I blog gluten-free

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The GFCO- How Testing For Gluten Is Done

Spelt during preparation. Wheat has been eaten outside of Mediterranean countries for 10,000 years or more. Spelt is one of our "first" foods.
Numerous scares and rumors have developed.
The nastiest I've seen is as follows:
A recent rumor sadly stated that cow's milk contains gluten proteins. No. Milk contains caseins, among other proteins, including one widely considered hypoallergenic, casein hydrosalate, and sugars such as lactose. If you are celiac or gluten intolerant, provided you are not allergic to or intolerant to milk proteins or sugars, then enjoy your milk. Shame on the fear mongerers.

 In the interest of explaining the rumors, one of the big testing companies, GFCO-Gluten-Free Certification Organization sent out an article earlier: It explains the testing procedure, acceptable levels, and "hot spots".

Gluten is found in grains. Not only does it aid in stickiness and stretch in doughs, but is a storage protein. The Bad Guy with celiac, gluten intolerance and gluten allergy is called (by grain, these grains being wheat, rye, spelt and barley)

  1. Wheat: gliadin
  2. Barley: hordein 
  3. Rye: secalin
In the field. Image courtesy: yougrowgirl.com spelt-triticum-spelta/
For what spelt looks like during preparation, see top photo.

* Wheat is related to spelt, which contains less of the gliadin, (Although a celiac can't count on it being "gentler".)

I differentiated because ALL grains have gluten (storage protein), from rice and corn to wheat and barley. This is important. It is basically a big three that makes you ill if you have certain genetic markers or the disease. 

Now, I can try to give a laymen's term-laden restructuring of the GFCO article, but I think it is important that they speak for themselves.
Gluten Free Certification Organization- Understanding "Hot Spots"
This explains exactly how testing is done, margins of error (gulp!) and the categories. And what happens if there is a positive result, false positive or not.

I'm Not Your Bloody Kleenex!

In taking time off to heal...because frankly, in most situations, my body was there but my brain might as well have been shut down like a computer and I went through numerous sets of Imitrex injectors for migraines that followed, and well, everything had begun to grate on me, I accidentally shed people I cared for, but frankly, made my heart break- (Hence-take time to find new stress relief, learn who I am and work on making changes stick)-
I'm still a little shaky and heart broken... I have been trying, (Too many causes for grief in a short period, with no time to heal between them) but I cannot as of yet, pull myself out of a shaky cycle. Things that don't usually bother me are terrifying me. I haven't been able to shake illnesses... revenge of the PCOS- (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, which, along with endometriosis, I had surgery done to relieve symptoms in 2002) has really shaken me... some days I cannot move to go get a glass of water without pain- has come and gone since March. This and nightmares don't help me in the slightest.

And to know--- I may have to tell someone some harsh truths. Someone has changed in a bad way... become demanding, insolent, insulting... unrepentantly refusing to see anyone's humanity... and thinking it's ok to insult. (Please note: I do not use names. However, in this case I am discussing a male figure.) Not being seen as a human, tossing an insult- a kiss and a smack is the way any conversations go, and wondering why I get uncomfortable, and thinking I will function as a personal Betsy Wetsy. One reason I have not been able to even think of visiting with them since December. And as personal Betsy Wetsies go, dude, I had no idea you were into water sports! (Ahem: Taking that literally is not the point intended. Here, Betsy Wetsy stands for "live doll" as Kleenex can stand for any type of disposable nose wiper as well as being a brand name.) That too... I am not a Kleenex---don't just talk to me because I'm convenient and "so sweet, I can say anything" and then acknowledge me only if you need to vent your spleen negatively.
My sarcasm filter, a life-saving device, is up. A brain to mouth filter is slowly dissolving, and I may get blunt. I am attempting honest, polite reasons as to why being around them is not an ability. Sorry, no, I don't have any desire to go to a Styx concert, no, I don't want to be alone with you... and the way you discuss a friend- a good friend who has supported everyone except herself makes me ill. How's that for brutally blunt? You're making me sick, and your smack and a kiss conversation method makes me ill. I don't take that from anyone. When you go to AA, aren't you supposed to practice humility, by the way? Dude... go back and read the manual.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom

Dear Mom,
You hate any pics of you, but I worked hard on this one. I love you. Shut up, you're beautiful.
Happy Birthday, you stubborn, stubborn woman. I thank you, for life, for fighting for me, for teaching me resilience. I may sometimes disagree with you, but you are feisty and stubborn.
Now, take care of yourself. Yes, YOU TOO. You take care of everyone else. Even if its' just for your birthday, take care of you. Eat something nice (I will be treating you, and you can't say "No." It's not allowed.) Remember that if you need to talk...a lot of pain in the past year alone, you've got me. I love you. Happy Birthday, Mom.

Song For The Divine Mother of the Universe

What is there above us? There is something bigger than us, by far, I know.

