Tag Archives: visiting family while gluten-free

Thanks and No Thanks: A Thanksgiving Game (with gluten)

Here’s a twist on Two Truths and a Lie to play at your Thanksgiving get-togethers this year: provide everyone with slips of paper and pens and have them write, on separate pieces of paper, one thing they’re thankful for this year, and one thing they’re not.

Collect the papers after a respectable amount of time (once all the Mary’s Gone crackers are gone and a few people have resorted to the veggie platter), and take turns reading them aloud. The group then tries to guess who wrote it, and whether he or she is thankful or unthankful for it. If you’re competitive, you can award points to those who guess right, and make the loser do the dishes. That’ll net you some thankful guests.


Original image © woodleywonderworks | Flickr (cynicism is all mine)

To get you started, here are a few examples from me. This year, I find I have many things to be thankful for. But there are others for which I’m shaking my fist at the universe. Go ahead…see if you can guess which is which. (Highlight for answers—the whole page at once, if you’re lazy.)

Celiac disease diagnosis
  Thankful, I guess, though a miraculous recovery would’ve been better.  

That I stopped biting my nails

That I stopped being a slob
  Would be thankful, if it had happened.  

My totally GF NYC apartment
  Thankful. Although don’t ask me that at the bottom of the stairs.  

That my apartment-mate (Sprue Jr.) got stuck being GF too
  Not thankful! Boooo, universe.  

The 2013 GFAF Expo in Secaucus and other events

The way my stomach felt after sampling way too many things at said events
  Less thankful.  

Getting nominated as Rookie of the Year in the 2013 WeGo Health Activist Awards
  Super thankful! If you pop over and “endorse” me, I’ll be even more so.  

Bob’s Red Mill GF line
  Thankful: sorghum, flaxseed, amaranth, millet, cornmeal, brown rice flour, hot cereal, brownie mix, CHICKPEA FLOUR, and probably more make this one a no-brainer. 

Bob’s Red Mill GF chocolate chip cookie mix
  We all make mistakes.  

The weight I lost by going gluten-free

Amazon Prime
  Thankful, but guiltily so.  

Corn and Rice Chex
  Ask my coworkers about the 16-box cartons of each that arrived to my attention courtesy of Amazon. Call it thankful but ashamed.  

The gluten-free tax break
  Ten months’ worth of lost receipts say no.  

The FDA ruling on gluten-free labeling
  Thankful. So good of them to wait till I was diagnosed to do anything.  

The few restaurants I can actually visit without it being considered an act of self harm
  I guess I sorta gave you that one.  

Dunkin Donuts going gluten-free
  I’ll believe it when I see it.  

The miraculous power of the human body to repair itself
  Check in with me next Thanksgiving.  

Games aside (and not to get all sappy on you), I have more in this almost-a-year of being gluten-free to be thankful for than not. Oh, sure, would I give back the incurable disease, the copays, the media scoffing at my diet, the bagel crumbs in the office kitchen? Yup.

But I’m grateful to have loving and supportive friends and family members; to live in the golden age of gluten-free food; and to be here at my childhood home, surrounded with stockpiled gluten-free equipment and ingredients waiting to come together into a meal we’ll all be able to enjoy tomorrow (the low-carbers, veg-heads, hockey-puck cranberry saucers, gluten-freebies, and all).

Oh, and I know I said I wouldn’t get sappy, but one more thing I’m thankful for is:

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful and not thankful for this year?

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What I learned this weekend: 8 lessons about gluten-free food and family

My dad used to be a teacher, and to this day retains a penchant for educating. As kids, we knew we could ask him questions we were “just curious about” and rely on him to tell us all he knew…which we could then furiously transpose onto our homework sheets, which was of course the point all along. (When he caught on, he was not pleased.)

And Mom homeschooled my brother and me for the early days of our educations: Patrick through fourth grade, and me through second. Homeschooling may account for a few oddball tendencies in both of us, but that’s not really the point of this blog post.

The point is, it’s no wonder I developed a desire to teach. Both my parents had been modeling it since, I imagine, day one.

This past weekend, my sister and I visited for my mom’s birthday. We spent much of our time at home cooking together, in a paper-towel-covered kitchen using all-new definitely-safe gluten-free cookware and ingredients, testing recipes for my mom’s blog.

As is always the case, while visiting, I learned a few things. Here are some:

  1. If you put a head of garlic in a bowl, cover it with a lid, and shake it vigorously, it will unpeel itself. At least, some of it will.

    I suppose "vigor" is subjective.

    I suppose “vigor” is a subjective word.

  2. Adapting a non-gluten-free recipe really isn’t as simple as subbing in a gluten-free flour blend.
  3. But cakes underbaked in the middle can become bundt cakes at a moment’s notice.
  4. And still taste great.

    gluten-free spice cake

    No one ever would’ve known…except Mom was modeling honesty this weekend, too.

  5. Going gluten-free hasn’t decreased my seasonal allergies. It’s just that I’ve been living in a place with no natural flora or fauna. Back in Massachusetts, land of the beautiful fall foliage…a-choo!
  6. Parents have way more fun after their kids move out:

    brandy cocktails

    I also (re)learned that I don’t really like brandy.

  7. Socca is still the best thing in the world, but panisses are definitely in the running. (Check out David Lebovitz’s recipe, which is similar to the one we used.)

    Is there anything that can't be made out of chickpea flour?

    Is there anything that can’t be made out of chickpea flour?

  8. My parents are the best parents a gluten-free gal (or two) could ever want.

I already knew the last one, but just want to be sure you do, too.

What have you learned about food and life from your family? Have you had any kitchen mixups or success with new recipes recently? And, for god’s sake, have you tried socca yet?

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