Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I can (not) has cheeseburger.

Well, that isn't exactly true. I can have a cheeseburger. What I can't have is the classic beloved soft and moist cheeseburger bun. You know the one I mean. They come in packages from 4-24 and you can never find them on the store shelves on Memorial Day or the 4th of July. Of all the things I can't have since my diagnosis of gluten intolerance this is one of the foods I miss the most. Sure I have had GF cheeseburger buns. I'm not knocking any particular brand, yet they always seem dry and tend to crumble from the weight of the burger and the moisture of the ketchup and mustard. My husband says he enjoys cheeseburgers just as much without the bun. "That's because you can still have the bun.", I tell him. He is a real trooper and hasn't had any gluten at home since my diagnosis. He does, however, eat what he wants when he's not at home. It would seem as though that until you are told you cannot eat something, both by your body and your physicians, that you can flippantly say "oh, I can live without (insert food here)". I guess that is just human nature.

Since I went GF I've accomplished many things. I've created delicious bagels and scrumptious cinnamon rolls. I've learned that it is possible to make roux with rice flour that taste's just as good, if not better, than traditional all-purpose flour. Life without gluten has been good to me, right to the point where my mother makes me my own favorite cake for special occasions so I don't have to watch others feast on dessert with longing and whimpers. I've also made mistakes and discovered gluten in foods that I never would have suspected. Most recently I was sidelined by a jar of black olives. Yep, olives. I still don't know why they contained gluten and my guess is it was hidden in the 'natural seasonings' on the label. Alas, gluten is natural, even if the human body cannot digest it.

We are in the grips of a frigid cold snap here in Vermont and I'm guessing it's my longing for warm weather, longer nights, barbecues and campfire marshmallows that is driving my mourning over this classic mound of bread. My mission for the week is to dig out my apron and practice my best June Cleaver in the kitchen. Without the heels mind you. I am going to bury myself to my elbows in flours until I've created a cheeseburger bun I can not only live with, but like. Failure is not an option... Well it is, however, I prefer not to call baking trials failures. They are merely minor trip-ups to better bread. With luck and good dough I will have my favorite veggie burger smothered with Vermont cheese on a plump, moist bun by weeks end. I shall let you know how it goes.

After all when life hands you dry bread, make breadcrumbs.


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