Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gluten-Free! It's the new granola!!

There's this part in the beginning of Bedtime Stories where Courtney Cox-Arquette's character is trying to get the kids at her son's birthday party to eat the cake she's provided for them. "It's yummy gluten-free cake!" she says, "With wheatgrass frosting!"

Now the only explanation I can possibly come up with for a gluten-free cake with wheatgrass frosting is that the writers are junk food junkies who don't know what they're talking about, except that health-food new-agers are funny.

Which brings me to.... gluten-free food is so very often "organic" or "environment friendly" or somesuch, which ends up making me feel like a pretentious hippie. Which I know is totally ludicrous and I grew up in California, for crissakes, where bizarro health food diets are born (ie macrobiotics, etc.) So you'd think I'd be, I don't know, either gung-ho or at least a little, you know, tolerant.

But no. I'm sniggery. I don't even know why I have this particular sniggery part of me that sniggers at people's choice of high-priced diets, but I do. I mean honestly, in Kiki's case it's MEDICALLY NECESSARY. And for kids with autism who are on gluten-free, cassein-free diets ALSO NECESSARY. And I don't get all giggly at vegans or vegetarians (much), unless they're all preachy about it, with their animal rights and shit (while they wear their leather boots.)

I guess I am not a very tolerant person.

All of this intro is just to tell you two gluten-free stories.

The first is about my foray to Mamma Jean's last Saturday for the gluten-free extravaganza. They had free samples of their gluten-free food, and since I am on the hunt for flavorful gluten-free bread, this seemed like my golden opportunity.

Now here's the ironic part. Although I am obviously patronizing towards health-food diets, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE health food stores. I do not understand this. Maybe it's a homesickness thing. But Mamma Jean's is like a miniature Whole Foods, and it just feels homey.

So I did find some palatable gluten-free packaged bread, not to mention a GREAT idea for rice (make some rice. Put gluten-free creamy soup in it until it's creamy but not soupy. Rivals any packaged rice side dish you'll find, plus it actually fulfilled my craving for comfort food/mac and cheese), a home-made cookbook/family story of an Ozark woman who was there giving samples of her homemade gluten-free bread (OMG soooooo yummy, except am I going to make homemade bread? Really? Without a machine? I doubt this), wheat-free soy sauce (in bulk!!!), and gluten-free Oreo cookies (the creamy center of which was not creamy at all, but were still an obvious big hit anyway.)

The other gluten-free story I have happened last night. We went to dinner at the family restaurant. We haven't been for a while because even though with our discount it's almost as cheap as eating at home, we've just been counting our pennies. So we had a lot of catching up to do. Scott, the night manager, has a daughter about 6 months older than Kiki. Brooke, the kitchen manager, has a daughter about 3 months older than Kiki. So you know what it's like.

Anyway Scott hadn't seen Kiki in a while, so right after enthusing about how cute she is, he said, "Oh my God, what happened to her hair?" And so I launched into the story of Celiac disease and yadda yadda yadda until Kipp interrupted me and told me to order already because we had to get the kids home, dammit.

So a little flustered, I'm settling Kiki in and looking at a menu, and a woman walks up to me and says, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation, and it's not every day you hear about that particular disorder."

And me being an idiot, I said, "You mean Down syndrome?" Because I wasn't exactly sure what she said, and in retrospect, I think she may have even started the conversation by saying she had it, which means I questioned whether she had Ds, which I think is funny. I'm probably warped.

"No," she said patiently, "Celiac disease. And I thought, Oh, no, not that sweet beautiful little girl! She's so young! How awful."

Awww. She praised my girl. I was all ears.

It turns out there is a Celiac disease support group in town. Wow! So I gave her my email address, and now I'm waiting for info.

I'm supposed to be making myself a doctor's appointment this week to get a script for Chantix because Kipp got his and now he's telling me if I don't get it, then it will be ALL MY FAULT if we don't quit smoking. Pressure! Anyway I think I will also get tested for Celiac because... well, my tendency for hypochondria notwithstanding, I just wonder.

And in other news it appears Chris will have to have surgery to get that earwax out of his ears. Poor Chris! And the doc blithely went and mentioned it RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM even though I was careful to write autism on his history sheet. I mean honestly. I know he doesn't act it -- his case is very mild -- but it only takes a thing like SURGERY to set him off. I managed to shush her, get him calmed, and change the subject, but still.

Will keep y'all updated on this one, I'm sure. :)

You know, you're all probably looking at Kiki's recent haircut pics and thinking, "How is it that everyone comments on her hairloss? You can't even see it!"

It's all about camera angle, peeps.


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