I have always been entranced with space- the stars, the billions and billions of stars! (Thank you, Carl Sagen, I can now never resist adding that!)
I love to lay back and look up, and dream a little dream... and think of the legends that gave us our numerous groupings of stars, in beautiful, glimmering, perfect patterns- a hunter, forever chasing a bear, for example (Sounds depressing now that I think about it.) Orion is not just a name for crappy televisions! These legends explained the natural world for millennia, and gave people something to believe in, which tends to be important to humans. They did not GIVE the stars, but they gave us our way of looking at them.

This was spectacular to me... I'd always been interested in non-human space-explorers, and I can never help it, a tear will go to my eye.
This was a joint project between an ad agency, Leo Burnett, composer Ben Lee, and the World Wildlife Fund, which I proudly support.
The video is called "Space Monkey Goes Home". Warning: Tear jerker, very beautiful, goes for the heart strings and plays them like a harp.

The song is: "Song For The Divine Mother of the Universe" by Ben Lee, from the disc, The Rebirth of Venus.

If this is too disturbing or you need lyrics like me, here are the lyrics to the beautiful music.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bazonga! Great, Big, Blue-Footed Boobies, Batman!

Safe for work, honest... but I think these lil' buggers are adorable and I have to share.
These are blue-footed boobies. (Giggle all you like, even I did!)
The male boobie has smaller eyes than the female.
Aren't these the most adorable boobies you've ever seen? (Alright, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Country Matters

"Look to your own country matters, and let others pay heed to theirs." My little retranslation of a filthy bit of Shakespearian phrase... (Emphasize the first part of "country"... yes, pun intended, absolutely.) I use it much the same way people might say "People in glass houses..."
Where do I get it from? Watching and reading productions of Hamlet.
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, and his rather dry and rather subtle cutting remarks.

112   Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
113   No, my lord.
114   I mean, my head upon your lap?
115   Ay, my lord.
116   Do you think I meant country matters?
117   I think nothing, my lord.
118   That's a fair thought to lie between
119   maids' legs.
From: Hamlet, act 3, Scene 2 author, William Shakespeare
Thank you to Shakespeare Navigators for the text.

In this case, he's asking if he can rest his head in her lap, but also reminding her of more carnal things.
In the famous "To be, or not to be" speech, Ophelia makes an appearance in mention.
"Aye, there's the rub" is actually quite filthy- Ophelia is under a table, unbeknownst to anyone else,
she is giving Hamlet a big hand, as it were.

So you see, you can be subtle with your filthy humor, or any, really. The idea is: "Let it smack the
recipient in the head- but after he/she is already mystified. You can get points across without being
horrifically obvious.

But, in conclusion: don't get your head up someone else's behind. We've all got tasks to do,
and things to learn... pay heed to your country matters, and don't get too upset if others are
attempting just that...but let them change and grow as nature will have them do.
And: Allow your own growth as well.

This concludes this broadcast of: "The Art of Being Politely Rude". Goodnight.
Cue National Anthem, if you please. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WBC: Redux

The Westboro "Baptist" Church has a habit of consigning recently dead people to hell...the problem is, their very own text warns against judgment... "Judge not, lest ye also be judged, for with what judgment ye judge, and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to ye again"- Matthew 7:1-2 KJV.
In other words, put away your scales: you too can be weighed, measured and found wanting.

The judgment of souls is not up to mere humans... the commandment is "love one another" not "Judge one another".

Let's look at the WBC, shall we?
Uses the freedom of speech allowed in a country they hate, to spread hate propoganda
Former civil rights attorney thinks it 's all ok, unless someone disagrees with him
Basically a weekly gathering by one insane and hate-darkened family
Protests military funerals and aids in grief of parents who have to do what is unnatural and bury their children.
Goes against their own bible and uses judgment to shock, frighten and awe
Yes, they themselves act as terrorists, with horrible, inflaming signs and words, designed to create hurt and terror. What makes them better than babbling, insane false prophets in filthy potato sack, shouting "The end is nigh! The great dragon comes in the night! What you know is false!" (Street bum I saw once in Brooklyn.) How, WBC, does it glorify God to hate, to cause grief, to terrify? "Comfort widows and orphans". vs. "God hates you! Your loved one is in hell because he supported a country/ once had children after the death of another and in death leaves them motherless/ fatherless"- death of Elizabeth Edwards. (Her bio from WBC included that bit as her horrific sin).
Let us simply say, WBC: God never says: "Preach the gospel of hate, of fear, and mercilessly attack the grieving in order to shock and awe." NEVER! But, a false prophet on the other hand...
You will know a false prophet by their fruits. The WBC does not bear any good fruit.
"Can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit, or a good tree bring forth corrupt fruit?" Let's ponder that. And if there are people like this in this world, then let us strive to be good, and to give love, not in the name of religion... (Don't do anything in the name of religion!) but because you truly want to be.

