Category Archives: Gluten-free prosody

Roses are red, gluten is blue (at least, that’s what it makes me, and probably you too)

Loyal readers will have noticed that I’ve been quieter than usual the last few weeks. There are a few reasons for that—some of which I’ll be talking about soon—but I do expect to get back to my twice-a-week schedule eventually.

In the meantime, it’s Valentine’s Week, and in case you’re worrying I don’t love you, I thought I’d reassure you with a poem. Then—because you deserve it, and “less is more” is a lie—I decided to reassure you with a bunch of poems.

This is a gift that keeps on giving, because it means this year you don’t have to confine yourself to blowing a kiss (air kisses are guaranteed gluten-free, even if hubby’s been cheating on you with cookies) or making one of those heart-shaped chocolatey things everyone’s been posting about since January. You can do your boo one better and make your card gluten-free, too!

Jot one of these puppies down in a lopsided heart for guaranteed romance:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
If I could eat gluten, I’d share it with you.

or

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I quit eating bread, but I’ll never quit you.

Or if you, like me, will instead be observing SAD (Singles Awareness Day), or if your taste in chocolate tends more to the bittersweet, I’ve still got you covered. Try this:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’d rather get glutened than make out with you.

or

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’d go on a date, but I’m sick with the sprue.

violets are blue

. . . violets are blue . . .
Photo © M | Flickr

Then, for the descriptivist, there’s:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Quinoa is white, and sorghum is too.

And, for dear old gluten:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
You hate my guts, and they sure hate you.

Normal small intestines mucosa

. . . and normal small intestine mucosa are pinkish-purple.
Photo © Ed Uthman | Flickr

If you enjoyed, spread the love! It is almost Valentine’s Day, after all.

Share your own gluten-free riffs on the classic in the comments (bonus points for using any rhyme other than “you”—it’s tricky!), and have a happy SAD week.

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A Candy Corny Calligram for Lovers and Haters

.
Oh

you
small
sweet
treat in
three fall
hues! You
pain me yet
I can’t refuse.
You’re cloying,
but I eat up still;
I simply cannot get
my fill. Each year I say
That’s quite enough! But
sticking to it’s really tough.
When I went vegetarian, I gave
up eating gelatin, and thought that I
had got you beat, especially when I gave
up wheat. For Brach’s, the kind I always ate,
may contain wheat. I said, that’s great! I steeled
myself to say goodbye, and swore I’d manage not
to cry. It all might turn out for the best; perhaps I’d feel
that I’d been blessed. But, look! my sister said, let’s see,
Some brand MUST make it gluten-free. She turned out to be
fully right, as I learned surfing site-to-site. The Jelly Belly kind is
clean, of wheat & nuts & gelatine. So, yes, I bought us both a bunch
although it was a budget crunch. And now—surprise—I’m feeling sick,
from falling for your same old trick. I feel that I can eat and eat, but ALWAYS
you prove way 
too sweet. I thought I’d lost you—planned to mourn—but still you
haunt me, Candy Corn
. I’m sure that I will quit next year. Till then, I’ll savor every ear.

250px-candy-corn

For those who don’t gag at the thought of candy corn: Jelly Belly’s is gluten-free and (in my opinion, but not my sister’s) better-textured than the more traditional but iffier Brach’s. It’s also about a thousand times the price, so start saving up now for next year. (Or for the Christmas “reindeer corn”…oh dear.)

For everyone: happy almost-Halloween! What bad habit can’t you seem to quit?

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Wait, wait…don’t gluten me! (I’m talking to you, Trader Joe’s.)

I hope you’re in the mood for some shenanigans. It’s the Friday before a long weekend, which means it’s time for one thing only: limericks about gluten.

In 2011, we learned that 21 percent of young people get most of their news from the Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. Judge that as you will. I myself am among the unreported mass of people who get the majority of their news from podcasts of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Are you?

Who doesn't love this guy?

Who doesn’t love this man?

For me, it means that I’m always at least a week behind and that I occasionally mistake the fake news stories on the show for real news. It also means I have a thing for Carl Kasell.

In Carl’s honor, I hereby introduce to you the first ever installment of Wait, Wait…Don’t Gluten Me! I’ll share three gluten-related tidbits I recently discovered, in limerick form.

Guess the missing word in each and you’ll win my voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Just kidding—you don’t want that. I don’t even want that.

Here we go:

Limerick #1

There once was a blind brownie test,
the results of which couldn’t be guessed.
Some with gluten, some not,
twenty mixes were bought.
And GF Betty Crocker was ____.

Highlight for answer:    BEST   

Stunning underdog victory! Full results here.

Stunning underdog victory! Full results here.

I’ve never tried this mix, but it seems I should—and fast. (May I remind you again that it’s Friday?) 

Have you tried the Betty Crocker mix? Does it live up to the hype if so? What’s your favorite brownie mix or recipe if not?

