Tag Archives: silliness

Dear Gluten: Find Your Own Dating Website!

Stumbling across someone you know on OkCupid is so awkward. Worst of all is when it’s an ex. Your cursor hovers over the profile image until curiosity takes over and you have to click, even though you know you’ll show up in his visitors list, and therefore he’ll know you looked. (Then, you check in every hour to see if he peeked at yours, and, if not, wonder why. Did he not check in? Did he resist temptation? Does he just not care?)

Anyway. Here I am, minding my own love life, and who should I come across but our old friend gluten? Naturally, I looked—and now you can, too. (Click for the full-size version.)

OkCupid dating website profile for gluten

I don’t know what I ever saw in him. I valiantly resisted sending a message, but I did rate his profile 1 star, just to be vindictive. And no, he hasn’t viewed mine.

If you’re baffled, you might want to read my previous letters to gluten here and here. If you’ve read them and are still baffled, I can neither blame nor help you.

Savvy OkCupid users will notice I left out the section on gluten’s favorite books, movies, TV shows, music, and food. I did that on purpose so you can help fill it in! Whaddaya say? Is gluten a rhythm & blues kind of guy?

* “Bready for love” profile photo © Oyvind Solstad | Flickr

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If You Give a (Celiac) Mouse a Cookie . . . She’ll Ask If It’s Gluten-Free

I’m starting to get a bit loopy because I still can’t sleep, and it’s been a while since my last sprue redo. So, here’s a children’s book for our generation of rapidly proliferating food allergies and gluten-related disorders—in honor of the one month of the year when we celiac types feel just a bit more comfortable making demands (uh, requests). Enjoy!

If you give a celiac mouse a cookie, she’ll ask if it’s gluten-free.

if-you-give-a-mouse-cookieIf you give her a gluten-free cookie, she’ll gobble it down and ask for a cup of milk.

If you give her a cup of milk, she’ll ask if it’s lactose-free, because her villi are still healing so she can’t produce lactase.

If you give her a new cup of soy milk, she’ll ask if you’re SURE the cookie was gluten-free, because she’s starting to feel a bit glutened.

If you show her the package label, she’ll ask for a mirror so she can check whether her dermatitis herpetiformis is flaring.

When she remembers she never had DH in the first place, she’ll scratch herself all over and say, “But I do feel itchy. Maybe it’s the soy.”

Then she’ll ask for a place to lie down because she feels fatigued. Then pester you for a bedtime story because now that she’s in bed the insomnia’s come on. Then finally drift off and sleep for about, oh, three days.

When she wakes up, if she’s not the smartest celiac mouse, she’ll ask for another cookie.

And since you don’t particularly want any gluten-free cookies yourself, you’ll give her one.*

And here are some cute kids reading the real thing and wondering why the mouse is so demanding. Photo © Matthew Hauck | Flickr

Here are some real kids reading the real book and apparently wondering why the mouse is so darn demanding. (Photo © Matthew Hauck | Flickr)

*No offense intended to the many bakers and manufacturers of delicious gluten-free cookies. In fact, I could go for a delicious gluten-free cookie right now. Couldn’t you?

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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 Recipe for a Simple Weeknight Meal (or, More Likely, Disaster)

There’s nothing like a simple weeknight meal. Now, I don’t mean peanut butter (or sunbutter) straight out of the jar with a handful of potato chips, or peanut butter spread onto gluten-free bread with potato chips on the side, or even leftovers.

tired girl on kitchen floor with coffee maker

This girl should’ve made coffee before starting on her simple meal.
Photo © Evil Erin | Flickr

I’m talking about those gorgeous complete meals that come together in such a snap you feel like you must have cheated to get there. Everyone’s happy, no one’s hungry, and you have time left in the evening to, say, write a blog post.

I’m not the only one who loves these meals. Cookbooks are devoted to them; moms and dads sing their praises; and especially after Thanksgiving, I bet many of you in the US plan to fall back on them for a while.

But, although I believe these perfect meals exist, the formula eludes me. My “quick” meal ideas usually turn into inefficient, lengthy, messy, multiple-pot culinary odysseys. They taste good, but they take forever.

Since I got positive feedback the last time I shared a recipe, I thought I’d share this one with you, too. Your suggestions and criticisms are, as always, welcome. Maybe, with your help, I’ll manage to complete a meal in 30 minutes…someday.


