This is my first time (writing a blog, that is). So please be gentle.
I’ve decided to embark on this adventure mostly so I can share my successes (and challenges) in the kitchen.
Our family has been on a ”specialized” diet for some time. It started when we went “Mammal Free” several years back, and has evolved to be even more complicated through the years. When we first made the change, everybody thought we were pretty much freaks. In fact, I am pretty sure they still do, but we have managed to become less concerned about their opinions as time has passed.
So, you probably wonder what exactly “Mammal Free” entails. It means we don’t eat cows, pigs, deer, squirrel, cat or dog. Pretty much any animal who lays eggs is fair game for our plate, and all the others are off the table.
Do we eat chicken? Yes.
Do we eat fish? Yes.
Would we eat an Echidna or Platypus? No! Although these animals and other Monotremes DO lay eggs, they are still technically mammals, and freaks of nature in some respect which all by itself would make me inclined not to eat them even IF they were tasty, and IF the mammal rule didn’t override the egg rule.
If you want to know more about Monotremes (and who wouldn’t?), please see our homeschooling section over at www.lifeonthecompound.com to read more about them along with other fun facts that you probably never will have the occasion to use, except maybe to impress somebody with your smarts at a boring dinner party someday.
And in case you are wondering, although I haven’t mentioned marsupials, they aren’t on the menu either.
Like a lot of vegetarians our there, we avoid any food additives that may contain animal by-products: gelatin, mono and di-glycerides, sodium stearoyl lactate, enzymes…the list goes on and on.
Sometimes it’s easier just to tell people we ARE vegetarians. But then when they see us eating a tuna sandwich they give us funny looks.
With a newly complicated diet, we found ourselves eating at home 99% of the time. Which really was okay with us, particularly since we really didn’t like to leave “The Compound” anyway. Since we work from home and homeschool the kids, there really isn’t much occasion to have to grab something on the run. On the occasions that we ever did, we’d grab a cheese pizza for $5, or get a couple $5 veggie footlongs at Subway. These satisfied our need for mammal free food AND our frugal ways.
So, this was a totally workable situation for us and everything was going along fine for years.
Until Spawn #1 messed with the system and developed a Gluten Intolerance last year.
So, now a whole another list of items have been barred from the diet: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Monosodium Glutamate, and Caramel Coloring to name just a few.
Pizza and sub outings? No more.
Because we already ate mostly at home, and already were label readers, we have actually adapted much more easily to these changes that to the initial first big change in our diet.
Spawn #1 would like to interject here to say “Easy for HER to say, she can still eat Wheat!”
True, the rest of the family does still eat Gluten at times, but in the interest of not torturing our first born, we’ve mostly learned to modify recipes and find workable solutions so that the whole family can enjoy the same food.
Now, Spawn #2 sometimes even whines how unfair it is that he doesn’t have a Gluten Intolerance because his brother gets to pick out “special” food at the grocery store, or because I make something separate for Spawn #1 and want to reserve it just for him.
It did take a few months of disappoinment to finally get it right. I would find a recipe online, excitedly prepare the dough, let is rise, put it in the oven, and bring it out to cool impressed with my beautiful bread! But when I came back in the kitchen just a few minutes later, I’d find a sunken, deflated, brick standing in it’s place. The horrible $6 gluten-free loaves at the store were starting to look good!
They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. That phrase sure applies to gluten free baking! Now, while I still experiment from time to time and still have some flops, for the most part I have found tried-and-true recipes for all the basics we need to get us through everyday, and even for those special occasion treats.
I’ll be posting those recipes all here at www.whatlifedishesout.com , so if you are new to the Gluten Free Lifestyle, you won’t have to kiss any frogs.
Just don’t go looking for any gluten-free pork recipes here or you will be disappointed.
Thanks for visiting!
-Anonymous For Now
P.S. If you really ARE looking for a gluten free pork recipe, check out www.glutenfreegirl.com Shauna and her husband Danny have an incredibly well written blog, are semi-famous , and write for the Pork Board, too.