Monday, March 23, 2009

Allies Against Wheat

It's always a weird experience meeting other gluten-free people. At first, there is the initial excitement of someone who understands your food issues. After a while, though, you realize they don't share all of your opinions/favorite recipies, and they are very stubborn about their favorites. I'm realizing there is a spectrum of GF living, and I, as always, hover somewhere in the middle.

On the far right we have Nurse Jan, who always shares baked goods with me when she's in the office - zucchini bread, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes with fudge icing. She's also really, really intense about her GF-ness, avoiding things I would never consider dangerous. "Oh yeah I'm hardcore. I make my own vanilla!" Besides insisting on homemade BBQ sauce, salad dressing, and sausages, she also avoids cocao processed with alkali. Huh? In all my research I have never heard of alkali poisoning anyone's innards.

On the other hand there is the GF Winterthur fellow I met over interview weekend. She was very sweet and supplied me with pretzels and ginger snaps from Trader Joe's. One of the other Fellows is her GF watchdog/food buddy. She'll eat the icing off a cupcake or caviar off a cracker and hand it to her friend. I'll be honest, I would never do such a thing. What about stray crumbs? Yikes!!! (Ok maybe for the caviar. But just once.)

But then again, I cheat sometimes too. Fast food is my downfall. Of course I would never touch a hamburger bun again, but I put a blind eye to the fillers that are probably lurking in my crunchy taco. Or the battered onion rings that were probably in the same oil vat as my fries. I've had to draw the line, though, at beer-battered fries in Irish pubs. I love those places, but eating there is super hard. Everything is basted in Guiness, and a bowl of iceberg lettuce is hardly bar food.

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