutch Baby! Whereas pancakes require constant standing and supervision, the Dutch Baby is more like a "set it and forget it" version. It requires few ingredients and bakes in the oven allowing tired feet to rest while you wait. This recipe is also free from added phosphates which are often found in store bought mixes. High amount of phosphates in the blood can cause assorted calcium related issues in the blood, tissue, and bones which is a serious concerns for someone dealing with renal failure.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. powdered sugar
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 450
- In a small sauce pot, combine strawberries and granular sugar and heat on medium low so that the berries begin to soften in there juices and come to a simmer.
- Combine the eggs, milk, salt, and flour in a bowl and mix well
- Heat the butter on the stove top in an oven proof skillet, moving it around trying to coat the pan evenly on all sides.
- Pour the mixed ingredients into the pan and let cook without stiring for one minute.
- Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and bake without opening the door for 15 minutes (the dutch baby will start to rise)
- After 15 minutes, turn the temperature down to 350 and bake for another 10 or so minutes until the top is well puffed and golden brown.
- Carefully remove the dutch baby from the oven and dust it with powdered sugar and top with the stewed strawberries.
Something about the crackling sound the Dutch Baby makes when you add the fruit makes me giddy! Throw in the fact that the ingredients are simple, the cooking is low maintenance and it's free from cautionary additives makes this a win, regardless of kidney status. So, go make one and kick up your heels! The Dutch Baby might quickly become your new breakfast standard.