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The Sourdough Loaf

6 Jun

Since I have declared myself to be living a gluten-free life, I have craved (almost daily) a slice of sourdough toast.  Oh to have the crunchy texture of the bread dripping with butter, smothered with a slice of white, cheddar cheese, and crowned with a cool, crisp arrangement of sliced bread-n-butter pickles on top…  The thought of this particular concoction has been calling to me.  And while I’m sure there are sourdough recipes out there for the glutenless, I cannot fathom that the texture resembles the San Francisco style treat to which my memory calls.  Even to have an elongated slice from an SF round, with only butter, is a treat in and of itself; add in honey from a local hive and Utopia is found–(not that I’m so interested in such a place, but the commonality of the phrase is a useful idiom within the context here).

Sourdough bread is such a favorite of mine that when I was in need of a new toaster, I took careful pains to ensure I only purchased a unit whose slice holders were long enough to support my particular love affair–the long slender slice of a crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside–loaf.  Thankfully Cuisinart provided the match to my specifications.

My Toaster

Why talk sourdough?  Truly it is not the bread I am interested in discussing in this moment.  It is the longing.  The longing for something I have decided is off limits.  Now under normal circumstances, or let’s just say within groups where topics of discussion are probable, my desire for buttered toast and my self denial of it would incite the scoffer to aim his or her malice my way.  Understandably.  It is not as if I suffer a physical or psychological addiction to the favored munchie.  No, I am getting along just fine without it, though I smell and touch the loaves as I pass by them in the aisle of the supermarket.  I even pause to contemplate purchasing the two large, sliced loaves sold in Costco…but I keep walking, leaving them for another customer to consume.  But honestly I have to say, that having the desire for something that is ‘forbidden’ for whatever the reason, just plain stinks.  To make matters worse, tonight for dinner I made an old recipe from Bisquick called, “Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie”.  It is a favorite dish of my son and husband.  But tonight instead of using the, ever faithful, I substituted the flour mixture with a new, gluten-free, product.  And guess what?  My impossible pie was certainly that…impossible to eat!  It was awful.  And to make matters worse, or add insult to an already bad scenario, my potholder slipped and I burned my hand on the 400 degree, cast iron, pan.

So here I sit longing for something else, something like a real piece of sourdough toast…with butter.  But instead I am writing this meaningless fluff while applying and reapplying aloe vera plant to my wound.  Aaaahhh, the longing!

Gluten Free

1 Apr

To wheat, or not to wheat?  That is the question…

I am not one who likes to follow the trend…of anything!  So when going “wheat free, or gluten free” became the nutritional fad of the year, a few years ago, I was adamantly opposed to investigating its principles.  But as my nosy and incessant drive for knowledge (especially in the field of the human body and nutrition), overtook my elites attitude, I found myself acquiring a broad sense of the gluten free world.  And yes, I would pride myself on introducing products, resources, recipes, and vendors to my glutenless peeps (peeps=friends and family), even though I still refused to eradicate my own diet of wheat bearing products.

I even had my sister and her husband avow to a strict wheat free regimen for a one month, very loose, very nonclinical, trial.  Instead of learning how the GI and Excretory systems of a Crohn’s sufferer could benefit from the dietary change, I learned my sister makes for a poor lab rat and her husband, who is not a victim of chronic intestinal disease, is highly sensitive to the criminal grain.  I know, not the scientific method of the academic sect…though interesting just the same.

But alas, an “issue” of inflammation has been pestering me, off and on, for quite some time, so this past month (actually two) I felt inspired to give the ‘ol wheat-less diet a try.  Now I will tell you that I did not scrutinize ingredients too carefully.  For example, when eating at a restaurant I did not concern myself with the ingredients in my balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing, nor the possibility of miniscule droppings of a glutenous product on my french fries.  Nor did I become preoccupied by the ingredients of a wine sauce.  My intent and execution of the imposed restriction was only to abstain from the obvious wheat choices.  For me, this was not too difficult a task, except when I was craving a bowl of Grape Nuts Flakes cereal; then, and only then, did this new diet hurt my feelings!

Now at about the second week into my loss (of bread, pasta, cereal, etc.), I noticed no improvement in my random acts of gastrointestinal inflammation.  So I said, “to heck with it”, and ate a piece of chocolate cake and a hamburger with a bun.  However, the next day I awoke with a migraine headache.  I then went wheat free again for another week or so; but being I hadn’t received the GI benefit I was looking for, I joyfully gave into the craving for two pieces of toast one night after dinner…a guiltless indulgence I assure you.  But guess what I was given the next day?  That is right, another migraine headache.

Now mathematics have always been a challenge for me, one I love but challenging just the same.  Yet in this case, I was definitely catching on to the 2+2 of my wheat-free equation.  And since I have been a long time sufferer of serious migraine headaches, I am now living wheat free because I am also living migraine free.

Have I checked the research to back up my claim?  Heck no, you think I have time for that?!  This is junk science, remember?!  But I have to tell you, my results are more than compelling and I have been undergoing several of my migraine triggers without succumbing to having the nasty beast of a headache.  You know what that means?  I have finally joined in league with the masses…I am living the fad, and will do so for as long as I am on the receiving end of my benefactor.

Wheat free, Gluten Free, NOT fat free, thus completely DELICIOUS!

The Best Recipe (courtesy my Jillian)

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