Fighting the Urge: To buy every GF product in the store!
Knowing that celiac required changing how we cooked and what we ate, I admittedly went into a crazed, gluten-free obsession. If it was gluten-free I bought it, or I would photograph it, especially if an item was crazy expensive then I would search for a better price elsewhere. After a trip to the grocery store, I returned home victoriously fueled by the thrill of the chase and the reward of the hunt.
I thought Grace would share my exuberance, as I unveiled my haul consisting of various and sundry items emblazoned with that glorious GF symbol on the package. I would blather on excitedly about the stores that made it easy to find the necessary products and share my latest discoveries. “Look Grace, gluten-free panko!” . . . “They use orange labels to identify gluten-free!” . . . “Did you know that this cereal is gluten-free? And this mac and cheese is gluten-free too.”
My exuberance for buckwheat groats went unmet. As did the response for the newly found grains, millet and sorghum. This went on for weeks. Since baking had previously been Grace’s favorite creative outlet, I went into overdrive buying every gluten-free flour and flour blend known to man. Buying these ingredients was just the first step. Learning how to use and master them takes far more time.
I am curious. Could this lasagna noodle or pizza crust be the one for us? I bought a bunch and tried them all. What convenience foods are gluten-free and also earn teenage Grace’s hard-won seal of approval?
Costco brought me to that vital moment of satori, where I had the sudden and clear revelation that not all things gluten-free need find a way into my cupboard. Ok, maybe it wasn’t intrinsic enlightenment, but it was the breaking point for Grace. I returned home with frozen foods, chips, crackers, cookies and even an enormous container of dried mushrooms. In her somewhat sarcastic and exasperated teen tone, Grace pointed out that if she didn’t like something before celiac, she was unlikely to like it now. Okay, fair point. Lesson learned. As for me, I will be home seeking ways to include dried mushrooms in our meals for a very, very long time.
If you’re on the gluten-free hunt, I offer this advice:
- Slow down.
- Consider what you truly need.
- Don’t succumb to the power of the symbol or words Gluten Free if it isn’t something you really like.
- At the same time, have fun! There are great foods out there to be discovered.