A Simple Weeknight Meal

Yields: 1 dinner, with leftovers (if you weren’t so hungry by the time you finished that you ate it all), and 1 big mess

Prep time: 30 minutes to 4 hours, not counting time spent gathering inspiration on Pinterest (this section of recipes is always BS anyway)

Cook time: varies by recipe and other variables (including but not limited to evenness of pan heating, stove and oven hot spots, vegetable sizes, and altitude of your house), whose effects recipes rarely address and always underestimate

Ingredients

1 to 3 exhausted but ambitious cooks (see Notes)
1 recipe you’ve never tried before and plan to heavily adapt
1 to 2 additional recipes from which you’d like to draw inspiration (optional but highly recommended)
1 or more dietary restriction (again, optional but recommended—see Notes)
Optional garnishes: poor knife skills, inadequately stocked kitchen, multiple other things you intended to achieve that evening, and a low stress threshold

If this is you at the thought of cooking something, you're probably ready. Photo © Brittney Bush Bollay | Flickr

If this is you at the thought of cooking something, you’re probably ready.
Photo © Brittney Bush Bollay | Flickr

Directions

  1. Prep half of the ingredients and leave the rest to peel, chop, slice, etc., later, when you’ll be too distracted trying to stop the onions on the stove from burning to do either bit properly.
  2. Forget to preheat the oven, bring water to boil, or press the tofu until much, much later.
  3. Realize that you’re missing one or more ingredients. Don’t panic; instead, begin a lengthy debate over what in your cupboards might work as a substitute, with recourse to Google as necessary. If consensus cannot be reached, draw straws to decide who will “run out” to the store for the ingredient. Or give up and eat popcorn, since it’s not like you’ve done much yet anyway.
  4. Assuming you’re forging on with the meal, take a few minutes to select some appropriate musical accompaniment.
  5. Next you’ll want to at least scrape the crud off of the cast-iron skillet that has been sitting on the stove since your last simple weeknight meal, unless the flavor profile was similar, in which case forget it.
  6. Start those onions sizzling while you check your bookmarks and open tabs for a side dish idea. Should one appear, start prepping ingredients for that, ideally before finishing what remains for the original recipe.
  7. Text the person who has gone off to the store to request a few more missing ingredients for the new recipe.
  8. Start adding water to the onions because they are seriously going to catch on fire and you can’t believe you haven’t finished mincing the garlic yet.
  9. Accept an incoming phone call and let the onions “brown” a little longer while you chat and attempt to cut up vegetables with the phone wedged against your shoulder.
  10. Jump guiltily when you hear your fellow cook at the door and tell the person on the other end that you’re right in the middle of cooking and really can’t talk. Pretend you only just picked up.
  11. If you are trying to prepare a gluten-free (or allergy-free, or vegan, or what-have-you) meal, inspect the package labels of the new ingredients and ask the buyer if he/she is sure this brand is safe. Regardless of the response, check the manufacturer’s website yourself (with sneakiness to taste).
  12. Fend off any lingering impulse to just eat popcorn. Although you may not have accomplished much, per se, you’re in too far to turn back now.
  13. Set your jaw in a grim line and turn your attention to prepping and cooking in earnest. Bicker as desired.
  14. Begin checking the clock and moaning about how late it has gotten and how this ALWAYS HAPPENS. Repeat until every shred of patience and good will has been used up.
  15. Let the assembled dish bake/reduce/thicken just as long as you can—invariably less than the specified time because you’ll be too starving to care about taste or texture. Throw some plates on the table and serve immediately. (Optional: waste several seconds deciding between plates and bowls.)
  16. Enjoy while you can! Soon enough, you’ll be doing it again. But better. (Optimism will keep in an airtight container indefinitely and is even better the next day.)

Notes

Adages bedarned, this method works best with more than one cook in the kitchen; two cooks can inspire each other to greater and more absurd heights of complexity, and having a partner will lend to each the sense of security that the total prep time will be halved. Three is most likely the upper limit, beyond which point differing tastes and colliding elbows create the danger that no meal will result at all. In a pinch, a single cook will do, particularly if said cook is a fan of Top Chef and/or plans to post about the meal on a blog.

A food processor is not recommended. Let’s not baby ourselves.

Speaking of which…I myself do not have children, and therefore cannot vouch for them as an ingredient in this recipe. However, if you do add them to the mix, I suggest including such optional steps as teaching younguns to chop carrots (after starting the onions, mind) and taking breaks to nag older ones to do their homework and/or set the table.

If you eat meat, you may find it more difficult to stretch out the preparation process quite as interminably as I do. If you find yourself taking less than an hour to put together your meals, I strongly recommend vegetarianism.

Does this sound more or less like your own recipe for a simple weeknight meal, or have you mastered the formula? Share your tips and suggestions for actual simple meals in the comments.

I shared this on Vegetarian Mamma‘s Gluten-Free Fridays.

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