Over a year ago I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and haven’t looked back.
Living completely gluten-free didn’t seem too bad, for awhile. Until I wanted to bake a cake, eat a bowl of garlicky pasta, or drink a delicious Belgian beer (I’m still saddened when I walk into a good beer store – so many good things I can’t drink!). I was content to eat salad, soup, eggs, meat, and rice for every meal – until I couldn’t stand the site of lettuce and the thought of having rice again was almost too much to bear.
Then – I started cooking and baking again. It was then that I realized that living gluten-free was fantastic! I not only felt better, but I felt more connected to food in a way that I think many people do not get to experience. Food becomes more personal, cooking becomes more creative, and baking becomes like a mad (and often delicious) science experiment. This new found enthusiasm for food was intoxicating, in the best way possible. I can’t take full credit for my venture into gluten-free baking and cooking – I had several people push me and encourage me along the way.
First, there is my
fiance husband- Brad. When we started dating, we both had sort of a lackluster relationship with food. Yeah, I cooked. I wooed him with promises of guacamole and chicken curry. However, I did not cook with the passion and excitement that I do now. He is part of that excitement. Our relationship also helped him discover his love of food. He is an immensely creative person – when we met, he was in a band (being the best guitar player ever!). When he got sick of regular college, he decided to experiment with cooking. He is about to graduate culinary school and works in the restaurant industry. He is one of the most creative cooks I know and he makes some seriously delicious and amazing food. Everyone always tells me how lucky I am to have an aspiring chef as my future husband. They’re totally right – a guy who can cook, play guitar, and puts up with my dog – too perfect.
Then, there is my family. My mom is also gluten-free (mostly). She has a wheat allergy and does better without gluten. My stepdad is a gluten-loving dude with a palate that demands bold flavors – if it passes his test, I’m golden. My dad is the authority on all things chocolate and peanut butter and my stepmom is also gluten free – I mail them goodies to taste and for the holidays (I don’t know if anyone but my dad actually gets to taste them, but I like to think so). My brother is a connoisseur of anything pastry related – the guy loves his dough and sugar. Without their support, I would not be who I am – and my life would be lacking a certain dash of crazy happiness. And I would be lacking a diverse panel of taste testers.
Now that all that stuff is over…we can get on to the gluten-free goodies.