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Even now, I get cravings.

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Alton Brown is a god among men...

Alton Brown is a god among men…

Greetings fellow lovers of food. Well, food lovers who aren’t loved by their food? People who enjoy food under certain constraints? Anyway, if you are reading this, either you are another of the growing number of those of us who have some sort of gluten allergy (be it Celiac Disease or just an intolerance for that stupid protein chain). I welcome you…you aren’t alone.

I was at the local coffee place the other morning (I’ll call it “Barstucks” just so nobody knows what place I’m talking about…hehe) and happened to look through the glass case at the fine assortment of baked goods and had my first real craving in a long time. You know, it’s been almost 2 years since I ran my little experiment and discovered that I have negative reactions to gluten…and I honestly thought I was over this “gluten craving” thing. Well, I’m sad to say that, no…I’m not. The apple fritter (which I realize is REALLY bad and not om nom at all) was calling my name. It wasn’t this quite whisper of a calling…it was a “name shouted from mountain top using a bull horn” type of calling. That fritter loved me, and I loved it. We would grow old together and…well, I wanted that fritter more than I’ve wanted any baked goods in quite a while.

Strangely, I just smiled and shook it off. I say “Strangely” because, let’s face it, when it comes to food some things are hard to ignore. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that had I taken a bite of that flaky, sweet, baked deliciousness, that I would have been sick. Not just for an hour or two…but for days. It just wasn’t worth it. Nothing, really, is worth it to be honest.

I guess I’m writing all this down because I know I’m not the only one that fights urges. Sure, we all fight the urge to say words to co-workers who clearly aren’t using their brain (assuming they have one) or to smack those people upside the head (when they deserve it, I mean…hehe)…but fighting the urge to eat something that you know you shouldn’t, to me anyway, is more difficult. We can do this…we’re all strong people who don’t want to face the consequences of poor decisions. The thought of being sick for days (or up to a week sometimes!) isn’t worth the 5 minutes of sheer joy one would get from an apple fritter. I have to believe this is true…

Anyway, Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas is RIGHT around the corner. I still haven’t figure out how that was possible…but…sure enough, it is. My wife and I had a couple people over (none of which have food allergies) and I made a completely GF meal. It was OM NOM! The turkey (pictured above…all thanks go out to Alton Brown for the recipe!!) was perfect. I also made dressing out of some pumpkin bread that had been part of an experiment that didn’t have the desired results. Let me tell you…the sweet bread with the herbs and salty flavors were a PERFECT combination. Had two pies (one pumpkin and one pie I’m calling an Apple Crisp Pie) with GF crusts that were great as well. All-in-all, a very successful meal.

I’m starting to experiment some more with food and am having fun in the process. I made a batch of pumpkin bread (recipe in the blog somewhere) in which I substituted half of the pumpkin with apple sauce (the thought being Apple and Pumpkin are both Fall fruit/vegetables that both pair well with cinnamon and the other spices). It was om nom as well. Made some more pickles and pickled some beets with a friend of mine. More jam (strawberry and huckleberry this year) was also made. It’s been a productive Fall…and I’m looking forward to more experimentation as the year comes to a close.

If you are struggling…know that you aren’t alone. We all face the demons from time to time. We can do this…we can.

As always, happy (and healthy!) eating!

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This ain’t easy…

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

So…I was sitting around last night while waiting on a friend of mine to get online so that we could play a quick game or two, and was feeling rather sorry for myself because of this whole no gluten thing.

If you’re anything like I am, food plays a big part of your life (besides the fact that it’s required to sustain life, I mean…hehe). I hesitate to call myself “a foodie” because, let’s face it, that sounds really pretentious and that’s really not me (the pretentious part…I am not sure, really, about the foodie part). I like to think of myself as just a normal guy…or as normal as a computer geek can be, anyway. I digress…what I mean to say is, as I’ve said before, I really like food.

That’s what makes this so difficult, I think. I sit here, even now, and I start to think about all the things I’m not able to eat any more (I’ll disprove this in a bit, just work with me here): pizza, pie, cake, cookies, bagels, toast, pasta, anything battered and fried, anything with gravy on/in it, anything with MSG (which takes out just about every Asian food place I can think of, as well as some of the goods that people use all the time like Ketchup), as well as various seasonings and flavoring agents (the Onion Powder I had in my pantry had flour in it…go figure).

When I start to think along these lines, as someone who likes food, it gets rather depressing. Imagine not being able to have something that you really like…for the rest of your life. Now, take that feeling and magnify it a couple times…like 20 or so…because it’s not just 1 item that you can’t have…it’s a bunch.

The GOOD thing about all of this is that my paragraph above where I listed things that I can’t have any more isn’t true. I’ve already proven that I can have bread, pizza, pasta (assuming it doesn’t turn into a huge ball of goo) and pie….and I KNOW I’ll be looking for other workarounds for the other things that I like. It’s gonna happen.

I…I will survive…as long as I know how to cook, I know I’ll be (able to eat all the stuff I want and be) alive. Thanks Gloria…

Mmmm….pie….

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Before I get into my cooking experience last night, I figured I would kinda go over some of the stuff that I have been living with for so long that I think may have been linked to this Gluten Intolerance thing (please note, I’m not a doctor…I’m a computer geek…so I freely admit that some of the symptoms listed below might not be related at all and are purely psychosomatic):

1) Tiredness bordering on exhaustion – There were times that I would come home from work, lay down on the couch and want to sleep. Frequently, I would fall asleep during some of my favorite TV shows.

2) Stomach digestive problems – I could eat breakfast, lunch or dinner and would have to immediately go to the bathroom. From eating to bathroom would sometimes be less than 5 minutes.

3) Stomach pain – I could eat and, even after going to the bathroom, my stomach would hurt…even to the touch.

4) Gas…bad gas – There isn’t much to say about this really. If you’re going through this or have gone through this, you know what I mean.

5) Random body pains – I used to think that I carried my stress with me in a baseball sized spot on my back. The day after I started the GF diet, it was gone.

6) Weight gain – Don’t have much to say about this one…you all know what that means, hehe.

7) Depression – This does make sense, really, if you think about it: Your body is under constant pain, you feel sick all the time, food…the one thing that should comfort you…is your enemy. Who wouldn’t be depressed?!

These are just some of the things that are better now. While I realize that it’s only been 1.5 weeks since I started the diet, the first 5 things listed above are back down to what I think are normal levels. The weight and depression things…well…I’m working on those.

Now, for happy food news! My mom sent me a link that one of her friends uses and on that page was another link to another foodie that made a pie shell that she said was the best ever. Well, as I had just made some home made cherry pie filling the weekend before, I was willing to give it a go! Recipe for the pie shell can be found here.

I have to say that this recipe might possibly be the best pie crust I’ve ever had. Yeah…I know…”Your grandma would be upset with you!” Probably so…but you can’t fault a guy for honesty, can you? It was flaky, yummy and everything else that a good pie crust should be. I would imagine that you could use regular flour and take out the Xantham Gum for those that can eat flour based things. The cherry pie was, in a word, om nom nom (yeah, that’s not “a word”, but you get the idea).

Categories: Cooking, Pie