Gluten free Friday

In an attempt to find out what is making the Crohns Disease cross I am currently on a gluten free diet and have been so for a whole 3 days now. I suspect it's going to be a remarkably efficient weight loss regime, no only because I'm eating a lot more fruit rather than bread but also because there is every chance I will waste away while trying to work out what the feck I can eat now. At least it will become an efficient weight loss regime if I stop troughing Cadbury's chocolate buttons in an attempt to stave off starvation and depression at the fact I can no longer eat pastry. In fact the only reason I've limited my chocolate selection to a fun sized bag of chocolate buttons a day is because they didn't do Cadbury's Wispas in a multipack in Morrisons and even I thought it a tad embarrassing to got through the checkout armed with nothing but 10 bars of chocolate, a bottle of cabernet sauvignon and a pack of Panadol because I had a headache (possibly starvation related). I don't know if Morrison's supermarket has a psychiatry department but if it does I suspect that a basket containing those particular items would get you placed quietly and carefully in a padded room and your shoelaces and belt removed from your personage. At the very least it's going to get you funny looks from the checkout assistant.

My first thought when this idea was suggested was 'how am I going to make a bacon sandwich without bread?' so I decided to attempt a gluten free loaf in my breadmaker. I trundled back to the supermarket to buy flour (slightly less eyebrow raising than the previous basket of chocolate, booze and pills) and came back with a pack of gluten free flour (which is made of rice), some rice cakes, some flavoured rice cakes and some really fucking expensive gluten free cakes from the 'fashionable allergy' section. I tried the cakes in the car park because I was starving, having gotten bored of bananas and chocolate. Not good, not good at all. Who knew that they were just going to replace the flour with what tasted like chemically engineered sugar? So I went home, disappointed, to try my bread recipe.

The recipe listed the ingredients and I had all of them except cider vinegar. Who has cider vinegar in the house? I had cider and I had vinegar but I figured that mixing the two maybe wouldn't produce quite what they were looking for so I plonked in some white wine vinegar instead. It's fruity vinegar right? It can't be that different. After half an hour or so the machine was making stirry noises so I lifted the lid to have a peek. Fuck. The bread maker appeared to have created beige cement and no bread recipe I've ever made correctly looked like beige cement. Never mind, maybe it'd look better and rise when it was cooked. So off I went to dig through the cupboards in an attempt to find something edible that didn't have gluten in it. After a bowl of custard, some crisps and an episode of Sharpe the ping went and the bread was ready so off I went to discover what delights awaited.

I took the tin out of the breadmaker and turned it upside down and shook it. Nothing happened, the sodding thing was stuck. So I turned it upside down and shook it vigourously for a few minutes while swearing profusely. Eventually out plops the loaf. I looked closely at it – joy of joys, not entirely unpredictably my beige cement has baked into a beige housebrick. And the little swivelly gadget that turns the breadmix is stuck in the bloody bottom of the rice-brick. My attempt to get the gadget out left the loaf looking a little big messy on the bottom (I gouged out a big hole) but apart from that it was intact. I decided to try a slice and surprisingly it was not unpleasant. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't pleasant either but it was vaguely edible provided you covered it in something with a strong flavour and didn't try and think of it as bread, more as a slice of cooked rice-brick with egg and vinegar in it. I think the best way to describe it would be 'unusual'. Perhaps it's something that you get better at as time goes by…..

So now I'm sat here, trying to think of something to eat that isn't rice cakes (apparently more than 2 little packets of flavoured rice cakes a day has laxative effects) and isn't rice-brick and isn't fucking disgusting. Looks like it's back to the Cadbury's buttons. I wonder if it's too early for wine?   

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17 Responses

  1. Ah, this life is just so much fun, isn't it. Maybe you could use the rice bread as a doorstop?

  2. I'm thinking of baking a batch of them and building myself a garage.

  3. Great oaks from little acorns grow. Not sure what that means, but I thought it sounded impressive.

  4. Acorns….do they have gluten in? And in the same way as great oaks grow from little acorns, I'm sure I could grow a scale model of the Taj Mahal in my garden made from rice-bricks. That should keep me busy over the weekend and possibly take my mind off the fact that I'm permanantly hungry and have a craving for a pain au chocolat.

  5. Agggh that's terrible. I can't imagine what you must be going through although hey, the cab sov is a great choice no matter what the accompaniment – though I reckon they meant meat or fish rather than chocolate buttons and panadol. I'm surprised you weren't quizzed by the cashier (as is fashionable, they are all now Samaritans) whether you were going to off yourself with the pills and the fermented grape juice.
    Dunno if it helps, but dried fruit is supposed to be good for filling you up, though steer clear of the prunes and dates if you're already laxative laden.
    Apparently there are gluten free sausage rolls (try Tesco) and I've read that nut/seed bars are good for staving off hunger pains. How ironic that "staving" isn't far off starving…
    Best of luck, and I shall raise a toast to you tonight (gluten free, of course)

  6. I did wonder if the cashier was going to stop me and question me as to why I was buying booze, chocolate and painkillers but either my fearsomely grumpy scowl or her own utter indifference to whether her customers all dropped dead in the car park stopped her. I suspect it was the latter, I wouldn't have been surprised to find a bottle of cheap whisky and 40 Nurofen under her chair either.
    I'll keep a look out for the gluten free sausage rolls, thanks for the tip. 3 days and I'm getting pastry cravings, that isn't good is it? Giving smoking was a piece of piss compared to this.
    Thanks for the toast! Although toast is a word I'm trying not to think about at the moment. Along with cinnamon swirl, gingernut biscuit and garlic and coriander naan bread. I too will be raising a glass while sitting on my arse watching Comic Relief. Thank god there's no gluten in wine or vodka, otherwise I really would have no reason to live…

  7. I'm chuckling but not at your misfortune.
    Hopefully you won't think this freaky or weird or anything but I took the liberty of checking out Tesco's range. No sausage rolls, sadly but there is good news. LOADS of gluten free produce including garlic and coriander naan, and some rather tasty treats including but not limited to Mrs Crimble's gluten free bakewell tarts and chocolate macaroons, tesco caramel slices, crumpets, english muffins, double chocolate cake bars, pizza bases, fruitcakes (much like my good self) and loads of other nice stuff. I would heartily suggest a detour on your way from work to home via your local Tesco and a full basket of many treats to be had. Oh, and while I am at it, Gallo's White Zinfandel if you can find it is 3 for 2 in Threshers or one of those equally good discount boozeries.

