Sometimes the simplest of foods can be so nurturing. What could be better than sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and basil leaves sandwiched between the slices? And a vinagarette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt & pepper drizzled on top of the composed salad. A reminder that summer is soon to come. These tomatoes were actually quite good, considering that they were probably grown in a hothouse. Who cares that they cost $5.99 for about 12 small beauties? As spring begins to soften the earth here in the northeast US, we ate tomatoes that tasted like the real thing. And it reminded us that soon, in about 4 or 5 months, we will be able to either eat our own homegrown tomatoes, or buy them at local farmers markets, where stalls are spilling over with real tomatoes, tomatoes that look and taste like tomatoes, tomatoes that are picked right off the vine early in the morning and brought to market.
On another note, I’ve had a few hard days. Definitely in a Celiac funk. I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself. I don’t care so much, believe it or not, that I can’t eat this or that. What I find deplorable is the fact that I need to consider every damn thing that goes into my mouth. For example, tonight, I made a vinagarette to drizzle over the lovely tomatoes pictured above. The balsamic vinegar that I used was Trader Joe’s white balsamic vinegar. Bottled in Italy. The ingredients were seemingly safe. No gluten. But, ah, can I convince myself that something is gluten free when I want to eat it and don’t really want to check for certainty? Yes, I can. It was only after I ate it that I remembered that feeling that nagged at me, in the back of my mind, as I made the dressing. The ingredients included something called grape must. I have no clue what that is. And maybe in fact there isn’t gluten in grape must. But who knows about the vinegar? I’ve been told that products made in other countries aren’t as easy to verify in terms of the gluten content. So, why did I take a chance? Why am I now having major heart burn as I write this? Because I got lazy. Because of my Celiac funk, I decided to take a chance. And now I’m sorry I did. I was just thinking, earlier today, that I’ve really been feeling better. No heart burn. No tummy rumblings. And then tonight I blew it. Well, there’s always tomorrow.
And someone from another blog, a more experienced Celiac, gave me some good advice recently. I will feel better and then have a setback (I paraphrase). The healing will take place in stages. Three steps forward, one step backward. Slow and steady wins the race. If I keep trying to be as compliant as I can, with minor setbacks now and then, in the big picture, I hope to have totally good days more often than not. Oh yeah, and maybe my hair will stop falling out.
My life has become steak. So much so that I’m actually sick of it. I don’t care if I ever eat steak again. Ever never. But it’s so easy and so Celiac friendly. Never having gone all vegetarian, I find it very difficult to make the shift to do so. It seems to require so much preparation. With a diet that is centered around meat or chicken or fish, it’s far less time-consuming. Throw it under the broiler or on the grill, cook 10 minutes, throw the salad together quickly, you’re done. But with vegetarian cooking, it seems to require more forethought and planning. Now, if there’s anyone out there who can help me with this, help me see it from a different perspective, please do so. I’d love to eat less (or no) meat and chicken, but need some help. I’m WAY open to suggestions. Bring it on.
Well, I was going to blog about traveling as a novice Celiac, but I think I’ll save that for another day. Because my husband and I travel so much, we have had to come up with strategies for Celiac survival. I promise to get to that in a future post.