Monday, November 22, 2010

Am I Going "Crackers"?

I found myself profoundly missing crackers the other day. Crackers may be the thing I miss most. I LOVE crackers and would eat them liberally before this gluten-free thing. I don't think I have had a "real" cracker in over a year. I would eat them plain, with cheese, with peanut butter, it didn't much matter. And so when my husband picked up a box of Ritz Crackers at the store yesterday, I wanted to rip open the box in the car and dive in because I haven’t found a cracker that I truly find acceptable. Skinny Crisps are good but you certainly can’t compare them to a Ritz. The rest are gummy, mealy and quite frankly not worth it.

I read something by Shauna from Gluten Free Girl that kind of hit home for me. She said it was easy to go gluten-free because she had been so sick, reduced to eating jarred baby food at one point. As soon as she gave up gluten, she felt measurably better. I don't have that profound comparison.

When I gave up wheat, my digestion did get better, I had less digestive pain and gas, but I wasn't "cured" of my physical ailments. After not eating gluten at all for 6 months, my health care provider suggested I test eating gluten. When I did, I found that I was okay with it. So now I can treat myself to wheat every once in a while. For that ability, I am grateful.

But maybe that’s why I am finding it hard for me to be on a gluten-free diet – because I don’t have the stark comparison in my health before and after wheat. And unlike my vegetarianism, being gluten-free is not motivated by a profound ethical stance, leaving me a little bit in limbo. Hmm, something I am going to need to ponder a bit more . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pre-Holiday Updates

In my last post I mentioned a couple of things that bear follow-up. First of all, the mini, gluten-free apple pie I bought at King Soopers was so bad I couldn't eat it. Mostly it was the crumb topping which was soggy and tasteless that ruined the whole thing.

Second, I made fudge yesterday and it turned out great. But I am not a big sweets person (especially something THAT sweet) so while tasty, I probably won't eat much of it. But I am planning on taking it to our Thanksgiving potluck along with mashed potatoes and balsamic glazed yams.

I am also bringing the pumpkin pie. I will make the crust with flour as pumpkin isn't my favorite pie so I don't care if I can't eat it. But my gluten eating friends will appreciate the "real" version of this classic dessert. Besides, Thanksgiving will me my "wheat cheat" day of the week so I will eat what I want. Thankfully I can do this with no digestive backlash!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's the Holiday "Gluten" Season

I am just realizing how close we are to the holidays and that this will be my second holiday trying to eat gluten free. The temptations are abundant - stuffing, rolls, pie, cookies, cakes, lasagna, and so much more. Sometimes you can find or make good substitutions. I recently bought a gluten-free apple pie at King Soopers. I have yet to try it but I am holding out hope. Gluten-free lasagna noodles actually come out much like wheat versions. But I have yet to find gluten-free Christmas cookies that even compare - and I have tried to adapt my "famous" recipe with no success.

If you have read previous posts, you will know that I am not celiac and therefore have more latitude with my eating. Last year, I did let myself have a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and one of my Christmas cookies. But knowing I can't eat whatever I want whenever I want often makes me sad. And then I think about all the celiacs that can't even treat themselves with a cookie and realize I should be more grateful.

I thought my journey would get easier by now but it almost seems as if the reality of my situation has settled in and with it the realization that I just can't enjoy what I used to. So, to cheer myself up I have plans.

First, I am going to try to make my pumpkin roll recipe for Thanksgiving using gluten-free flour (I like Pamela's best). I have hope that it will be as good as the original.

Second, I am going to make my grandma's fudge sometime in December. This is the first year without my grandmother (she died at almost 98 earlier this year) and I think she would be happy to know that I am going to try making her fudge which is naturally gluten-free of course!

Finally, I am going to ask Santa for a better attitude about the whole thing. I am grateful for living gluten-free in today's world with so many really good options available and so at this Thanksgiving table I am going to say "thank you" for that and so much more!