Navigating someone else’s kitchen is always hard. I searched for 10 minutes for the right pan.
But then I stood face to face with how hard it is to navigate someone else’s kitchen and make food that is gluten and dairy free.
It amazes me still that people think we are the ones with the restricted diets… in the midst of eliminating culprits, sure it can be more limited, but once one has it narrowed down– even to gluten/wheat, dairy soy and eggs– the diet tends to be more expansive. Sounds odd, right?
But Lord have Mercy… I was hard pressed to find anything that didn’t have dairy or gluten in a stocked-to-the-brim fridge and freezer.
It *shouldn’t* be this hard, and making food in my own kitchen is decidedly NOT hard. This is *not* a post about how hard eating gluten or dairy free is. Just a rant really.
I go to find some seasonings. The spice blend states it may be contaminated with traces of wheat. Out.
The salt has dextrose (corn sugar) in it. Not wheat, but it’s out for me still. I take a philosophical objection to corn being added to just about damn near everything, and it’s more likely cross contaminated with something we don’t eat that way, anyway.
Fresh lemon juice and olive oil on the chicken then (heaven help you if you were vegan in this particular house!). How I wish the olive oil wasn’t stored under the cabinet jammed on top of cleaning chemicals.
Now I need a new pan. I found some frozen veggies that aren’t organic, but I can’t be snobby at this point.
Superb. I find a pan and the cabinet and pans have bread crumbs from the counter in them. Need to wash that. Now throw on my chemical sensitivities and aversion to perfumed cleaning products. The dish cloths all smell of fabric softener, which has some pretty well documented health worries, and gives me a freaking headache. So, a rinse with water and a non-recycled paper product? That will have to do.
Then I think about the chicken we will eat. And the news story this morning from a poultry plant in a neighboring county where turkeys were being stomped on and kicked. I can’t feel good about eating something that has been abused, even if I did ascribe to the philosophy that we are the stronger animals and can eat animals as humans without guilt, and I do not entirely.
I could not find a fresh vegetable in this particular kitchen. The entire fridge was filled with gluten and dairy and meats… but the meats also had gluten or dairy, or at least preservatives and additives that I don’t eat or give my kiddos.
I know this post sounds like food snobbery, and thank God, truly truly thank a Creator or Providence or just good luck that I live here and not it the majority of the world where people know true hunger or competition for clean food.
But really… why is it so hard to find real food in a random American kitchen? The food I did find that is food allergy or celiac disease suitable is factory-farmed, unwholesomely treated meat. I remember an Iron Chef special… way before Iron Chef America on Food Network, where the Japanese Iron Chef’s went into an American person’s home and made them dinner as a surprise. One Chef commented that he couldn’t find anything fresh to work with. Just jars of condiments and prepared stuff with junk in it. Maybe the chemical smells are making me cranky, but it sure is tedious to work in someone else’s kitchen.
And it’s not the gluten and dairy, people, it’s the poor eating habit and the lack of care of what we put into our bodies. We had a beautiful gluten and dairy free Christmas dinner, cooked in my mom’s kitchen with only me and the kids being gluten and dairy free. But she made the effort to get the right stuff, and not a single wheat-eating person missed the wheat, not even at dessert.