Face Palm of the Day, Odd Couple Edition

Because, I still haven't got the words for it!
Epic face palm of the day:

I need to be a bit more careful in proffering polite refusals. When challenged, I will, even if I'm confronted with a mere mention on Twitter, lower my eyes, duck my head, and say "I am very small, and am trying to present no challenge to you." This is a rotten habit I am attempting to break, one I can't remember where I acquired it from, but have been attempting to break it for some time now.

I can't sleep. I don't want to eat. I'm scared of angering everyone, and trying with difficulty to keep people afloat in both an effort to please people and to avoid fights, which I cannot tolerate easily and will cause me literal physical pain. I've been getting sick...everything from my neuropathy to summer colds and allergies being exacerbated by the stress.  So, let me try to phrase this in a silly, sarcastic manner:
(I am really trying to attempt to avoid the worst fratricide since Cane and Abel.)

1)You want to make a large life decision, without asking ME, but instead, basically forcing me to do something that makes my stomach lurch upward and my heart take up the space my stomach used to be in. After telling me that my premature birth was what killed Dad, that I am at fault for our nutty family- you think that's going to be forgiven, just like that?! Whoops, that was angrily serious. Let's try that again.

Can two polar opposites share living space without killing eachother? Will Beth acquire a new pair of testicle shaped-earrings? The answers to these questions and many more... no wait, I conflated the Odd Couple and SOAP...

Quizzer: Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? Joan Crawford's House. The Odd Couple. SOAP. What do they ALL have in common?The answers to these  questions and many more...
(Answer: People who SHOULD not live with eachother. With mayhem and murder tossed in for good measure.)

Ok, how's this: 
I offered a visit. I would be delighted to VISIT family anywhere. But you yourself described Fresno as the land of No Opportunity. I left that behind to come here... why would I want to go west to attempt the same bullshit? And over 1,000 miles away, a fight about goddamn HUMIDITY?! Ok, thank God I stilled my fingers, "I've heard Hell has no humidity, but I sure don't want to live there, either." Dude. Seriously. Let me make the world work for me. Let me struggle, let me work, let me fight, let me live and love on my terms. Not yours. Especially when hateful hurtful crap is lobbed to me at least once a year. And it sticks WITH me.
I will visit. I cannot live with you, bro. For both our sakes. Get your head out of the clouds and focus on you and your family. Be blessed. Know I love you, but it is not right or good for either of us.
~Love, Beth

Monday, June 20, 2011

Introducing a New Word: "Murbling"

I have a pure hate. It's for this diabolical abomination, the automated menu/message system. Sample audio:

"If you (Inaudible) mumble, gurgle gargle, please press (Inaudible)." Now, provided, after about 20 tries I stumble on the "correct" button to press, here's where entertainment begins. More number punching, more softly banging my head against the wall, sobbing quietly, while becoming more hot and angry (a hot, crimson rage fills my heart...) at the computer and or human being who recorded their voice and "murbled"(Mumbled, gurgled and gargled) their way through it in an awful, flat "I'm sorry, but they are threatening to take away my cat's supply of catnip, and forcing me to speak like this" voice. It tends to resemble Lisa Lampanelli with her mouth full. (Murble murble murble.) Jumpin' jimminy- automation hasn't gotten it right yet!
 It's times like this when no matter HOW much I amp it up, that I'm tempted to let either a voice relay operator try for me, or to see if I can get them to do it via speech to text. I don't think I'm alone being annoyed at the incessant murbling.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Abstinence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Today, Father's Day, is often a day of seclusion for me... I'll send out the usual greetings, thank yous, and well, if someone has helped me, I'll say something.
But it's a painful day, too... so much was lost 16 years ago, a source of energy, humor and get-up-and-go, don't let the bastards get you down- chin up in the face of pain stubbornness. That can never be replaced.

So, while I thank my brother, 10 years my senior for stepping into the shoes of a father-figure on occasion, I do not like knowing that in his eyes, I am still a child- who apparently needs a dose of atheism and nihilism, to forget faith, and become a hardened and faithless adult. I can't allow that, and I don't like him trying to make decisions for me.

