Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hard to believe that chili bowl is not entirely invincible...

It's been a few years since we found out my (not so) little (anymore) brother has celiac disease. A fancy way of saying he can't eat gluten, to spare you the WebMD trip.

Allow me to play Alton Brown for two seconds...

Gluten is a protein composite, found in wheat and other grains (barley, rye, etc). It makes dough chewy. It thickens sauces and soups. And for Lance, it's... intestinal kryptonite. (I do hope you're not eating lunch).

It meant putting the kibosh on pizza and pancakes and hamburgers. That's pretty miserable news to a fifteen year-old kid. With a mom who bakes like it's her business (must be genetic), cookies and cakes were as commonplace on our kitchen counter as the coffee maker. Those had to go too.

I think he'd tell you adjusting and adhering to such a restrictive diet sucked. Hard. This was before Betty Crocker and big chain grocery stores latched onto the whole "gluten-free" movement. My mom became (still is) his dietetic angel. Scouring the web for gluten-free recipes... making special trips to health food stores... stocking up on strange, pricey ingredients (Xanthan gum and tapioca flour, anyone?) to make sure that if Lance wanted a brownie for dessert, he could have a brownie for dessert.

The kid was far from deprived. But I will say this - gluten-free products are rarely as tasty at their gluten-full counterparts. I've done the taste-testing legwork on this one, friends. I think it's a texture thing.

Fast forward to the here and now... all grown up and gone to college... Lance is doing just fine. (High five for Redbridge). He doesn't need his big sister to send him a box of goodies minus the gluten. The caf at his dorm has that covered. (Who says Sooners aren't nutritionally progressive?) But when I spied a giant bag of Pamela's Baking Mix on the tip-top shelf of the baking aisle at Target... I couldn't help it. I wanted to make that boy some cookies.

Snickerdoodle, his request.

Mixed up a batch in minutes. No exotic ingredients required. And by no means am I touting products, but his response after ripping into the package and tasting one this afternoon?

"DUDE the cookies are BOMB!!!!!!"

{El Recipe via}

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