Make No Excuses!
My History in a Thumbnail
At first it seemed like being in a prison, not being able to eat gluten anymore. I was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago, after learning how to cook for my mother-in-law when she had to go gluten-free five years earlier. (She was no blood relation, of course, so I was really in denial about that at first!) When I started cooking for her in 1995, there was maybe 5% of the information that is available now – a few books, nothing on the internet – you can imagine how different it was. My best resources were a binder of notes from the registered dietician who trained us, plus some Xeroxed copies of recipes shared with a few other celiacs we knew. My mother-in-law tried almost everything in Bette Hagman’s cookbook, The Gluten-Free Gourmet (first edition). Then I found Scott Adams’ Celiac.com, which helped immensely. At first it was a huge help with the lists of non-gluten-free and gluten-free foods. Now it has so much more — still one of my favorite resources.
After the struggle of getting my mother-in-law’s, and then my, diet under control, then we realized how hard it was going to be to enjoy eating with non-celiac people. After spending our whole adult lives cooking for our families, punctuated by frequent pot lucks, carry-ins and family get-togethers, suddenly we had hardly anyone who wanted to share what we could eat. That proved to be much harder on us than the limitations to our own diets.
I love my husband, my family, my dog…and cooking. But, when I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I learned a whole different aspect of cooking. I have found that celiacs can share good times enjoying good food that even people on unrestricted diets will enjoy…because it makes no excuses. It’s a little harder to find, but it’s still food that’s delicious!
Now my goal is to help other people on gluten-free diets who cook for a whole family (or office, or crowd…) of those who eat regular food.