  8. Cheers Pete! I go past Tesco on the way home so will be heading in to load up on gluten free snacks. I've also just discovered that Sainsbury's have gluten free PIES! Pie! Mmmmm……definately having pastry cravings. Why is it that if someone tells you you can't have something it instantly becomes the most desirable item in the entire world?

  9. [esto es genial]

  10. If I may completely fuck up your day with good intentions….
    apparently (but actually I speak from experience so I should say "factually and irrevocably") anything containing dairy product as well as alcohol in general is basically evil and poisonous for all of us, but possibly moreso for you.
    I know how hard it is to really go cold-turkey on something as pervasive as milk and booze (I really do, cause I do these things from time to time for fun you see…I know…but I didn't ask to be on this planet see…I am supposed to be on another one…I digress..) but if you can be religiously fanatical about it in the kind of glassy eyed fervour of only the true bomb-strapping-to-self devotion of the zealot, I promise that within a few short (speaking geologically) weeks your whole system will feel close to that of a fairy having an orgasm while floating on a soft cloud of rose scent and sunlight.
    That at any rate is my suggestion. Truly it really is a life changing experience. You do have to become a glassy-eyed zealot but hey…that's what transcendental experiences are all about. Fanaticism. And the fairy-floating-orgasm of course.

  11. hey Vicola:) – i have a couple of friends who have Crohn's and are on gluten-free – they are hands down the skinniest people i know – i feel like i eat like a cow next to them – i've got the IBS where i HAVE to eat starch to cushion my tummy from the acid – and i can't eat most greens because i can't digest them – i don't particularly give a crap about not ever being able to eat brocolli or spinach ever again, but i'll be damned if i give up chocolate (which causes horrible acid) – so, i cheat – um, i can't really help you except to say that i totally empathize and those friends with Crohn's – who, by the way, they cheat because they can't deal with going cold turkey, even after years and years! – one cheats with bagels, lox and cream cheese – and then gets headaches – but she swears it's worth it!p.s. i always have apple cider vinegar in my kitchen – a 1/2 teaspoon with a glass of water every day regulates the acidity in my tummy:)

  12. I've a feeling I may end up cheating because the idea of a whole lifetime without sausage rolls and cinnamon swirls is just too much. And I can't survive without bacon and sausage sarnies from the butty shop…I'd refuse to give up on chocolate entirely too, I think that as long as you accept that if you have some of whatever irritates your system it's going to have an effect and so only eat it when you've not got something important on then it's manageable!

  13. Ask Jem for her bread recipe, it's great and even tastes like real bread! It's a tad more solid than 'normal' bread but it's good for toast with butter on it, bacon sarnies, egg sarnies in fact sarnies full stop.However sometimes we do end up with the bread brick of dispair. Hate to break it to you, unless it states otherwise Custard has gluten in it, so does beer (balls I say). I'm actually sitting here after failing to resist the Jamaican Ginger cake that has been leering at me from the bread bin like some poisonous toad. Thanks to my mum the gluten pusher I now have a stomach like a badly loaded washing machine and let's just put it this way my contributions to global warming could rival a herd of Jerseys.Sometimes I just say to hell with it, but then that was post credit crunch when I could afford as much toilet paper as I desired. So it's rice cakes and crackers or Nairns Oat Cakes (which are great actually esp. the Ginger ones, mmmm, ginger…)Anyway all the best!

  14. I think that as long as you accept that if you have some of whatever
    irritates your system it's going to have an effect and so only eat it
    when you've not got something important on then it's manageable!EXACTLY! – i have a weakness for sausage rolls, too – here, they're more like liverwurst rolls, so i'm slightly less than enthused:) – but, i prepare before eating chocolate – i think it would be a crime against nature to live in Switzerland for a year and not eat the chocolate!!! – i've had this thing for 9 years now, and only in the last few have i managed to cheat – smartly – and accept the consequences – but that's what keeps me sane – and what will keep you sane! – of course, there are always the nasty surprises, but unfortunately, that comes with the terrritory:( – good luck:)

  15. Cheers! I'll give it my best shot. I imagine eating out is going to be the most difficult bit and where I'm most likely to be hit with a nasty surprise.

  16. Custard has gluten in it? Seriously? Bugger, that's not good although it does explain a couple of things. Jamaican ginger cake…with custard…I'm picturing it in my head and it's making me drool. I tried a gluten free chocolate muffin either which was more edible than expected. Slightly bizarre but still more edible than expected. I'm just getting used to it and experimenting at the moment but I have to say that every attempt I've made at bread has been a complete and utter bloody disaster. Perhaps it's something you get the knack of eventually but I suspect that I may starve to death in the meantime.

  17. Stuart! I know times are hard but substituting bog roll with rice cakes surely isn't the best way to save money, nor the skin on your ass presumably! Although oatcakes are relatively soft when microwaved for a good 30 seconds, perhaps that could be the way to go. 🙂

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