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Cooking Waffles

December 16, 2008

As I have mentioned before, dealing with Celiac disease has been fairly difficult for me. Well a few weeks back, I had a complete melt down. It was the day of our Thanksgiving potluck at work, and it couldn’t have been worse. I knew when the potluck was announced that my chances of being able to eat anything that people brought would be slim to none, but on the day of, I decided to see what my options were anyway. After all, it was a big social event for the company. The conference room where the lunch was held contained this super long table filled with all of the foods that people brought, and as I perused it, I saw casserole after casserole and pie after pie. Everything looked and smelled wonderful, but it was all off limits. I even had to pass on the turkey, which was provided by my company, because nobody knew what kind of kitchen it had been cooked in and if there was a risk of contamination. I surveyed every dish, and in the end, the only things I could have were the raw vegetables (minus the ranch) and the salad. I was so bummed. My one shining light was that I only had to be there for about 5 minutes because I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment during the middle of the event.

So anyway, that night, things got worse. The Boyfriend and I were trying to decide where to eat dinner, and I mentioned that Chili’s, which was a place we had been going to fairly frequently, was no longer on my safe list since I learned about the contamination problems in their kitchen. Considering this was the only restaurant the Boyfriend and I tended to agree on, he wasn’t happy to hear my news. He started talking about how every restaurant has a risk of contamination and I might as well not eat out at all. We ended up getting in this huge fight because I felt he wasn’t being supportive enough of my issues. It’s not that he wasn’t trying, because he was. It was just that he couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through, and as a result, he often said things that made the situation more difficult for me. There was lots of crying involved, but long story short, out of all the mess came this wonderful suggestion, made by the Boyfriend. He suggested that once a week, we cook a gluten free meal together.

Something so simple, yet it had not occurred to me to suggest. I’ve never enjoyed cooking, and as a result of a lack of practice, I’m quite terrible at it. So the prospect of gluten free cooking has been terrifying from the start. But things seem to go much better when the Boyfriend and I cook together. It’s quality time that we get to spend with each other, and I can draw on his knowledge to help me with the things I don’t do well. So to hear him tell me that he would be happy to cook gluten free with me, even if it was only once a week (we’re busy people, after all), was like music to my ears!

Well this past Sunday was our first gluten free cooking adventure together. We had originally planned to make quiche, but due to major time constraints, we decided to go with waffles instead. Now this is a very simple recipe. You mix the gluten free waffle mix with some eggs and water until there are no lumps, and then put the batter in the waffle iron. Yet somehow, I still managed to screw it up! I blame what I’m about to tell you on the fact that most of the cooking I have done in my life has been from a box. I bake from a box. I make pasta from a box. All of my favorite recipes come straight from a box! And in every one of those cases, you use all of the ingredients in that box when you cook. So it never once occurred to me that you might not need all of the waffle mix to make the waffles… Oops. Here I am, I’ve just separated the eggs and dumped the yolks, the water, and the mix in a bowl. The recipe says to stir the ingredients until the batter is free of lumps. So while the Boyfriend is whipping the egg whites, I get to stirring. Not surprisingly (well, I was surprised, but you probably aren’t), there was NO WAY I was going to get the batter free of lumps. Heck, I couldn’t even get batter! I had a few clumps and a whole lot of dry mix! The Boyfriend sees what I’m doing and says, “Are you sure you read the recipe right?” He picks up the directions, takes one look, and exclaims, “You’re only supposed to use 1 1/2 cups of the mix! How much did you put in there?!?” Hmm. How many cups were in the bag? 5 1/4? Oh. Oops. So after a lot of laughing, teasing, and more laughing, we added more eggs and water and cooked the entire thing. I have enough waffles to last me for the next year! There are seriously 3-4 gallon sized bags full of them in my freezer! It’s a good thing I like waffles. I think it’s also a good thing we didn’t start with something as hard (well, at least for me) as quiche. =)

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