In 2006 a doctor I was seeing suggested I try a gluten-free diet. I tried it for 3 months. I honestly thought this was my problem and being off of gluten would change my life and I would feel so much better.
After 3 months I reintroduced wheat to my diet and felt spectacular. Then, I went to an allergist and had every aspect of me tested for gluten allergy. All tests came back negative. I was not allergic to gluten.
In that 3 month span, I found that there was not a lot on the market that was gluten-free and tasty. There also was not a lot of cook-books on the subject either. Being a home cook who made/makes everything from scratch and honestly LOVES cooking and eating this made a gluten-free diet extremely frustrating for me.
Now, fast-forward 3 years to 2009. My husband was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
In a way the Celiac diagnoses was a relief. On the other hand remembering the food I tried to eat and my experience, I think we were both a bit weary and not sure how to handle this diagnosis. However, I was determined to be positive! The world of gluten-free food and cooking had come a long, long way in the last 3 years. Especially with all the positive results parents of autistic children had when they followed a GF/CF (casein Free) diet.
There are now tons of cookbooks and websites dedicated to gluten free cooking! Also, many, many more food mixes, better labelling (still could tighten up and make this a bit better) and a lot more ready made foods are available mainstream.
This time, I embraced the gluten-free diet for my husband. We cleared out the house of all wheat and products containing wheat. Then I bought 3 books (I’ve only used 2 because I did not end up caring for the 3rd). I stocked up on a bunch of GF flours and we moved forward from there.
This time around I have found that eating Gluten-free can be an amazing journey. It presents new and exciting challenges to me everyday. It has me making things that I never would have made otherwise. I am actually having fun with this challenge. That’s not to say that some days are not harder than others.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I really miss just being able to order a pizza and have dinner delivered. I miss going out to eat with my husband (he is VERY sensitive to gluten and eating out, even at places that have a “gluten-free” menu, doesn’t work well because there is often cross-contamination. Servers touch bread and then grab his plate or his glass, etc.).
But overall we didn’t eat out that much anyway, because my husband always claimed I made food better than most restaurants (isn’t he sweet?). ;)
So, here I am making, learning and converting. Converting what? My recipes! I have TONS of recipes and cookbooks and now that I have practiced with flours and meals, I have been converting my recipes to gluten-free recipes. It still takes work and practice and sometimes (more often than not) ends in failure. But after a lot of work and patience, and the occasional, “oh my crap, that is BAD!”, I have succeeded at converting some of my favorite recipes to gluten-free.
I would like to share with you my chocolate cookie recipe. It’s so good you cannot tell the difference between it and a gluten cookie. I promise!