so, imagine you spend your whole life enjoying food. i mean reeeeeallllly enjoying food. loving everything about good food, cooking it, eating it, sharing it, even travelling ridiculous distances to try it. all through the 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s, being a card carrying foodie. trying all the new restaurants, snagging hard to get reservations at fine dining establishments in nyc, chicago and london and then one day you wake up and can’t eat some of your most favorite things in the world, anymore. the most tragic loss of all being bread, bread, bread all because of evil wheat, wheat, wheat!
over the last few years, i have endeavored to live a happy life without gluten. for the most part, this means cooking whole foods from scratch, at home, avoiding processed foods and seldom eating out. i’ve been an enthusiastic home cook for most of my life (mainly a baker), and my homecooked diet was pretty wheatcentric, lots of bread, pastries and flour thickened sauces. relearning to cook without wheat, rye and barley has been a chore. those grains give foods their familiar and wonderful crunch, texture and chew. i’ve always been obsessed with the mouth feel of foods and i’ve developed a new appreciation for how much these now verboten grains dictate the textures of foods i have loved. i have endeavored to create a new normal for my palate.
for a long time, i wavered between avoiding making new versions of old favorites by substituting alternative flours and thickeners and trying to create a menu consisting almost entirely of whole foods that don’t require that kind of manipulation. i’ve settled on a happy medium. if i can make substitutions and a dish tastes just as good or better than the gluteny original, okie dokie. if not, it’s out of my diet, at least until i can find that flavor/texture sweet spot in the new dish. luckily, there are lots of great things to eat that don’t contain wheat, rye or barley, at all. it also doesn’t hurt that i’m extremely willing to experiment in the kitchen. one frustrating thing though, i have never been one to religiously follow recipes and i haven’t quite developed the discipline to “write it down” every time. that’s something, i’m working on as a personal development kind of thing and i will do my best to backfill my posts with recipes or at least references for folks to riff on.
this blog is a work in progress and i’ll make an effort to update regularly, adding information to existing posts, along with adding new posts. this space is more about ideas than about recipes, but sometimes i will post recipes, too. please feel free to comment or ask questions or let me know what you’d like to see in the future.
the struggle (not so much) continues!