Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blogger Hurts My Soul

You may have noticed that I've all but stopped posting here these days. The reason is twofold. I'm finding it difficult to keep up with a blog what with a full-time job, roommates, and a whole host of summertime activities that have somehow become my life. More importantly though, I've become unhappy with the changes Blogger has made to its format and the way you can share content with readers. They've made it all but impossible for me to upload photos directly from my computer, and that's not kosher with me. I can't support a system that restricts me to photos from the internet or an online photo-sharing account. For this reason, next month, I'll be making the move to Wordpress. They have a superior format and are far more user friendly than Blogger. Don't worry about finding me though! The domain is mine to keep and independent of Blogger, so you'll still be able to search for me that way. Thanks for reading, and stick with me during the transition. I promise to reward you with tasty recipes and restaurant recs again in no time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pamela's Products

If you're like me and you love Pamela's Products, then you should check out the interview by Amy over at I Am a Celiac. Who knew there really is a Pamela? The interview makes for a great little Thursday morning read, so I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Kitchen/ Old Kitchen

For those of you who are still unaware of the change, I relocated (again). This time to beautiful downtown Charleston to live with the boyfriend. I'm excited and nervous to have my own household. Well, ok, so I share it with four people, but there is one room that's mine to do with as I will: the kitchen. For the first time, I have my own kitchen to arrange and decorate and stock to make it just so. I have ample storage space for my dishes, cookware, and appliances, plus extra for the odd pieces that my roommates have brought with them. And I have two huge windows that allow the sunshine to burst in and the breeze to float through when I throw them open. For all its quirks- the oven that takes at least an hour to preheat and the strange layout that makes functionality a challenge I'm determined to win- I love my kitchen because it's so full of possibility. The white walls are absolutely begging me to paint them over with hues of yellow and the cupboards groan happily under the weight of dishes, spices, and cookbooks. The fridge, which is now stocked with delicious food patiently waits in the corner for me to peer inside and gather the ingredients for the meals I have planned. And since we decided to cut back on our restaurant visits, I see many nights of home-cooked dinners for my boyfriend and me. It's a vision that makes me giddy with anticipation.

Keep checking back as I post photos of the transformation!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Generosity Lessons

Some of the ladies from the church my mum and I attend brought us dinner this week. They did it as a way to give me a break from the household duties I've been shouldering while my mum heals from her surgery. The gesture of dinner alone would have been enough, but these women don't do anything casually. They brought a main dish, three sides, dessert, fruit, a salad, and a loaf of freshly baked bread. Oh, and did I mention that the macaroni and cheese, chocolate cake, and bread were all gluten free? These ladies not only provided my mum and I with a hot meal, but they went even further to make it one that I could enjoy fully.

I've said it before, but often, celiac is a diet of exclusion. Particularly when control of the menu isn't in my hands. More often than not, when someone else cooks for me, they omit the things I can't eat. That in and of itself is perfectly acceptable. I'd rather someone not serve me something they are unsure is safe for me to eat as it saves us both the awkwardness of trying to find out or the embarrassment of guessing wrong. But these kind women didn't omit side dishes or desserts, and instead went to the extra effort of tracking down and preparing items that were both safe and delicious. To say I was touched doesn't being to express my gratitude.

Since my diagnosis, I've learned more about appreciating such simple gestures. It brings a smile to my face to know that there's a six pack of Redbridge waiting for me at my boyfriend's apartment, or that someone made the extra trip to the grocery store to buy gluten free bread mix so I could have fresh bread with my meal. Or when my aunt makes two versions of her baked ziti so I can share a meal with the family. There is no reason for anyone to do any of these things except love. They care for me and want me to be healthy and happy, and so they ask questions, read labels, clip magazine articles, and share recipes.

So many people ask me, "How can you live with that?" when I tell them of my disease. Simply put, I live with it because of people like those women from church and my family and friends. I live with it because the people in my life make it feel less like a burden and more like an opportunity. My diagnosis teaches me everyday the depths of human generosity and compassion. Compared to those things, a slice of bread means very little. When I said that celiac is more than just a diet, that it was a lifestyle change, I meant it. I just didn't know my life would be the first of several to change because of it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Mum

Hi guys. I figured everyone was beginning to wonder where I was lately. Truth is, the past two weeks have been so insane that I've had very few opportunities to bake, let alone write about baking. The good news is, though, that things appear to be settling down and I can pick up my measuring cups again.

My mum had her surgery two weeks ago. She was scheduled for a Tuesday morning surgery, but a minor complication (nothing life threatening!) postponed her surgery date until Thursday. She came through beautifully and was released from the hospital Saturday. The surgeon removed her right breast and lymph nodes from under her right arm, so she wasn't allowed to use that arm last week at all. I spent the week playing nurse and checking in on her, but I'm happy to say, she's recovering very very nicely.

Last Monday, we got the best news possible. The surgeon biopsied the tissue from the surgery and my mum is officially cancer free! Though she still has to do her radiation treatments, it finally feels like the nightmare is over. Our conversations about the future no longer contain the words "if I'm feeling up to it" and we can both relax a little. Her oncologist is extremely pleased and very optimistic and that makes me hopeful. Cancer's a big scary word, and although medicine has come a long way, the uncertainty distracted us both from a lot of things. But seeing my mum fight, and win, with an unshakable grace has taught me a few things. It's given me the courage to jump into my projects without fear and without regret for things that don't go according to plan. And the best part is knowing that she'll be there to watch it all unfold for a very, very long time.