Posted on | June 19, 2010 | 4 Comments
Hello my fellow gluten freebies! I feel as thought I have so much to report that I don’t know where to begin. Well, I have some pretty exciting news. Let me explain:
I’ve had this blog for about two years now and Celiac Disease for about three (August 28th will be the anniversary). Because my mother and my grandmother are such great cooks, I’ve never really had to lift a finger when it comes to eating well at home. I’ve been spoiled rotten really. Now, as I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’ll be living in an apartment on my campus next semester, one with a kitchen. This means two things: (1) I no longer have to be cross contaminated in our dining hall, and (2) I have to learn how to cook for myself. Of course, there’s always the option of microwave dinners with gluten free labels like Amy’s Gluten free items. But I decided that I want more than that. I read so many other blogs, like Gluten Free Girl, that gush over the fullness and happiness that comes with cooking and I get jealous. So I’ve decided that I want to learn how to cook. I want to know what that happiness is, what that satisfaction is like.
My mom, of course, agreed that it’s time I learned. We have plenty of our own family recipes that can be changed into gluten free recipes–something that I’d also like to do in the near future–but I thought, what better way to learn how to cook than to cook my favorite recipes from my favorite gluten free bloggers? As soon as the idea hit me, I went to making lists of the best of the best (in my opinion) and the recipes that I most wanted to try and ended up with ten bloggers and ten recipes, which will be completed in the next ten weeks. The emails have gone out to them in order to obtain permission to use recipes, and I’m waiting on one more reply. I’ve evened everything out so there will be breakfast, lunch, dinner, salad, snacks, beverages, dessert and everything that I could ever want when I’m at school and needing the comfort of food. Now, I’m not going to tell you who the bloggers are or what recipes I’ve chosen, but I will tell you that I’m extremely excited to get started, to document my journey from ineptitude to somewhere closer to edible decency. With my mom by my side (watching, not acting) and the Cooking Channel ever present on our television, I’m finally going to find the happiness that I feel only cooking and eating the food that I’ve cooked can get me.
That’s the first matter on the agenda. Now onto the second. Shauna Ahern, or Gluten Free Girl, recently posted about the need to teach more people about Celiac Disease and gluten. I quite agree. People need to know how to prepare something gluten free without cross contamination. It’s so difficult now that the gluten free label seems to be everywhere. Sure, it’s wonderful that people are becoming aware of gluten, but can we always trust that these people know every gritty detail of keeping a gluten-free enviornment for customers with intolerances? We have to become proactive in making sure that our needs are met. How can we do this? Well, Shauna has posted a video for Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. She wants to start a show called Saying Yes to Gluten Free. Watch her audition video here. Now underneath the video there’s a button that says “Vote.” Please click and vote for Shauna to get her own show! It would be the most amazing thing to have a cooking show for those with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance. And through watching, the word would spread about just how careful one has to be about contamination when cooking for someone who is gluten-free. So please vote for her and tell everyone you know to vote for her too!
To keep to the theme of Shaua and her recent posts (I don’t stalk her I promise), she recently twittered a question, asking us the first thing we’d ever cooked by ourselves. This was really when my idea for my summer project hit me. I couldn’t answer the question because I’d never made anything by myself. I’ve never had to, and with a pretty bad fear of getting burnt, I always steered clear of the kitchen. But now, I’m proud to say that I can finally post about the first thing I’ve ever cooked. It isn’t anything too spectacular, but it’s made me even more excited to start some of these other recipes. I got a taste for the pride and fulfillment that comes with eating one’s own cooking and seeing others eat it as well. As you can tell from the title of this post, the first thing I’ve cooked without help is:
Rice! I made fried rice with gluten-free soy sauce, egg and cashew. It’s easy enough to do, especially since my mom was there. I got so nervous! But it came out really well and I was extremely proud of myself once it was done. Boy does it take muscle! When you’re making so much rice, it’s hard to move it around in the wok. I love fried rice. We were experimenting with the cashews and it worked really nicely. I’ve had this cashew craving since the past semester. Our campus convenience store sells honey-roasted cashews and I bought out most of the stock, especially when finals came around. But this is a much better way of enjoying cashews. Fried rice is something that’s going to be perfect for when I’m at school. It’ll take a little while since I have to cook the rice and let it cool before frying it, but I could make a batch on the weekend and eat leftovers the next couple of days. And it’ll be nice to share with my roommates and friends.
So I’ve cooked something by myself. It’s extremely liberating. I feel as though I’m always looking through the pantry to find something to munch on. It’s nice to know that I can make something. One thing. But still, it’s something. And it’s a great way to prelude my summer project. I hope I do my fellow gluten freebies proud when I write about each of the recipes I’ve chosen to try. I know there are going to be burns and mistakes and accidents (hopefully none too life-threatening), but I’m optimistic that I’m finally moving in the right direction.