Back in early October the five of us Foxes were sitting around our dining room table with my parents, my sister and brother-in-law eating yummy taco soup after a morning of G’s flag football and Little Missy’s soccer games. When I perkily responded “Yes!” to my mom’s question of, “Is this cornbread gluten free?” my son groaned. “Not ANOTHER gluten-free story.”
Oh poor son of mine, who is subjected to all my stories about the new things in my life, YES! The cornbread was gluten free! And now I’m telling all of you about my attempts with this stuff. Just don’t tell G, because he’ll probably nod politely but his eyes will totally reveal that he’s not listening.
Most of my people--my husband, my children, the next ring of family (my parents, in-laws), my friends--know that I attempted gluten-free a year-and-some-odd months ago before slowly getting annoyed with the lack of food options and bringing the gluten back, only to really try and kick it for realz about two and a half months ago. Because for me, a gluten-intolerance manifests itself in massive, sudden headaches sometimes and nausea all the time. Then one afternoon after a particularly bad migraine, I knew: it was time. The gluten-free could no longer be just an experiment, it had to be part of my daily routine.
Now this is all a self-diagnosis, with a little help from Dr. Google. But I think deep down in my baking-loving heart I’ve known that I tend toward gluten intolerance but never wanted to admit it. When a client of mine in Tulsa talked about her husband’s then-recent diagnosis, his symptoms of constant thirst, nausea, headaches, gastro-intestinal problems you don’t want to know about, were check-marking my list of ailments. But I chose to deny deny deny. And sometimes the symptoms weren’t so bad and sometimes they were. And then they were mostly bad and I couldn’t deny any longer.
So I had a pity party for myself and mourned the delicious Pillsbury crescent rolls that would be no more, all the yummy breads at restaurants I’d have to skip, and went through my gluten-free cookbook to mark recipes I wanted to try. From there I made a list of the flours and starches I’d need. Then I spent one-third of my weekly grocery budget on said flours and starches. HOO BOY. And I bought all of it at the Kountry Kupboard outside of Rose Hill, which is shockingly cheaper than Amazon prices. But some of that has lasted me two months and some of that I replace once or twice a month.
Page 2 of 2 - I made tortillas that did not turn out well, but I’ve made pumpkin bread and muffins and brownies and cornbread that all turned out deliciously well. Apparently my scones taste like stones--this according to G--but I think that can be remedied with a little more sugar. And then last night, YOU GUYS, last night I made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. I couldn’t bring myself to try the recipe. Because what if they were disgusting? How sad would I have been to give up that? BUT THEY WEREN’T. They were delicious. And my baking-loving heart did a little victory dance.
Then one night in the middle of all this baking madness Hubby and I watched a report on TV about how this gluten-free stuff has been latched onto as a way to lose weight (which I did initially but haven’t lost a single pound in this second go around) . But you guys, you can still eat butter and carbs and sugar, and it’s darn near impossible to lose weight eating carbs and sugar. Maybe if you only ate protein and plants could you lose weight, BUT WHERE IS THE FUN IN THAT, I ASK YOU? There is not fun to be found in that regimen. So let me bake you some gluten-free cookies and I’ll show you the way to happy tummies free from headaches and nausea.
Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette . Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,augustagazette.com.