Let’s Get Picky

fish sticksMy diagnosis of celiac disease was the beginning of the wheat free era in my kitchen. One box of pasta at a time or so it seems…. So knowing the diagnosis and as the farewell tour ended…well it was time for a major kitchen clean-out. All things wheat must go. That meant the plain flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat, rye flour, and clear flour. Also to depart are barley, spelt flour, grains of spelt and my beloved Italian farro. That also included my panko crumbs, regular Italian crumbs, plain bread crumbs too! And the pasta: all regular, all whole wheat, all homemade. All of it. So now I keep finding stuff…..keep getting rid of it. Which is hard, so hard as I swear the pasta is literally calling my name! The orchetta, the penne, the orzo is all begging me to put on the pot of water… Yet another bag of discards to be given away; third time of that 

And then as I slide into my new diet, things keep tripping me up. I made some kielbasa (GF according to its label) with boiled potatoes, cabbage and onion. And I get sick. Turns out the malt vinegar I sprinkled on my cabbage has wheat in it. And I was enjoying the dark hand dipped chocolates my boyfriend got for Valentine’s Day. Well…..I feel some weird pains and after more of that happens after the next bite of the tasty candies; I call and find to my horror that they add wheat starch to thicken their chocolate. My beloved chocolate….GONE. Now that is a nightmare in my book! I think what disaster will befall me next? I am ranting I know it….just that losing my favorite chocolates was the last straw. The best thing I loved is gone. I am desolated.

I used to think I could just cut back and that would be enough. Not so. All wheat, all gluten must go. It has turned me into a GF fanatic overnight. Not fun. I went to a soup supper at a church two weeks ago and amidst all the noodle and cream soups, I find just one soup I felt was safe to eat. To help keep me from even looking at the breads available to butter up and enjoy I had brought some crunchy GF cheddar crackers to eat with my soup. As I slurped I worried, could there be some wheat in there as a thickener? I really wish the world would wake up and see that we folk who can no longer eat gluten need. Reliable really wheat free food is what I must find. We truly wish they would provide at least one good GF choice at community or church functions. And label it so we know it is safe for us to eat. Is that too much to ask for? A lot of people who are celiacs won’t eat the food at such functions, not even at parties at their friend’s houses for fear of hidden wheat. I used to pooh-pah such until I got sick at the bit of starch in my chocolates and at the vinegar on my supper the other night. I never would have believed such was possible until it happened to me.

So on Friday I ate at a Lenten fish fry, had the “naked haddock” and it was tasty. But, I do wish the server had used a separate utensil to heft my portion onto my plate. I actually winced when he slid the same spatula under my naked haddock fillet that was just in the breaded and deep fried fish tray. Luckily I didn’t feel sick after supper so he somehow didn’t snag me a bunch of crumbs to trip up my small intestine! Maybe as word of the dire consequences for a touch of wheat get into our general understandings….then no one will look askance when I say, is there a GF soup on the menu? And they will realize that GF meals need separate serving utensils….is it that much effort to wash one more metal spatula? Oyee! I be ranting again. Lately I find myself doing that far too often. Time to scrounge around and find some chocolates without any wheat. Is that possible?? Gosh I hope so….

Originally posted March 15, 2013

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