I spent my weekend doing my best impression of an Iron Chef. I made:
- Gluten free sandwich bread
- Gluten free hot dog buns
- Gluten free pretzels (which still needs tweaking as a recipe…)
- German potato salad
- Mini quiches with bacon, mushroom, spinach, asparagus, and smoked gouda (Holy crap awesome)
- Gluten free cinnamon rolls
- Frito chili pie
Um, yeah, that was in 2 days. And it’s NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET!
I love to cook. I loved to cook before we discovered my hubs is gluten intolerant, which is fortunate for him, otherwise he would be totally screwed. Gluten intolerance is a poorly understood condition by the public. The whole concept of being allergic to WHEAT (or, in fact, the protein in wheat, which is what gluten is) totally does not compute for most of the population. I know when it was mentioned to me when hubs and I started dating and he was eating stuff with wheat in it left and right and not falling down into anaphalactic shock, I just kinda blew it off.
But here’s the deal. It’s a real condition, folks. The decision to go gluten free isn’t like up and deciding, “oh well I think I’ll do the Atkins Diet or Sugar Busters or South Beach or [insert fad diet here].” It is a legitimate health problem. Gluten makes those who are gluten intolerant sick. For those people unfortunate enough to be true celiacs, their body attacks wheat like a virus. It’s bad. And when you’re entertaining for or eating with someone who’s gluten intolerant, it’s really kind of rude to just throw up your hands and say “It’s too much trouble to bother to learn anything about this condition. You’re just going to have to bring his own special food.”
Yeah, we’ve encountered that attitude. It makes me really angry. REALLY. There are already limitations on almost ALL eating out, so being deliberately exclusionary without even making a tiny effort is just…it pushes my buttons. And makes me pull out my Iron Chef hat and start making amazing things for hubby because, damn it, I love him.
I’m certainly not saying you should go out and take a culinary course in gluten free cooking. Don’t expect you to know everything about this condition (though, heavens to Betsy, ask some questions!). Not saying you need to buy 800 special flours. I can take care of that myself, and regularly do. But gluten free cooking is not actually hard. It just means you have to actually COOK. From SCRATCH.
I know. This is a radical concept in our country. But it’s not hard to read some labels. And there are even gluten free products out there in your regular grocery store. Even small town Walmart. And yeah, they’re more expensive than the regular convenient kind, but for a once in a while event, it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to say “Hey, I know you’ve got this thing, and I was thinking about you and really wanted to include you.”
As we move into our first gluten free Thanksgiving, I’ll be making up gluten free chess squares (hubby’s fave from Before), gluten free gravy (so not hard–just use corn starch instead of flour as a thickener), and even taking a stab at making gluten free Sister Schubert style rolls. We are all eagerly waiting to see if I can actually pull that off.
If you’re looking for recipes to feed YOUR gluten free friends and family, hop on over to Pots and Plots. I’ve tagged several hundred recipes that are gluten free to make it nice and easy for everyone.