Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day! Rather overcast here awhile - after 'morning sun!' . . .

We are (square) dancing on the float in another parade this evening, so I'm hoping it clears off & warms up! This will be the 3rd parade of the summer, in a small local town (Willamina) followed by their fireworks. Since our local firework display moved from a school ~ 15 blocks from my house, & easy walking distance to a site closer to the airport, with lots of congestion, I haven't been 'out' to watch them. My daughter is also happy to celebrate rather 'quietly' at home with her hubby, their girls & a few sparklers!

My dad disliked driving on holidays, even 'back in the 50s & 60s' when traffic was much lighter! I know he'd drag his heels at going to this parade, travelingon one of the busiest highways in the state! So with others, I raise prayers for travel safety, & clear skies!

July brings several musical events - I'll be playing harp next Friday from 11-1 at Turkey Rama, & for several weddings at pretty vineyards the next few weekends.

It's almost a year now that we've been gluten free, & a weekend at the coast with my galfriends highlighted just how much I want to avoid the stuff. On the ride home midday Saturday, I wrestled with a a migraine (which I RARELY experience). I combated it with homeopathic gelsemium & arnica - by the time I got home & took a nap, was feeling almost normal. Was it triggered by histamines from the wine the night before? But I didn't awaken with it . . . or . . . .

I didn't intentionally ingest gluten, but picture the breakfast 'bar' Sat AM: a lovely fritata Martha made with fresh duck eggs, aspargus, local garlic & onion, topped with avocado - next, loaves of bread from the night before peeking out of their warpper; then the pan with sauted bacon, nice & crisp, followed by a plate of G containing muffins!
This was laid out before I noticed - I did go through the line 2nd - but who laid it out? Did they wash their hands between placing items?

Did anyone even HESITATE to place the bread between the main dishes? & did the person in front of me take bread? Does a bear poop in the woods? Well, of course they took bread! I got bacon with my own fork, & went outside to the deck overlooking the ocean, to dine with my friends. & within an hour or two, had stiff shoulders & a headache.

Ironically, a few weeks before one of my friends asked if I were coming on the beach retreat, & when I expressed concern about gluten contamination, she said - yes, we talked about that, & that it wouldn't hurt ANY OF US to go gluten free for the weekend!

Well . . .

Some of us headed over Thur, & ate out that first night. One of the bread baskets was in front of my plate between two of us, the other shared between the other four. When that basket ran dry, 'ours' was passed down (whew!) but more bread was requested. (& later someone asked me if the basket in front of us - which they'd emptied - had any more, & I quipped that I didn't intend to be their 'pusher')
I had a salad, stuffed chicken breast & aspargus. The chef recommended against the rice pilaf, ('can't guarantee that it's G F') so I had a baked potato. We had desert at home, inc yummy GF brownies Martha brought, in their own box & well labeled. (the rest had 'regular' brownies, from a seperate box)

Dinner Sat was lasagna - I brought my grain mix, & asked Donna to reserve some sauce & cheese, rather than bringing her GF noodles (knowing she was likely to bake it at the same time as the 'regular' lasagna) & cooked my seed/grain mix while I made the salad.
The seed & grain mix: quinoa & millet in equal parts (1/2 C each) & a Tbsp each of teff (African millet), amaranth, & chia seeds - bring ~ 2 C of water to a boil, pour in grains, stir, reduce heat & cook ~ 20 min. This is great for breakfast or dinner, & you can season as you wish.
Local strawberries over ice cream & a GF brownie for me (angel food cake for the others)

Snacks included the brownies & bags of chex mix, pretzles, M & Ms . . . . I brought dehydrated veggies, & found a pretzel in the bag, when I got home - I'd put it out on the snack table - should have put some out in a dish with a spoon, & kept the bag in my basket, where I had rice cakes, rice crackers, & a coconut mango bar. If I go next year, I'll ask that all the gluten items be placed on the snack table, & that any GF snacks be in a different area.

Do my friends have chronic health problems that are associated with gluten sensitivity? Yes, inc Asthma, Diabetes, Chronic pain, weight issues, one sleeps with a c-pap machine, . . . . & only one has expressed 'considering' going GF for a week & "seeing if it helps" . . . (another wanted to share the grain mix, as she's 'doing' weight watchers, but didn't avoid other gluten)

Yesterday, I visited with my daughter's friend Karen, who started us down the GF path, after hitting 'early menopause' in her mid thirties (yes, ANY fertility/ miscarriage/ premature birth issues can be linked to gluten sensitivity), & commiserated about people just 'not getting it' - she'd spent a 'mixed' Thanksgiving with 'well meaning' family members, & even after explaining how GF folks should serve themselves first, & others should only DIP food with the utensils, & not spread anything on bread . . . others jumped ahead of them in line, & immediately someone dipped & spread cranberry sauce on their bread . . .

Like others on this strange journey of being GF in the land of wheat, wheat, rye & barley, find it frustrating at times, but joyfully health giving!

Watched Julie & Julia Friday night at my daughter's, & think of Julie as I blog - fun to see her cooking her way through Julia's book, & thinking of Shauna's GF tome, due at the end of the summer! Now that would be fun to cook through . . . .