Afraid I would be existing solely on eggs and water for the next 50 years I contacted my cousin, Kelly. She's one of those women that can do anything life throws at her and she does it well. With a Martha Stewart style. Each of her three children has a special - and different - dietary need. Trust me when I say she knows her way around a Gluten Free kitchen.
And Kelly took me shopping. We spend hours wandering around Walmart alternating between seriously discussing ingredient labels and laughing so hard I was going to pee. We even ran into my sister, which is an incredibly dangerous situation - but her husband pulled her out before we could consider margaritas in the canned veggie aisle.
At Kelly's advice, here's what I did:
I had this box of old dot matrix printer labels... I had even joked about the box awhile ago on Facebook. What on earth would I do with 5,000 old labels?
MY FIRST MEAL!
MY SECOND MEAL!
Please also note this picture serves as double duty: Can you spot the utensil I would never eat with?
If you answered the plastic handled spoon then you are correct! Mostly because I hate the feel of the metal portion of the spoon. It's too thin. I don't know how to explain it other than my nerves are exploding with sensory overload when I use that spoon. It took me about twelve minutes to find the proper spoon. And then I was able to fully enjoy my gluten free chili experience.
MY THIRD MEAL!
But, no crackers meant no breading. Or so I thought! You know what works just as well? Smashed up Rice Chex Mix! Holla! Also, my family would tell you they preferred the Rice Chex because it was crispier than the Ritz crackers. Would you look at that? I just improved my baking skills!
The next awesome thing that happened? THIS HAPPENED! Pete Novak from Novak's Restaurant felt pity on me and brought me a Gluten Free Goody Basket filled with things to try. Seriously - I thought I won the lottery!
|Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!|
In my humble opinion:
The Udi's Chocolate Chip Cookies? Totally worth it. They won't replace the real thing, but it's a dang good replacement.
The Udi's Pizza Crust? I couldn't even tell the difference between that crust and Jack's frozen pizza. Also, I had made a homemade pizza which scored me some major points with the family. One pizza was just sauce and cheese for the boring kids in the family. The other pizza I made included pepperoni and pepper jack cheese. (It's all about the cheese, people!) I didn't tell my family the crust was gluten free until after they ate. They had no idea and told me to make them again. Holla, again!
The Udi's bread? Um. I can't lie. It's not the bread of my past. My glorious, fabulous, soft, gooey bread of my past. No, this is harder. Crumblier. Ickier. BUT -- the trick is to toast it. I've had a couple bacon sandwiches on toast and have been very pleased. I think I'll be okay. (To be fair, I only tried the bread plain with butter. It might be better with awesome sandwich meat and lettuce and tomatoes to distract my picky taste buds.)
I've gotten LOTS of advice and offer for help and my sweet, sweet neighbor dropped off a couple books which I have studied and xerox copied and need to return... and I appreciate every single bit of advice. Every recipe. Every word of encouragement. Every "don't worry; it'll take a while to get used to it."
I still haven't even attacked everyone who's offered to help me.... like Jessica over at Lunch at 11:30 - who I totally am planning on stealing all of Holly's awesome GF recipes from (it's a known fact Jessica is the diva of the relationship and totally makes Holly do everything... like cook and risk her life changing the dryer vent) ... but every time I go to say something to Jess she posts another positively soda snorting from your nose humorous blog and I get all sidetracked.
I know I have a lot to learn. The other day I found myself sitting at my desk facing the realization I hadn't brought a lunch and had no idea how to navigate the world of take out. I sat gnawing on a pencil hoping the roughage would fill me up. It did not.
Overall, though, I'd say this isn't the worst thing to have happen to me. Allowing my sister to cut my hair right before picture day when she was clearly not a licensed beautician was probably the worst thing. That and my decision to wear thick purple plastic framed glasses throughout my formative middle school years.