Well, it's official. I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or an allergy to gluten. 1 in 133 people are thought to suffer from celiac disease, though fewer than 1 in 4,000 are ever diagnosed. I had an a-typical presentation of the disease, making it one of the VERY LAST things they tested for. Me, the author of KNEADful Things can no longer eat bread....well normal "grain" bread that is. This is going to require a serious level of creativity on my behalf. The world of food is a far different place for me now. Gone are the days of the hot pretzel sharing with my husband or the goodnight cookie. Thank Heavens for Babycakes. My doc says that eventually, once I am done having kids, a bite of wheat here or there might exacerbate my issues, but won't kill me. I could feel my heart sinking lower and lower into my incompetent intestines.
Baking cookies is one of my all time favorite activities. How am I supposed to be able to adequately judge the result? Rely on my husband's opinion? I think NOT! I am going to have to become an awesome candy and chocolate maker, most of which you can rid of any gluten.
How am I going to go out to eat at these wonderful restaurants where the chef basically takes over the entire process for you? Answer? I won't. I feel relegated to the crunchy type joints typically only found in artsy sections of town. It also raises another interesting quandary. How do I continue to only eat fish and not meat? Wheat Gluten is found in most of the vegetarian products on the market. I am really going to have to dig deep into my recipe archives, pour over ingredient lists with a fine toothed comb, and become EVEN more proactive about my health. Ain't life grand?
I have found a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. One of my favorite treats, Parisian-style macaroons are already gluten-free. The light, fluffy, slightly sweet wonders of the patisserie are made solely with egg-whites, sugar, almonds, and sometimes coconut or other flavorings. Thank God for small blessings. Bouchon is currently featuring a delicious meyer-lemon macaroon that has to be made of a lemon flavored cloud, because that is exactly how it tastes. The cookie part of the macaroon melts in your mouth with a subtle lemon-orange flavor that is exactly what you expect of a great meyer lemon. The filling is slightly more tart with a heavier aroma of lemon. They were wonderful and unexpected. God Bless Thomas Keller.