*

Limerick #2

I wanted to eat something green;
Trader Joe’s prices weren’t too obscene.
Skimmed the salad greens bag,
and I thought I might gag!
Wheat in lettuce? Now that’s just plain ____.

Highlight for answer:    MEAN   

photo (2)

Hey, at least it’s kosher.

Ugh. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten TJ’s greens over the past months. I know, I know, “If it has a label, read it.” It just didn’t occur to me that the rule would extend to lettuce! Yet another reminder to maintain “constant vigilance.”

What’s the most surprising place you’ve discovered potential gluten contamination?

*

Limerick #3

What triggers this illness? Not sure.
It’s genetic but likely there’s more.
BacteriaTrauma?
No milk from your momma?
Who cares? Please just find us a ____!

Highlight for answer:    CURE   

433px-Injection_Syringe_01

Photo © Armin Kübelbeck
Shots! (Once again, my friends…Friday.)

Do you think they’ll figure out a vaccine in our lifetime? What’s your pet theory about the cause of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity? 

Mine is that it’s all in our heads.

*

That’s it! If you got ’em all right before looking at the answers and feel you deserve a reward, come back next week. I’ll be sharing a test of a different sort, giveaway included.

In the meantime, tell me: What intriguing gluten-free news have you come across lately? (Limericks encouraged but certainly not required.) And do you love NPR as much as I do?

If you’re new in these parts, welcome! Please check out my About page or skim the index to see what I’m about (hint: it’s not all limericks). If you’d like to stick around, scroll to the bottom to follow me via Facebook, Twitter, email, WordPress, or any blog-reading platform your heart desires.

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My new gluten-free NYC apartment: a paean

My new apartment’s wonderful,
though not without its quirks.
We’ve everything we’ll ever need—
assuming that it works.

A fourth-floor walkup—healthy, right?—
ignore the crumbling stairs.
My bedroom is (still) windowless,
but meh—fresh air—who cares?

We’re not in Brooklyn, near our friends,
or even close to work—
and if we don’t get AC soon,
I think I’ll go beserk.

The stovetop and the water tap
don’t get—precisely—hot;
the dishwasher does not get things
as shining as it ought.

The toilet leaks, the ceiling squeaks,
the countertops are few—
but GF ears are thrilled to hear
“appliances are new.”

The neighbors keep the volume pumped
throughout the day and night—
but dinner’s safe, my roomie’s great,
and so I feel all right.

The walls may quake, the tiles break,
the fruit flies come to breed—
but everything is gluten-free,
and that’s all that I need.

*

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, here are a few. Yes, I was exaggerating for poetic effect (it wouldn’t be a New York apartment without a quirk or several). But I wasn’t kidding about the walkup. Every step of that is real, and my aching GF glutes are proof.

A messy workspace, just for us—with wooden spoons that it's okay to have because all the meals are gluten-free! And yes, that's a dishwasher, beloved of the neurotic and the gluten-phoboic, and a washer-dryer, which has nothing to do with gluten but is awesome.

A messy workspace, just for us—with wooden spoons that it’s okay to have because all the food in the house is gluten-free! And yes, that’s a dishwasher, beloved of the neurotic and the gluten-phoboic, and a washer-dryer, which has nothing to do with gluten but is awesome.

This is the pantry of someone who buys Chex by the carton. Not to mention bulk coffee (yes, I'm hooked again).

This is the pantry of someone who buys Chex by the carton. Not to mention bulk coffee (yes, I’m hooked again).

This is the beautiful, comfortable, more-expensive-than-anything-I'll-ever-be-able-to-afford-on-a-book-publishing-salary designer couch that I inherited when my office reorganized—and that my poor dad and coworker wrestled all the way up four flights of stairs only to find it was too large to fit through the hallway. It went home to Brooklyn in exchange for my old roommate's Ikea couch. Luckily tears are gluten-free, though I'm not sure crow is safe to eat.

This is the beautiful, comfortable, more-expensive-than-anything-I’ll-ever-be-able-to-afford-on-a-book-publishing-salary designer couch that I inherited when my office got reorganized—and that my poor dad and a helpful acquaintance wrestled all the way up four flights of stairs only to find it was in fact too large to fit through the hallway and into the door. It went home to Brooklyn in exchange for my former roommate’s Ikea couch. Luckily tears are gluten-free, though I’m not sure about all the crow I ate.

*

To those who sympathized when I bemoaned my loss of mess or worried that I’d be homeless right about now, thanks for the support. Maybe there’s a gluten-free dinner party in our future.

To those in New York:

a) You feel me on the quirks, right?
b) I’ve still got a whole bunch of tickets to give away to the Celebrate Celiac event this Saturday, so leave me a comment on my last post if you’d like to go, and I’ll get your name on the list. Until then, hope you’re holed up somewhere with an AC unit on high.

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