I am 28. I have had my hard knocks. Two miscarriages, three losses, that knocked me for a loop... I've screwed up, and learned some good lessons from that. I don't need, when calling mom, who as a single parent for 16 years, also gets a father's day message from me...to know that he has plans for me...to move me too close when frankly, much as I love my family, abstinence tends to make my heart grow fonder. I and only I will make big decisions pertaining to my life. My mistakes are mine and I own them. As I own me. I will make it in this world by dint of my own power, and by growing-by learning. I am not perhaps what is wanted of me, but I cannot be anyone else.
I don't like confrontation, and I will shudder in fear of it...until it gets to be too much and I snap.
I am getting better. I don't dream of the miscarriages anymore- I don't often think about them at the front of my mind anymore. On days where I learn that apparently, in Utah, a miscarriage might land you an accusation of murder, or someone rather stupidly decides to wish people a "Happy International Baby Loss Day", I will snap and suddenly bear teeth, but I am not crying at the drop of a hat anymore.
I am building a life here... some mistakes were made, some things said that unfortunately touched the wrong person. BUT... I feel safer. Not safe. Safer. I have people I can hold onto when I need it. Who give me the strength when I am scared. I will learn to say "Something is wrong" at the appropriate times, not let things fester. I don't think of a lot of things at the front of my mind that used to trigger me anymore. Only occasionally will they come forward, and I will fight those demons tooth and nail too.
And I will put my foot down: I am strong. I am an adult. I have my needs, they are different from yours, but, I can take care of myself. I will grow, and goddamn it, I will live. On MY terms. I love you, but what you think is in my best interests (God, I hate that phrase) and what is right are two separate things. I have the responsibility to know myself, to love myself, to fight for what's right, and to make my own life...and while I occasionally feel like I live in between two worlds in a sort of purgatory, or that life is walking a tight rope over hot lava, I will make it. ON MY TERMS.
I may have sensory issues, I may not hear like everyone else, but I am no little innocent in need of pampering. I am my own human with a big wide world to figure out.

Happy Father's Day, 2011

A very Happy Father's Day
To the men who stay, who try like hell through all kinds of craziness... to those with human babies, to those with little fuzzballs who meow or bark to get their attention.

I don't celebrate it much, haven't since 1995, but here's a special Father's Day gift, from me, to you.

And Dad, happy Father's Day, thanks for 12 years of love, patience and fighting for me...and making me learn to write, read, and tell time, and tie my shoes, with your own brand of teaching, acquired at camps for the disabled and in the Franciscan priesthood. I raise a glass of wine in your honor. Love you, miss you.
Christmas 1983, the only pic I have digitalized thus far. (Trying on the pic of him in monk's robes, which, with his bald spot, gave him a look reminiscent of Francis, and gave the nickname, the Capuchin Monk when he wore gray)  Yes, yes, that is me in a funny hat. He always yelled at me to wear one, so when I did and do, I like to wear one jauntily. This is the man who taught me to be a happy goofball. Even when sick, and in pain from numerous diabetic complications, you could always count on his weird sense of humor.
~Love, Beth

Friday, June 17, 2011

To Plant a Tree

As a special gift, I've chosen to dedicate a newly planted tree to Lorelei.
"To my strong, beautiful girl who is now 5. They didn’t think you’d make it, but you have. The world may be crazy, but you are beautiful inside and out and I love you, and always will. May you bloom and grow, bloom and grow."
Beth’s Tree Dedication to Lorelei

click to view larger image.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Little Things That Grind My Gears

Basic annoyances:

1) MUSLIN is a fabric used in quilting, most often as a back. MUSLIM is a form of worship. You might have heard of some guy named Mohammed? He wasn't a quilter.

2)For God's sake, "y'all" is short for "You all"...it makes no sense whatsoever to spell it "Ya'll"!

3)I can't believe I'm saying this: It is impolite and disgusting to celebrate death, and I do mean any death. No matter who the person is, someone is still in pain over their demise.

4)There's a way to phrase things. So, allow me to reiterate: A cheerful, flowery, and extremely "!" -laden note saying (In computer generated hand-writing at that!) "Happy International Baby Loss Day!" strikes me the same as it would strike others if I were to walk into a Klan meeting and shout, "Happy Kwanza, Mr. Grand Wizard"! That said, people grieve differently. I cry when I am able, until then I use gallows humor. And I can sound---well, really darkly, if not inappropriately sarcastic. I do try to give cues, and if it's too much I take time to heal myself and lick my wounds as it were before I face others.

And that has been another episode of "What Really Grinds My Gears".
Tune in next week to see Gordon Ramsey roasting Martha Stewart over an open pit, shouting "Piss off!"

This is a list of pet peeves. Also, using the word "Pet peeves" is a big annoyance to me. You could say it's a pet-peeve, even.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Butterflies For Amnesty International

In Nicaragua, young women who conceive via rape have no choice but to have their rapists' babies. Womens' rights are very, very stilted.
In 2008, Nicaragua made all forms of abortion, even that in case of rape, illegal, forcing those who find having the offspring of their rapists unbearable, to have them anyway.

From Amnesty International:
In Nicaragua, girls and young women are at greatest risk of rape and sexual violence. Almost half of all rapes reported between 1998 and 2008 involved girls aged 14 or under.
For some women and girls made pregnant by rape, the idea of giving birth is unbearable. But since 2008, when Nicaragua made all forms of abortion in all circumstances a crime, they have had little choice.
Women and girls in Nicaragua are demanding the repeal of the total abortion ban. They are calling for their right to be free from sexual violence and for support for survivors of violence to put their lives back on track.
The Nicaraguan government must act to put an end to this human rights emergency.

