15 August 2009
I can't hear you, Illinoise
Here I am in O'Fallon, Illinois visiting my parents. I got here Wednesday, and I will leave ... whenever I want, really. Sooner rather than later.
As much as my parents want me to visit, they are apprehensive because of the lack of anything to do. They both work all day, so they cannot show me around (which is fine, I've seen cornfields before), but I really don't mind. I've been taking it easy for the past couple days soaking in the nothingness and taking on the challenge of finding something to do. I've given myself some projects to entertain myself while I'm all alone all day.
Gluten-free Focaccia Bread. We just so happen to have a wheat-free recipe book amid our shelves, and it has been calling my name. No one in my family has celiac disease, but my dad suffers from some wheat intolerance. For some reason, this condition has always fascinated me, to the point where I want to be a gluten-free for a day. It would be such a sacrifice to live without life's comfort foods: graham crackers, cookies, macaroni and cheese... Now that I think of it, I guess it's not that bad, one can still have mashed potatoes and spam musubi. Baking gluten-free is more fun, challening, and can be very healthy, and I like spicing up traditional baking.
I hope Josh Ritter eats gluten-free, because I invited him to dinner.
He's bringing the tunes.
I had to go to three different grocery stores to get ALL the right ingredients.
Living celiac for a day is not easy. It's hard not to feel segregated from the wheat-consuming world. I had to ask strangers where the nearest natural foods store was after the local supermarket failed, or if they had ever heard the terms, "xanthan gum.....no not the class and phylum of a tropical tree, it's an ingredient actually..." I was getting desperate. What happened to equal rights?? I got the feeling that a Brown vs. BOE revival needed to take place within the segregation and unequal distribution of baking ingredients in these grocery stores. I was in the parking lot of a shopping mall where an alleged health food store was located. Couldn't find it. With the small hope I had left, I hypothesized the ladies of Maggie Moo's would be more inclined to help than the men of Jos. A. Banks, so I went in and asked to be put in the right direction. Maybe it was the temptation or my guilty conscious or their cheery helpfulness, but I ended up buying a scoop of vanilla bean with raspberry in a white-chocolate dipped cone. It was worth it, their advice led me right where I needed to be: xanthan gum and more sexygirlycurves.
And there it is! Butternut squash ravioli with home-made basil pesto and gluten-free foccacia by candlelight. In conclusion, my day was fulfilling. I met some wonderful people, saw the scenery of East St. Louis, and learned how to make gluten-free chocolate cake from the sweet lady in the gluten-free aisle.
May no celiac be left behind.