Apparently according to the foodie gurus who calculate what's in and what's out, a disease I live with everyday is still in for 2011. Thankfully Celiac disease is still trending up and even Subway is testing a gluten free sandwich in Texas for the next few months.
Three million people in the United States alone suffer every day yet millions more have convinced themselves that it's cool to go gluten free. Believe me they have no idea what it's really like to live like this everyday. It's really out believe me!
A few kind people on Open Salon like Heidibeth and Oryoki Bowl have given me gluten free recipes. If you are gluten intolerant you need to have patience, imagination and be prepared to pay through the nose for stuff. Sick of paying outrageous prices for gluten free pre-made food and pocketing a couple of recipes from Heidibeth, I make the pilgrimage to Whole Foods.
We enter the store and the scenario unfolds.
I buy two loaves of Udi's Gluten Free white slice bread at $5.99 each. An actual slice is no bigger than the palm of your hand but I have discussed that before so let's move on.
Last week I bought some gluten free all purpose baking flour at $5.99 for 22 ounces and seeing you need almost 2 cups to make banana bread we all know how far that is going to go. Flour purchased and ready to bake, I read the recipe and come to a complete screeching halt.
I see that they are suckering me into buying something else before I can bake. It is called Xanthan Gum and made by the same company called Bob's Red Mill.
I tell you by the 20 kinds of pricey flour Bob has on the market today he must own that Red Mill right now. If not he is pretty damn close. One more purchase from me and he is going to be time sharing that sucker out.
I stand in front of the vast flour empire at Whole Foods that Bob built and do not have my glasses on. Can you smell trouble right now? There stands in front of me the many choices of Bob’s finest and I cannot read the titles.
Do I really want to dig in my purse to find them?
Of course not!
Having been bred to be stubborn I stand there and feel my way through the packages like reading Braille. I figure if I can spot the letter “X” I am on my way but I see no “X” just Bob's picture with a golf hat on. Steve finds me and offers to help and asks what I am looking for.
“It starts with an 'X'. Just find anything with the letter 'X' and we're good”, I say.
He looks and says he does not see anything of the sort and he has his glasses on. I start the “not yet” serious whine, which I proudly got an “A” in at school.
“It has to be here because it is made by Bob and they had it at the Berkeley Bowl with the flour", I mumble.
"This isn't the Berkeley Bowl", Steve says.
"I know that", I whine.
"But it has to be here! How many things start with the letter X?"
He looks a little farther down the row and sees it tucked next to the baking powder, so now I have a good idea what this stuff is. I look at the price and I scream so loudly I think I knocked over the man next to me with the sheer volume.
"ELEVEN NINETY NINE?
"You have to be out of your mind!"
"Eight ounces for $11.99??"
We are now cruising down into serious whine mode.
Steve stands there and talks me through the rationalization of it all. How much am I going to need of this stuff to bake? I tell him with tears in my eyes that I will only need 1 teaspoon. He then assures me that it is a good deal, it will last a long time and do I really have any choice? I nod my head and now know how Bob has financed those expensive golf hats he has perched on his head. You think with all this money that he might have been able to afford hair plugs?
We proceed to the check out and a man who looks just like the lead singer from the band The Smashing Pumpkins is mumbling something to me. I smiled and looked at him and said, “Excuse me?"
He glares at me and tells me to take my items out of the basket like it is completely out of his job description. I take the 7 items that are costing me $33.00 out and he starts to whine to a fellow cashier that he is all alone on the Express checkout.
At this point I really want to say something but I "zip it". Amazingly enough I "zip" it out the door and wait until I am least 200 feet from the store. I look at Steve and in a full blown over the top whine say,
"Do you think "Billy Corgan" could have at least cracked a smile?"
And then I proceed to yammer on and on that if people do not like people then they should not get into the retail field. Of course it does not stop there and I proceed to tell the story that I have probably told a million times before of how The Ottawa Citizen named me as one of the five people in the city of Ottawa that provided top service when I had my store.
I believe the words the newspaper used were " bends-over-backwards service" which is really what I wanted to give Bob of Bob's Red Mill for their prices and the Billy Corgan look a like who gave me about 13 cents worth of service for my $33.00 bill. Isn't bad service out?
After all this I still have not baked anything yet. I figure I have lots of time to decide what recipe is in before I find my disease is on the out list. Bob had better watch those flour prices or he might be on his way out.
Because as Heidi Klum says,
"You're either in or you're out!" - trendy disease or not.
Text and Images Linda Seccaspina 2011