I am generally, pro-life, however, in cases of rape and incest, I will strongly state that there must be a choice, not more victimization.

So I stand with Amnesty International, and indeed, perform my slactivism, as well as supporting other tasks (though not all) that Amnesty International does.
So I send my little butterfly out into the world, for young women in Nicaragua who have no choice.
Thank you, to Copyranter for pointing it out. WARNING: He oozes with sarcasm, and well, he hates everything.
To create your own butterfly, go to:
Amnesty International-Defending Women's and Girls' Rights In Nicaragua
And if you can, try to do more than slactivism to help set beautiful, injured butterflies free, all over the world.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Thrifty and Dirty 30- What NOT To Do

The Frisky occasionally does articles that follow the Glamour/ Cosmo format, "30 things a woman should do before 30" and "30 things a woman should not do before 30* or after 30, either".
The "Thou Shalt Nots irritated the living hell out of me. So... since there was only one bit of good advice in the thou shalt nots, I suppose I should try my hand at a list.
For the original, click: 30 Things A Woman Should NOT Try Before She's 30
Now, to be honest, I'm a voice of been there done that, got the t-shirt
ok, maybe not THIS t-shirt, but you get the idea!

So, another Dirty Thirty:

Thirty Things NOT to try before turning 30 (Or any other time)
1)Staying with a man after he hits you
2)Letting anyone tell you how you should think, or how you should act
3)Not knowing how to say no
4)Ordering a meal in a restaurant twice and not making the waitstaff understand "I like this place. I like this food, but I need it a certain way, and in return, I will give you my green money for your time, help and patience." POLITELY. I can't stress that enough.
5)Not knowing how to communicate so you get misunderstood 
6)Second-guessing yourself
7)Being undiplomatic. There's a way to say "There is an issue"... in being vague and speaking in anger, you end up confusing people and finding new reasons to smack your head against the wall.
8)Anything that you know in your heart and gut, makes you feel uncomfortable or like less of a human.
9)Hurting anyone as you've been hurt
10)Not forgiving yourself for your mistakes and like any human, those are to be found at any moment
11)Not focusing on the future, and letting anger about the past live on in you, ruining any beauty for you
12)Sacrificing yourself so people won't get mad at you\
13)Letting someone lie to you because you want to believe
14)Sacrificing yourself until you get sick because of it
15)Judging others in order to feel better about yourself
16)Not standing up for yourself, your beliefs, and your life itself
17)Focusing on people who are not worthy of you, and forgetting those who care
18)Believing lies about others to make you feel better
19)Holding your tongue when you're scared and uncomfortable just to be polite
20)Not taking good care of yourself, medically, emotionally, physically
21)Not knowing when the time for politeness ends and the time to be upfront is at hand
22)Not cherishing and treating yourself occasionally
23)Allowing anything toxic into your life
24)Being so sure of your own correctness, you refuse to see any other side to the issue at hand
25)Knowing you're right, so any proofs to the contrary piss you off
26)Judging different beliefs off hand as "You're bad, you're wrong, you're stupid". Learn from the differences
27)Letting anyone tell you how to think. Learn from differences but...
28)Don't ever let an open mind keep you from being true to you
29)Not knowing when it's time to pack up and go
30)Not loving you for the marvelous person you are

A Piece of Cake

Betty Crocker, of baking mix, cookbook and baking contest fame, started doing  the Gluten-Free thing about a year or so ago. Now, they're doing their first ever gluten-free baking contest, with entries due June 30th 2011.
So if you're interested in the GF baker's challenge, click here! Gluten Freely/ Betty Crocker GF Baker's Challenge

Maybe they'll come out with a GF Betty Crocker cookbook,designed like the classic my mother and many moms have used since at least the 50's. That would be awesome, and I'd add it to my growing collection of cook books.
And who knows, maybe Better Homes & Gardens will come out with one for the GF crowd, I grew up with the classic plaid in my kitchen, too!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Unglutenated Wheat?

Unglutenated wheat:
"Unglutenated" is not found in any dictionary that I know of, but calling a certain product GF would be a mistake.

One particular company is offering a GF wholeseller wheat starch, from which gluten has been rinsed away, possibly to sell as its' own stand-alone product. The product apparently only contains gluten to 20 ppm (Parts Per Million). In other words, still dangerous territory.

Wheat starch is produced from wheat four by removing the proteins including gluten. Years ago it was believed that all the protein could be removed, It is now recognised that it is technically impossible to remove all traces of protein and a small amount remains.
There are two types of wheat starch:
Commercial wheat starch which is not pure enough to be suitable for Coeliacs.
Specially-manufactured wheat starch which complies with the lntemational Gluten-free Standard (Codex Ahmentarius) and can safely be included in the gluten-free diet.
Wheat starch of this purity is expensive and it is most commonly used in products specially-manufactured for Coeliacs, to provide palatable and acceptable bread and flour substitutes.
Source: Diet and Nutrition: Gluten

For those of you who don't know, this is pure gluten. This comes from a company that does dedicate itself to GF products but makes other products in a separate facility.

Oh, and to vegan friends: Did you know? Pure gluten can be mixed with water, soy sauce and molasses to create a meat substitute. Seitan. You're welcome! Happy eating!

Great Balls of Gluten! Appetizing, no?
And this: never fails to make me a little grossed out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Special Thank Yous...

Good or bad, all changes help you to grow, learn and thrive. Sometimes, I've felt like I'm rowing up a rather famous creek that rhymes with "Brit"... but... after a while, it gets a little easier.

Sure, I can't say I have no regrets. No one can. Win some, lose some.

I am grateful, for both positive, and negative inputs, including the sensory... and that I can eventually learn great lessons from it all.

Thank you, there are far too many to mention, and I don't want to forget anyone.
Upward and onward. And, as I tell everyone, love, honor, forgive and take care of you. I will attempt to follow that advice as well.
God bless!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken Butts, the King Of Glory, & Probing Pre-Caffeine Questions

What's Up, Chicken Butt?
Rooster feathers typically used in certain types of fishing lures are being pre-empted for a hot new hair trend, to the point where tackle and bait shops refuse to sell them to women. What's the deal? Well, they breed special roosters for a year, and then euthanize them (How nice, they politely kill them!) then they turn their beautiful butt feathers into fishing lures. Chicken-Butt-Feathers. Hair. Ne'er the twain shall meet. And the poor ickle rooster...reaches his 1st birthday and goes to get politely killed! And you're wearing his butt feathers in your hair?  Ladies... won't you please think of the chickens? Oh, the humanity! What's next, literal pig-tails? (Dear PETA, don't even think about it, do know I am mocking you, too!)

Is my amusement here a sin?"The King of Glory" is used in processionals often. Steven Colbert, yes, that Steven Colbert, did the most energetic version that I have EVER seen. Unfortunately images do stick and well... we'll say that I will have to bite my tongue or lip during Mass.

The fact that he's breathless by the end kills me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Let's Mambo! I Can't Mambo! Discovering Sean Forbes

While my taste in music is all across the board- there is no pinning down my musical tastes, "Alternative" might cover it- I'm not usually fond of rap.

But I saw this video...pure silly joy, bringing back the images our parents might have known, and top of it, a deaf rapper. Who is rather adorable in that geeky way. Sean Forbes showed a sense of humor and sillyness, and I really liked "Let's Mambo!" 
It's a true gift to the deaf/ HI/ HOH community. And like most performances of ASL, you can't help but have your emotions shine through. Marlee Matlin is awesome, as well... and damn can that girl dance!

Sean Forbes is a deaf rapper from "The Land of Lincoln"- Illinois- to show Abraham Lincoln, make your hand into an L and hold it to the side of your head (Not the front!) and up a little high to show a top hat, one of Lincoln's trademarks. 
Recently, Forbes signed a music deal and is marvelous... check him out! :)
And he pulls off the white suit, I must say!

A Fine Mess

It was time for something new... time to brighten up, time to see if I can let myself reflect in my work, in a brighter atmosphere. I'm not going to focus on the darkness, and while there will be storms, it's time to enjoy the warmth and breathe the fresh air. My blogs and I have always been a bit of a fine mess, and this will be reflected. From "Life as I know it" to "Mayhem with Bethy", to "Starry Starry Nights" and nutrition info/ rants at stupidity, and more, nothing has changed.
Except for the blog's title, that is.

I raise a glass, you bet your ass... CHEERS!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer & Braided Bread

Ah, summer! Not a time to be considering baking bread---after all, depending on weather sources, it's supposed to hit 80 this week. Indeed, pool is open, when I actually see life guards and not just kids walking on the roof of the pool house, I will be down there with my blackberry, in case I find something awesome to snap down there, (not kids walking on the roof.) But, I have been on a search for challah, a braided bread found often in Kosher bakeries.
This is challah:
It is a gorgeous braided bread. :) 

In my search, I came across a gluten free- good luck bread notably used on New Year's Day by Greeks.
I could use the same basics and make up a version with no coin to get in my way, alackaday, I would find and choke on the coin!

If you're interested, the Good Luck Bread in entirety: (from www.schar.com/us

Uses a lot of European measurements, will have to calculate and get back to you here. Telling you to use 0.36/1 oz is just an awful thing for me to do!

Needs a converter, working on this now, but here's the recipe card: click for full size!

I found a mini challah, a bit of a GF all purpose flour and some xanthan gum, and I can whip this beauty up. I used to occasionally make or buy challah prior to diagnosis in '09, however, it's been something I've been trying to find in vain!


  • 1-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 to 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon beaten egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cold water
  • 3/4 teaspoon sesame or poppy seeds, optional


  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oil, sugar,
  • salt, egg and 1 cup flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough
  • remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
  • 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once
  • to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about
  • 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into
  • thirds. Shape each portion into an 8-in. rope. Place ropes on a
  • baking sheet coated with cooking spray and braid; pinch ends to seal
    • and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
    • Beat egg and water; brush over braid. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy
    • seeds if desired. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden
    • brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (8 slices).
    Nutrition Facts: 1 slice equals 137 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

What I want to do, is create a mixture out of Bigelow Cinnamon Stick and French Vanilla teas (3 and 2 teabags, respectively), add milk, eggs, and let it soak in the refridgerator for at least 2 hours. I've done something like this, and although I'm not a huge French Vanilla fan (Rarely, if at all, will I go near French Vanilla flavoring, too much of a chocolate fiend, and it might be a bit TOO sweet for me.)

Bigelow does more than tea, and how nice to mix two things I love, tea and fresh-baked bread!
Vanilla and Cinnamon French Toast, Bigelow Tea

Have a lovely summer & Happy Baking! Please use sunscreens if you go out in the sun, you should not bake yourself to a crisp!
Na zadrovie! (To your health!)

Summer brings out Wanderlust and really brings out my enjoyment of expanding my food horizons. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Brown Rice Rice Krispies (Gluten-Free)

There are things you would think would be automatically gluten free. Cereal companies are doing their best to have a standard line of GF products... General Mills would seem to be the leader here.

Cheerios, I haven't had since 2009. But it's oats, and one would think that, barring cross contamination, those would be gluten free, right? Wrong. They're contaminated by the old scourge, wheat flour used! Luckily Nature's Path makes a pretty good, if not perfect, Cheerios-type cereal.

Rice Krispies will be back on the good list soon...the company is actually changing up, will taste the same, but will be gluten-free! & made with brown rice, very healthy!  (Woot! I know what I'm making! :) If they don't get eaten straight from the pan, that is---yes, rice krispy treats!) Gluten Free, Brown Rice Rice Krispies
Thank you, Kelloggs!

There is still a concerted effort for standardized labeling, which the FDA has been sitting on since 2007, but assured celiacs and gluten intolerant people at a 1in133 summit (Perhaps entranced by the over 11 foot tall cake) that they were uh "Working on it". Great. I love doing guess work and novenas at the grocery store! So far, we've learned of ELISA tests, parts per million, the Church's stance (Church with a Capital C is none other than the Roman Catholic Church.) which does not bode well--- no body of Christ at Mass, blood (wine) only, as there must be .01% gluten in wafers...Benedictine nuns sell a low-gluten version.
So until the day comes when they finally get it sorted and actually do standardized labeling, the fight will be on. This is the only type of fight I like, for what's right, for what should be obvious, and there is a sweet little boy out there who thanks his lucky stars he can have rice dream! Let's get moving people!
Tell The FDA the time for standardized labeling is NOW!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Triskaidekaphilia or, Count Your Blessings Ten Plus Three

Onward you'll go, up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak

-You can if you choose, adopt "Woe is me, life is hard" attitudes. I can't stand them long, and will do all I can to snap myself out of them. So why not count blessings?

Since 13 has become what seems to be my lucky number (I appropriated it, as it's just a terrifying number for many, and what I've been through makes "Fear of #13, Triskaidekaphobia," just silly! Triskaidekaphobia is Greek, with Phobia meaning "Fear", in this case of tris, (Three) + deka, (10). Literally, fear of 10+3. (The kai means "and"... in this case, represented by the + sign.)
So, the incomplete list of 13 blessings and things I just adore

1)My family (Could not have made it on this road without you)
2)My friends (Those I've been blessed to get to know, the same applies. I've learned marvelous lessons even in not-so marvelous situations.)
3)Food (No matter how tough it is, I will always enjoy it!)
4)The stars (Nothing is more peaceful than gazing up at the stars :) )
5)Life itself (What a gift!)
6)Flowers (Bright, beautiful little bits of color :) )
7)The sea (Or, as I call it, "HOME!" That salty, watery world where fish play and healing can happen)
8)Being healthy (Believe it or not, I am actually healthier than I've been in years)
9)Humor (It would be such a black and awful world without humor of all sorts.)
10)Laughter (God help me if I ever forget TO laugh, to smile, to enjoy.)
11)Faith (Without it, I'd have nothing, and would forever be stumbling in the dark with no light.)
12)Honesty (Even if it's something I wasn't thrilled to figure out at the time, I'm grateful for it.)
13)Love (Love is patient, love is kind...)

Let me remember to live this too. 

Hummus, Buckwheat, Curry and Chocolate, Oh, MY!

Too often, what I can't eat seems to be exponentially larger than the list of what I can't eat. SEEMS is the operative word here, it's merely a side effect of living in a mad, mad, mad world of new discoveries, knowing that everywhere, misinformation can rear its ugly head at any given moment.
So, a primer. Let's get the can'ts (Aka the Thou Shalt Nots) out the way first.

Thou Shalt Not (Gluten Free Edition)
4-Spelt (This is a "gentler" older cousin of wheat. Also, the British past participle of "To-Spell". Spelt is occasionally tolerated by the gluten intolerant, not so much by the celiac. And is in the NO-NO List.)
Buy from companies that know what they're doing... some ensure that there is no cross-contamination
Oats and buckwheat are naturally gluten-free. Oats are often stored by many companies in storage bins that contained wheat. Oopsie...cross-contamination.
Bob's Red Mill recently removed buckwheat from their gluten-free line (some 70 products) because due to cross-contamination fears, they could not guarantee the buckwheat was not contaminated.
Thou SHALT enjoy:
-Corn (Beware, however, some find it too harsh for their systems. The latest bread I tried, from Shar, the only I Can't Believe It's Not Cardboard GF bread I came across, is a corn and rice mix.)
-Milk (Although many in the community have issues with dairy.) In this case hemp, almond, soy and rice milks can be used.
-Teff, an Ethopian grain known for its teeny size (Its' meaning is "Lost", as in you drop it, you won't find it.)-good tortillas.
-Hummus (Yes, I eat gyro filling, if not the actual outer portion, for the most part-some places serve this separate and I can dish some on my plate.)
-Rice (LOTS of it)
-Curry (I often use the green powder to flavor rice dishes, red is HOT!)
-bean flours
-Guar and xanthan gums (The latter is synthesized from cabbage.)
And more. To list it all would fill books, honest!
There is pressure on the FDA for better labeling as well, which should make the process easier. I've enjoyed great pasta, hummus, roast beef and swiss, peanut butter, chocolate, almonds, popcorn, pretty much everything anyone else would eat.
Bard's makes a gluten free beer (Sorghum) that I want to test... and they are based locally here in Buffalo. Being celiacs themselves, I would bet this was a trial of love and error for the brew masters.
KIND bars are really good and GF. I like the Protein Plus one, with chocolate and peanut butter.
The Grainless Baker graham crackers are awesome!
Get out there, don't just live on rice.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Little Bit of Myth-Busting

Every day I come across myths and numerous misinterpretations of the gluten-free diet.


Any questions? 
1) NO two people are the same and their diets must reflect this
2)Glucose and gluten are two entirely separate things. Glucose, if eliminated from my diet would be a BAD thing. Ever see someone who tends to have low blood sugar? Not pretty! Gluten is a protein that also aids in stickiness in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt. Glucose is a sugar
3)Gluten-free and taste are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, if it's "healthy" and "gluten free" and tastes like the butt of a diseased cow, I'm not eating it.
4)Some people need fats...I never absorb those, myself. So cutting fats out of some diets is bad. Besides, you need a small amount to be healthy... even that you can get eating a jar of almonds. Eliminating fat isn't healthy.
5)Scare-mongerers on a pro-anorexia site (I was shocked and saddened there WAS such a thing) insist you can't eat anything on a GF diet. (Buzzer.) I face-palmed so hard I almost gave myself a bruise.
Worse yet, a Forbes journalist used them as a source. (Double face palm.) For your edification here's a link I left off in the original blog. I figure it fits well as a link in a myth busting blog: "They'll Never Expect You To Eat Again"
I feel for these girls, I do.
When you're naturally thin, don't absorb fat well, and live your life on "Are you sure I can have that? Can I have a crouton-less salad?" and use a probiotic to fully ensure all the plumbing works, and have been accused of having some sort of an issue (Those that don't know will often say "You're trying to stay thin right?" No, I'm trying to stay alive and get healthy.)
But uh, let me repeat: NO TWO PEOPLE ARE THE SAME AND THEIR DIETS SHOULD REFLECT THIS. They should eat, without fear, what is right for them, refuse what is not, and enjoy some things because they taste good. I myself just waxed poetic on Pamela's chocolate-chocolate chunk cookies. No gluten, plenty of cocoa... yum!
The gluten-free diet is not next to nothing. I can eat a surprising amount of things... vegetables, fruits, nuts (Often in the peanut-butter chocolate Kind bar), meats, dairy. I just can't have wheat, rye, barley and spelt. But I've learned how to test products, make things I can eat, and have become quite experimental. Hummus recently got included in my list.
What I won't eat, not just taking into account the actually smaller list of "can'ts" is anything that tastes like the back end of a cow. I also refuse to recommend anything or feed it to anyone else unless it's passed my tests, and I can be notoriously picky.
Don't make generalizations or assumptions. Ask.
Ps... even though I also suffer from an allergy to pork, I also love bacon. I also like the smell of the original pork-based version and will inhale it like precious perfume.
So, hey, offer me bacon, I'll make a sandwich - and I know how to make damn good ones! Thanks to German bakers I found one that is not "Essence of Cardboard".
Best.T-Shirt. Ever.