I blog gluten-free

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Little Bugbears, Snug as a Bug In a Rug, Bears...

Socrates  called the opinions of the many "Lamiae"... a bugbear, or boogie-man, used to frighten little children. (Ancient cultures had this thing for scaring their youngest members into behaving... I have seen ancient folktales out of Germany where a mother says to a misbehaving toddler, "Child, the wolf is outside the door, if you don't behave, I'll let him eat you.")

Bugbears almost sound adorable--- like a very little bear about the size of a large beetle, with a tiny, sweet roar like a seashell. (I absolutely refuse to think of the alternative, I am itchy already, thinking of mosquitoes I had the pleasure of meeting down south, which, had to be the result of untoward mingling of genes with bull frogs, which, due to their gigantic, unnatural size, had not a buzz but almost a diffused, airy croaking sound.)

But bugbears were in fact, beautiful demons with "tells" of sorts. You can see "bugbear" in all its' unself-possessing cuteness and replace it with bogey, as in "bogey-man". That specter that comes out of the night to make an unholy bumping.

Two men in a farce about the underworld, examine a "bugbear", Mormo closely... she is quadrupedal, with large, floppy ears (which, if using the very small bears analogy, kind of sounds adorable), but with a face that changes---a bull, a mule, a pretty girl, a dog, with a leg of brass, and another of dung.

These beautiful demons were known for seducing men, for sucking blood, for carrying off and murdering children. I imagine not many households hosted a brat for long!

But let's get back to making this bogey not a terrifying, blood-thirsty, lustful creature, but a sweet little bear you could probably keep as a pet... (offer him bits of stew meat, I suppose?) It is within us, as creatures of choice, to hear the nasty things said, and rather than let it hurt, to cause us to wonder, to say and truly believe, "This cannot affect me, I am better than this. I'm letting it go." And then, these large, nasty demons, these unnaturally sized mosquitos, simply become a sweet, cute little bear, which would be about as cute as a bug's ear.
There, now. That's not so terrifying, now, is it?


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some Guy Named George...He Was In a Band In the 60's

Family can be tough, but sometimes there's no shortage of funny stories.

From Grandma and her love for a pair of vintage moccasins (Vintage to US, that is) and her way of telling off truck drivers, her snappy little comments, and her tendency to tell me off for being cheap--- We'll just say her nickname for that would have me in trouble with a lot of people!

To the occasional scratch your head tale...

When one older cousin of mine was in college, she went as an exchange student in England. She has a love for horses. She lived next to this house with a big fence and could look over it on horseback to a man with vaguely hippish looks and long hair. Apparently, her neighbor's name was George, and he was a very nice man. Being told his name, she called her mother... "Mom, apparently he was in a band in the 1960's... his name is George Harrison. What band was it?" My poor aunt almost had a heart attack.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Angels

This morning, I awoke shivering...and it was dark. Oh, all-electric apartments are fun in long power outages! To top it off, it'd begun snowing in the witching hour, so it sure was awful when I grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate... oh, the winds are frightful and the snow comes in drifts (but it warms up again and we'll see mud and melt..ewww) after the weekend. Not bad for January in Bfflo, though.

I promised my little niece I'd get a photo of me in snow, since it was out there, I grabbed my favorite hat, grabbed a coffee, and off I went. And here it is. I think she wanted me sitting in it, but hey, it's high enough and I went outside in my pajamas and bearpaws under that pea jacket!

And here's one of yesterday's breakfast cookies. Yes, bigger than my hand. Yummy. :-)

It's very pretty... I suppose I should go out and play like a little child.
The clouds will make a daisy chain...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Risk Taking, aka Giving Mama a Heart Attack

This year, I'll be taking a few risks...

I've always been fond of answering "You can't do that!" with a smile and, depending on the person, a variant of "Screw you! Yes, I can!"

So, since I found it, and because I feel the need to tackle a few fears, I'm going to suit up, pop on a helmet and harness (And ensure someone's nearby with my camera, lest we forget) and do some rock climbing. Sure, the homemade harness and bad belayer ended up getting me in trouble the last time... you can fall in mid-air. It's also not at all pleasant. I bounced up, down and up again in a jerky motion... (It's a human yo-yo!) and in my ears came this horrifying, sickening crack. On the ground I was wobbly, but thought, yeah, I hurt, gotta shake it off... I've never been good at asking for help. So I tried to walk on a broken pelvis. After a while, I couldn't get back up and was forced to get medical help (forcing me to get help is iffy territory.)

Mentioning rock climbing to my mother got a result I expected. "But you're not very strong, and you're just getting things back! Your health sucks. Why do that to yourself?" Remember the times I came in bruised after I finally figured out my bike and rollerblades? The pain from physical therapy? The times my voice became a rasp after speech therapy and my throat hurt? (Turns out part of that was swelling tonsils and adenoids.)  "If the horse throws you, you've got to get back on". Well, I'm getting back on that pony. And I'll try to have a nice photo for you.

In other news, may be a step closer to my car and a little more freedom.

I've got wild stallions to tame. :) Watch out!

As for my health, it is what it is. I have to get used to it, but that doesn't mean I won't try to out-stubborn it.

Peanut Butter Cookies For Breakfast

Ah, l'sigh. Fluffier, but still not in full glory.
I'm all for a healthy breakfast, but I had a "Screw it, I hurt, I've been worrying a lot, I need a cookie" moment. So, I'm making my darned cookies...for breakfast.

This is a dairy free, flour-less, and gluten-free peanut butter cookie. Some of them will be utterly gigantic...just the way I like 'em. Next time I add a bit of Nutella to the batch just for the bit of chocolate and hazelnut.

You'll need:

1) Large bowl
2)A big mixing spoon
3)A baking pan
4) a sheet of baker's parchment paper

Mix 1 cup of softened brown sugar and 1/2 cup of regular sugar
2 cups of peanut butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of Nutella- both to add in a chocolate-hazelnut flavor and to work as a binder.

Mix well... into a sweet, sticky dough (and it's not really appropriate, but the dough is really yummy!)

Scoop table spoon sized balls of cookie batter onto pan lined with parchment

Slip into oven preheated to 355 ยบ oven

Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. I like a softer, fluffier cookie.
Now the tough part: Let cool for five minutes.

It's good to be bad sometimes!

The first batch came out BIG, but a little more crisp& not so pretty. But tasty!

Monday, January 9, 2012

There, Does That Feel Better?

1) "Watch the news more frequently"
It's like summer movie ads... after a while, there's this horrid sense of deja vu, followed closely by "Yeah, and? Ok, singer pregnant. Singer names new baby Sugar Plum Tinker Berry Belle VI. And there's entertainment. Dictators die. New puppet government set up... except this time, the dictator's child is leader in name only while old men run the country. And that's politics. Oh, and a GOP debate, where I wonder if it's my television or if we're being taken over by gigantic oompa loompas. Yawn. And people watch the news religiously at 5, 6, 10, and 11 and argue and insist others need to be involved in this fascinating past time. When all else fails, there's loud complaints on the hairstyles, oh my God, did you know the weather man is gay? (But, Mom, he looks so cute in a little yellow raincoat singing "It's Raining Men"!)

2)What's so and so up to?
I can give a general list of choices, but I can't read minds, nor can I tell people what to do. If my brother decides to stick his bum out the window and fart the National Anthem, I can just bet on who'd actually buy the most CDs. Hey... I can't humanly know everything. Call THEM.

3)Over-protectiveness that might end up accidentally (You hope) being an insult
I:"I don't like you out in this weather"--- it has to happen on occasion. Also, are you sure we're watching the same weather reports? I keep seeing... a little chill and some dead grass. You insist that I stay inside because apparently it might rain? Lady, I'm not the healthiest, but that's what a good coat, a hat and occasionally gloves are for. I am not staying inside all winter. I think I'd be sicker being all stuffed up then actually having the freedom to walk, run, and have fun with friends.

