Category Archives: celiac

The most expensive cilantro ever

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Today I was in the neighborhood of Whole Foods so I dropped in quickly to grab some cilantro for tonight’s dinner.  It was apparent that the entire store was being completely re-arranged, so I thought I might as well take a quick spin through and check out the new layout.  In the cereal aisle, I quickly noticed they had coupons for my favorite cereal so I grabbed a few boxes.  Next to it, I noticed there was a “last chance” sale on Gluten Free cereal I’ve never tried before.  Less than $2/box for GF cereal??? Craziness, so I grabbed three boxes.

Then I thought to myself, I wonder what else they might be clearing out? 30 minutes later I had the cart filled with GF shortbread cookies, and chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal cookies, and gingerbread cookies, and another kind of chocolate cookie, and a brownie mix, and a cake mix….and three pizzas, among other goodies. Can you tell I was shopping hungry?

It does get old sometimes, watching everyone else enjoy treats that I can’t have, or that i have to pay $6/box for.  For the most part, we try not to have junk in the house.  Heck, the kids ate brussels sprouts and eggplant soup in the past week. But sometimes, you just need an oreo.  Or in my case, a kinnikinic k-too.  Yep, that’s what they’re called.

So in review, I went to Whole Food to get cilantro and spent $80 on Gluten-Free junk food.

In completely unrelated news, I was at the dentist yesterday and I do in fact have another cavity despite my meticulous oral hygiene regimen over the past 6 months.  I can’t even begin to imagine why.

The Bad

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I am taking a break from typing up a gluten free food list to write this post.  Why would I need to that, you might ask?  Because Devan’s pediatrician put him on a trial gluten free diet.  And this weekend it is really hitting me what a huge and horrible thing this is for me at this point and time.  And if one more person tells me it should be just fine because I know what to do, I might scream.  I know everyone means well, but having your child on this diet is NOT THE SAME as doing it as an adult. It’s a big, big deal. It was something I have worried over incessantly since I first found out I was pregnant, and now my worst fears are coming true.

Yes, I want him to be healthy and feel good, but I don’t want him to be a social outcast.  I hate denying him the foods he loves.  And the thought of a lifetime of brown-bag lunches to daycare, church, birthday parties, and school makes me want to cry.  Actually, I have cried.  At the grocery store yesterday, because this is overwhelming.  I’m not sure where to even start with our daycare provider, who didn’t know what gluten was.  And why should she?  We are starting this process all over again, I was comfortable and we had it all figured out and now… Yuck.

Happily, Devan was thrilled to take a special snack to church today in his little Shrek lunch tin.  And then they ended up having fruit snacks, which are gluten free so he was even more thrilled to have two snacks.  If only it was always this easy for him!  I know things will work out in the end and we will all adjust, but life would be so much easier without this stupid diet and sometimes as a mom, I just need things to be easier.  We will be fine eventually, but until then? I’m not fine with it, not one bit.  He’s my little boy and I don’t want him to carry this particular burden. Unfortunately, due to a fantastically gluten-intolerant laden gene pool, I don’t think we have much choice in the matter.

Oh Boy! Chicken

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There is an awful lot going on in my mind right now and I probably could sit here and write 4 separate posts, but then I’ve totally blown my chance of getting to work by 9.  So I’ll just start with this Saturday, when we went to celebrate Dad turning SIXTY-THREE by eating at the home of the “City’s Best Hand-made Gluten-Free Fried Chicken“.  Really, that’s the claim.  Without ever having eaten there, I felt fairly certain they could just go ahead and claim “Best Gluten-Free Fried Chicken Ever.”  Because, you know, there just isn’t much competition in that field.

So, we drove to Lawrence where I first selfishly made my enire family wait while I flew through Sarah’s Fabrics buying what I could before they closed and kicked me out.  They actually locked the doors on us, oops.  But I found out-of-print and nearly impossible to find cheater prints from Wonderland (my fav fabric line), and then a few more Children at Play prints so it was totally worth it.  But wait, it wasn’t my birthday, it was Dad’s, so lets get to the chicken.

Honestly, it was really good.  Really, really, really good.  And so was the fried okra.  And coleslaw.  And the weird potatoes weren’t so bad either.  And all of this was a little surprising because the city’s best chicken is found inside a Vietnamese Restaurant, decorated with silk flowers and an exercise bike.  You can’t make this stuff up, and I took pictures. 

Hello everyone! Smile! Smile? (Can you see the exercise bike?)

There are some smiles.  Hello, sun.
Hey Grandpa, how about we break out those Birthday cookies??

So if you are up for an adventure, and are craving some delicious fried chicken (even the “normal” people in our family thought it was great), you’ll have to give it a try.   Happy Birthday Dad!

Three things

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Has anyone else noticed that the gluten free diet has become a big fad? Gluten free stuff is everyone and so many restaurants are offering gluten free menus. For the most part I am all for this, anything that makes it easier to find good stuff to eat is fine with me. But I have to say, I don’t get why some people are doing this. Like the lady at Spin! who I overheard ordering a gluten free pizza but then had no problems chowing down on the flatbread that came with her salad. What??? It would appear to me that there is a group of folks out there who have no medical need to eliminate gluten but are just eating that way by choice. If my memory serves, I believe I can safely assert that gluten free products do NOT (at all!!!) taste better than their wheat-laden counterparts and cost 3x more as well. Why do that by choice? I don’t get it. But I welcome it.

For once, I have awesome news on the health front but I am going to hold off sharing until my parents see this cliff-hanger and give me a ring so I can fill them in first. And then I have to ponder how to share this delicately because despite recent evidence to the contrary, I don’t really enjoy putting all my personal health problems out there in cyberspace. But I feel it’s really important to share honestly because someone else could be going through these things as well and find it comforting to know they aren’t alone. I know that’s a large motivator for why I am so open, and is also why I love being a big ‘ol blog stalker. I am not alone! I am not the first to experience this, and I won’t be the last.

One last thing. Mom, Dad, Brother, In-laws, everyone related to me by blood and marriage… why do not a single one of you follow my blog? I know you read it. You should follow it. The sole purpose of following is to stroke the blog writer’s ego, and we all know I have a rather large ego that needs fed. At the very least, my very own mother who gave birth to me and raised me and listens to my complaining 3x a week should follow my blog. Right? I think so.

My Best Friend Jason

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Okay, I don’t really know Jason all that well. He might be a jerk for all I know. But I sure do love his Deli! I’ll admit I used to avoid it like the plague because I couldn’t handle the emotions of watching others devour delicious food while I ate a baked potato. But everything has changed with the recent marriage of Jason and Udi. (I’m assuming it is Udi’s because the bread is not only edible, it tastes good.) So my seven gluten free readers probably know exactly what I am talking about (Gluten free bread at Jason’s Deli!!!) and the rest of you don’t care but I can’t help but share because, WOW. I ate a sandwich at a restaurant. A really good sandwich. And I am in love with Jason and his Deli and I want to go there once a week. And I probably will because there is a Jason’s Deli a block from the office, and I am going back to work in one week. And whenever I get sad about that, I’m just going to skip on down the block and devour a delicious sandwich and all will be right with the world.

Gluten Free Grump

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I want to preface this “Whine and Cheese” by saying that the vast majority of the time I hardly give my gluten free diet any thought. It’s just the way it is and I honestly don’t feel jealous when everyone else in the office has catered pizza while I eat soup, or when I order garden salad at a restaurant, or have to smuggle in special granola bars to most venues. That is just my normal and I am okay with it now.

However, I’ve really been resenting the diet the past few weeks. I want carbs! I want convenience foods! I was pre-packaged meals! I want to pick up dinner on the way home! I don’t want to spend $6 for four bagels! And I really, really don’t want to bake. Most of the time I enjoy cooking for our family (not so much the past month) but baking is another story. It’s ridiculous.

Tonight I decided to get over myself and make some dinner rolls because I can’t justify these gigantic Whole Foods bills much longer. And like I said, I need some carbs! So I picked out a simple recipe. A simple gluten free recipe that calls for Potato Starch (which is actually labeled Potato Starch Flour but is not Potato Flour- which I also have), Tapioca Starch (not Tapioca Flour- which I have), White Rice Flour (which is totally different than Sweet Rice Flour- which is all I had and what I used), Xanthum Gum, Guar Gum (don’t have it, and no clue where to buy it so I ignored that), Expandex Tapioca Starch (which is completely different than Tapioca Starch AND Tapioca Flour and yet another ingredient that I don’t have), and then finally some dried milk powder (though not Carnation instant milk powder because that is different stuff altogether.) All of this=wheat flour. Seriously! Can you see why I don’t bother most of the time? I need an entire pantry of these highly perishable and expensive ingredients just to eat a roll.

I have no moral to this story. I just felt like complaining and now I am going to go eat what is hopefully an edible roll.

In need of Carbs

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I do have some gross new stories but a promise is a promise sooooo, on to other topics even if they are of less interest to me at the moment.

Last weekend Craig dropped by to kill some time at the local library while he was waiting for our grocery store to reopen after some big chemical explosion (or something like that). He happened to grab me a cookbook for 1000 Gluten Free recipes and just like that, my desire to bake has returned. It’s a desire that has been gone for at least 3.5 years now, or pretty much a few months after I learned I could no longer eat real bread.

The thing I had discovered about gluten-free baking is that nine times out of ten the results are certainly not worth the effort. Expensive ingredients such as teff and amaranth and tapioca starch and xanthum gum, etc. are painstaking combined with tons of other ingredients to create a crumbly, dry, hard as a rock, gritty baked good. After a few miserable experiences I decided life would be easier if I just did without bread. And for the most past, that’s what I have done.
There have been those occasions at family gatherings where Julie P. or Patty has whipped up something delicious and it would make me start to question if maybe I should give baking another shot. But laziness would trump the mild cravings and nothing ever came of it.

So, the weird thing about pregnancy for me is that so far both times, I have craved wheat products like crazy. Crackers, pasta, muffins, biscuits, I want it all. Many products can now be found at Whole Foods if you are willing to fork over $10 for 6 muffins (I usually am) but the thing is, it is just so much cheaper to do it yourself even considering the exotic flours.

So this week I cracked open the cookbook. I’ve restocked my gluten free pantry and I am ready to give this whole baking thing another try. Yes, the ingredient list is beyond ridiculous and working with the dough about drives me up the wall but yesterday as I bit into a warm (soft, moist, non-gritty) slice of green chili cheddar cheese yeast bread, I knew the effort was worth it.

I’m fairly certain my ambitions will be trumped by reality. Such as hand-made gluten free tortellini with white truffle oil? Probably not going to happen. And I can’t picture myself attempting a Polynesian layer cake or bagels either. But dinner rolls and muffins and granola and cheesecakes? Yum, I want to eat them all. And in my spare time, I can read through the book and drool and dream.

Thank you Carol Fenster, for 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes.