Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I have always loved food and appreciated good cooking. That being said, my own repertoire as a chef has generally been very simple and more focused on using fresh organic ingredients than following recipes.
Growing up, my mother and brother were the "chefs" of our family. For the last six years I have been blessed by the incredible culinary skills of my husband and his mother. I've picked up a few things here and there, but mostly I've washed a lot of dishes as my appreciation for the infinite number of delicious meals I've been served.
Quite simply, even the people who love me would never think of me as a talented cook. I muddle through, learn as I go, and am grateful just to have food to eat.
That is... until recently.
Six months ago I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and my world turned upside down. Gone were the days of pastries (oooh - cheese danishes!!!!) and pasta, my favorites. Cooking became more challenging, and cooking for myself was a sudden imperative. With all of the apparent restrictions of a strict gluten free diet, I was compelled to search for a way to continue eating well.
Initially I gave up not only gluten but also dairy, sugar, corn and potatoes. Now that six months have passed and my Hashimoto's thyroiditis has resolved, I have allowed a small amount of the latter four foods back into my diet. A very, very small amount. Gluten remains (and will remain) banished forever.
Thanks to the work of a handful of wonderful women whose blogs I read religiously: Karina's Kitchen, A Gluten Free Guide and Gluten Free Girl I have been experimenting with gluten free cooking. I am learning about alternative flours like sorghum and tapioca. I am figuring out the nuances of rice pastas. For the first time in my life begun to s-l-o-w-l-y become an excellent cook. I really love my time in the kitchen... and was amazed when a few weeks ago a close family friend actually asked me for my recipe!
So even though they have never met me, I thank these three wonderful chefs for inspiring me to love spices and take real pride in making dinner for the first time in my life. And to you, my readers, I say: If I can do it, anyone can.