4)Insisting I do things that I find deplorable, going against everything I was taught, and throwing in a nasty phrase that is guaranteed to upset me:
Lady, if I dared to pull that stunt on anyone else, I'd hope they'd give me a smack. I'm too nice to hang up on or tell you off... unlike everyone else. Ah, that's why you go to me first now.
1)Yeah, things are tough. Yeah, they've always been that way. It was not easier on me to be cooped up, shut up (Why did I get speech therapy with an emphasis on removing gestures and ASL again? I forget.) and to forever be at the mercy of a guilt trip if I wanted to go past certain pre-set outlines you'd drawn for me.
2)Yeah, I had illnesses. I find that caring for me with impatience and loudly huffing that I was nothing but trouble, all while (now) trying to insist I come to your house 60 miles away---to do what? Be surrounded by food I can't eat, and someone who is using his illness to control you (which then makes me sad)--- to be stressful. Thanks no. I'll make soup and take care of me. And constant battering and nasty little comments? Be grateful... I can still bite back "Don't worry, you don't have to worry. You might only have another year of my stubbornness and need to do the horrible thing of trying to take care of myself, as I need to do. Doesn't that feel better?"

Also: I am slowly catching up on tv shows and music I wasn't allowed. I don't know where you found fault with some things.

Now, one show, where a girl sarcastically mocks the world around her and doesn't try to be like everyone else? I'll take my cue from that.

All those years when I was quiet while you blamed me for everyone else's actions, yelled at me if someone did something you didn't like or tried to figure out what I could do, and occasionally lambasted me for being born with health issues? Yeah, they taught me a lot. Mostly, they taught me that I love you,  but when it comes to fear, which I feel often for you, I was taught that I didn't know if I was scared FOR or OF you.

By the way: No, I cannot do everything. Sorry that I accidentally gave the impression that I enjoy having a million tasks dumped on me... I really don't. I'd also really like to be comfortable around people... but I just know, somewhere, I'm going to have to deal with all the things I wasn't allowed to do, or keep quiet, so I don't anger anyone. Or, I can work on me, and try to get over my anger at you at this moment. And work on loving you, but not allowing you to scare me so I can't function. Love and fear are two separate things. I need to respect, not fear you.
Now back to really dry sarcasm. I've had enough of holding this in.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Portion Control and Whipped Chocolate

Serving sizes never fail to shock me. Over time, I've picked up on portion control, etc... all of which I pay really no attention to, except when "reasonable" no longer looks reasonable.

This is the size of a good cut of meat according to most nutrition guides I've seen:

This is a "reasonable" portion that makes even me, the red-meat lover, go insane with "No... that... oh, my God, no"

This is an American small (except at Wendy's where I think it passes as a kids' size)
In Europe, THIS is a medium.
not such a delight. Chalky, and you're paying for air. Just buy a bag of regular Hershey's Kisses. Or have someone sneak you European chocolate from a duty free. 
Now that I'm in a snotty mood... those ads for the bubbly, air-whipped chocolate, made which is chalky compared to the air-whipped chocolate I had in Stockholm---it's been done for years. And Hershey's doesn't have the idea. Don't do it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Greetings From the Gluten-Free Masturbaters

Packages are always fun to find in the mail...particularly if you end up with something lovely and may have to guess where it came from.

Today, wandering by the box where the packages larger than the little apartment letter boxes can hold are put, I spied an odd package. From the angle and because I'd eyeballed it from the corner of my eye, I had a moment where I read "From the Gluten-Free Masturbaters"... and almost choked.
1) That's quite a niche. 1 in 133 with celiac, with a bready-looking vibe? Is this a sick joke?
2)How is that not in plain brown paper packaging?

Turns out, I may be slightly warped and thinking like a 12 year old boy- complete with a Beavis and Butthead chuckle.

Take a look from the corner of your eye. Makes that whole "Orgy Wonderland" thing really pop. ;-)
It actually read: "A gift from the Gluten-free Master Bakers"... heh... and contained a package (heavily vacuum sealed, my food doesn't contain a lot of preservatives) of my favorite multi-use Ciabatta rolls. Oopsie. To blush, giggle and have a face-palming moment of realization at the mailbox is a little sad.

These are freakin' awesome. So I'm really grateful, whoever you are, for the sampler package. Yes, the package emblazoned with an oven motif should have been a clue, but yeah... I'm apparently in a Freudian "genital" stage right now. Your mama!

Na Zdrowie, 2012

Here's to the starry nights, the silly, the laughter that can make you teary and your tummy hurt. To new discoveries, to life!

Here's to new attitudes, to figuring things out.
To health, to good food.

2012: Here's lookin' at you. This year I will kick butt.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar.