Day 175 of Project 365: SunBasket magic.

Despite this being the least appealing food photograph I’ve ever taken, I was highly impressed by the meal I made from the SunBasket gift we received from my mom. This was a recipe for salmon with mango salsa, and it was easy to prepare and cook, a boon for this exhausted librarian at the end of a long day. I’ve got two more gluten-free meals waiting to be prepared this week, too!

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Writing from: my study. Listening to: BBC News. I did not see that coming.

Day 48 of Project 365: The gluten question.

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Yesterday I ordered a supposedly gluten-free dish from a menu of a local chain of Italian restaurants. We had never been to the restaurant before, so I relied on the menu and the server to be accurate. They weren’t. Today I felt miserable with all of the symptoms of accidental gluten ingestion, like coming down with a very short but intense flu.

Today I also read about how some conservative politician — a Presidential hopeful, natch — promised that he wouldn’t provide gluten-free MREs to the military.

After testing my digestive system with some certified gluten-free oatmeal, I determined that I could make it to a late dinner with friends at a restaurant I’ve eaten at several times before. On an extensive menu, there were still only a few choices for me, but I ordered something I knew would be safe for me to eat. “Safe” means that it will not cause me short-term discomfort or long-term physical damage. I even got to enjoy dessert, pictured above, and suffered no nasty side-effects.

I am lucky to have supportive family and friends who understand the medical necessity of my gluten-free diet, but some people don’t have the same support system. This is my periodic reminder that eating gluten-free is not a choice for many of us. (Considering how expensive gluten-free options can be, it is an expensive non-choice.) If someone tries to tell you that eating gluten-free is about losing weight or being politically correct, they are lying to you. Educate yourself.

Writing from: a no-longer-sick room in Marin. Listening to: my own irritated thoughts about that politician.

Day 362 of Project 365: Fall in Line

Day 362 of Project 365: Fall in Line

Before I went gluten-free, I was too intimidated to try making homemade lasagne. Even though I knew it was basically just layer-cake pasta — how hard can that be? — I avoided making it.

Post G-Day, one of the first recipes I learned how to make was polenta vegetable lasagne. Using pre-cooked polenta and jarred pasta sauce it is one of the easiest recipes I make.

But that’s just a little too easy. Feeling confident some months ago, I decided to purchase gluten-free lasagne noodles from Tesco. And promptly got intimidated again.

Today I’ve been feeling quite sassy. I sent that email and let go of a bunch of stress. Not all of it, but a lot of it. I even indulged in a mid-afternoon nap. So tonight I saw those noodles in the cupboard and decided what the hell.

So easy.

My favourite part, of course, was lining up all the partially-cooked lasagne noodles. I couldn’t trust them to behave at that point, though, so this is a ‘before’ photo. Look at how orderly!

Day 362 of Project 365: Fall in Line

gratitude: finishing the second sleeve of FunkyPlaid’s jumper · crossing off more items on my task list · that nap

Day 300 of Project 365: I Ate a Croissant

Day 300 of Project 365: I Ate a Croissant

My 300th photo is of the first croissant I’ve eaten in four years.

Genius, a wonderful local company, makes gluten-free croissants. I do not know what sorcery they use to make the croissants so good, and I do not care. I only care that I can eat croissants again because the croissant dreams have been increasing in frequency lately. These dreams involve me sitting in a sidewalk café in Paris, eating a croissant for what feels like hours. I can still taste the flaky crumbs on my lips when I wake up. That is how much I have missed croissants. So it was a little crazy here earlier when I warmed one up and tore into it.

Day 300 of Project 365: I Ate a Croissant

Look at that buttery beauty.

Three things I am grateful for today:

  1. Genius, for making the delicious gluten-free croissant I ate today.
  2. My willpower, for saving the other croissant for tomorrow.
  3. My lack of willpower, for also buying a pack of gluten-free pain au chocolat.

Gluten-free sucks.

I am bitter in this post, but I won’t apologize for it. I’m done apologizing for it.

Gluten-free is not a choice for me. It is a medical necessity. I get very sick when I eat gluten. Nowadays I am sometimes sick even when I don’t, which means I need to eliminate something else from my diet, although I am not sure what yet.

Going gluten-free has been an incredibly isolating experience for me. I used to love going out to dinner, and now I have to consider menus deeply before a nice meal out is even a possibility. I used to love to bake, but all of my recipes were based on wheat flour, and the gluten-free baking I have done leaves me really depressed because the texture and density are all wrong.
Continue reading “Gluten-free sucks.”