The other day I came across this website that made me rethink my predicament and accept the new me – which is supposed to be, gluten free. I am putting it like that because the other way would be – I am allergic to gluten. So anyway, the website made me feel part of a community, accept that this is going to be a way of life and that there are many others who are facing the same problem. In short, they were saying, “Welcome to GFA – Gluten-Free Anonymous”. I could almost see myself sitting on a chair in a circle of other troubled celiac-cursed people. The website did have recipes and options for gluten-free living and diets but I still wasn’t convinced it wasn’t a sorry situation. The whole thing sounded like ‘we are with you’. Was I into therapy now?
I shun the putrid thoughts and concentrated on the good things about it. I would have to give up maida (refined flour) which somehow managed to screw up my lipid profile already and my LDL is now pretty borderline! For those scratching their heads, lipid profile is not something that makes you a pro or look pretty, it is your cholesterol test. So the bad cholesterol aka LDL was busting my blood stream and the gut was already celiac cursed. Need I worry more? Damn, I was supposed to talk about the ‘good things’.
So yes, the good thing that came out of my ‘condition’ is that I started watching what I was eating. I love cakes; which goes on to say that dropping flour off my chart was like getting dumped on email – shocked and without explanation! I decided that since it was necessary to drop pasta, pizza and the equally criminal cheese and cream out of my way, I would not give up on cakes, even if it means having a slice a month. Now since the website (which shall not be named) already made me feel clinical about myself, I chose to find a happier path and started browsing Instagram! And then, I found Sheila (realglutenfreemeals.com). Yeah, that’s her name and she surely is one helluva Sheila. Sheila here is not only young and pretty, she also has a very handsome husband and two adorable kids and she makes me feel classier about being gluten-free. I emailed her a few times and let’s say, she and not her customer care team, encouraged me to try a few things for starters. I had a bag of almonds, gifted by someone on some occasion lying in my drawer and I had never thought of them until now. Sheila skips dairy and drinks almond milk instead, and the flour that is the residue of the process comes in handy for baking! My heart cried out with joy. I was ready for cakes again.
That a friend’s Facebook food posts were tugging at my sorrow chords, is now not beyond repair. Sure, I might not immediately come up with her delectable Bundt cake, but I shall and I will, try and try again. To cut to the chase, I baked an almond cake yesterday and it turned out so yum, I felt like a mother rescuing her kid out of the kidnapper’s hands! The recipe I turned to, did not mention butter or oil but I was worried it might burn the cake and therefore added a few dollops of butter nonetheless. I mean, I hadn’t yet come to trust the oil of almonds completely. And the best part is that the husband, who is usually ordering off a completely different menu than mine, loved it to bits…literally! There are only a few portions (not slices) left of it now and I am super excited to try something more gluten free.
In all this, I have learnt one lesson. Practice more than you preach. Sheila, thank you for not trying to put the spirituality of ‘gluten-free living’ down my throat and instead, enticing me to try it as an adventurous new lifestyle. I know I will have to manoeuvre a lot through the aisles of spicy, dairy-loaded, flour-heaped Indian cooking, but I will find my way of living and revel at that very soon.
ALMOND CAKE (no wheat!)
250g ground almonds
225g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence
Blend this together and bake for 40 minutes. Voila!
P.S. This is not Sheila’s recipe. I just got it off a Youtube Clementine & Almond cake and dropped Clementine off the list.