Sunday, September 03, 2006

Foods to live for

Five foods to live for

Well, I haven't exactly been tagged, nor have I ever participated in a meme before (I admit, I had to actually look up the rules for the game) but I read the challenge in one of my favorite blogs Gluten Free Goddess and it resonated. I want to play too!

Its not as simple as listing a few of my favorite foods. You see, like Karina (the Gluten Free Goddess) my life has changed drastically, and that change centers around food. Some of the foods I think no one should live a lifetime without tasting, I will never eat again.

Sourdough bread, fresh from the bakery, eaten from the bag on Fishermans wharf. A sundae (oh, or banana split) on ghiradelli square enjoyed while watching the machinery run. French fries, hot and salty and thick, from an amusement park vendor. A watermelon smoothie from jamba juice. Homemade oatmeal.

I'll stop now, before I start feeling sorry for myself. Or nauseous. You see, with a variety of food restrictions...those things don't really appeal to me anymore. The real pleasures came in the form of spontaneity. Eating out on a whim, exciting the taste buds was part of an excursion or a lovely end to a lovely day.

Now, I bring rice cakes.

I've discovered the pleasures of simplicity.

A poached pear, not steeped in wines or sherries or exotic sauces. Simply steamed until its ready to collapse...but hasn't yet, served with a slice of good cheddar cheese...or if I'm feeling decadent, a small piece or two of Rapunzel chocolate can be divine.

A platter of Tinkyada rice pasta, drizzled with grapeseed oil and some curry seasoning and topped with a fried egg is a far cry from gourmet indulgence, but makes for delightful comfort food.

Ceres sipping nectar.

Panderos delites cookies. They are gluten free, a simple shortbread melt-in-your-mouth bottle-cap sized cookie, that disappears quicker than thin mints.

And chocolate. As it says on the wrapper of one of my favorite chcolate bars (Dagoba roseberry, its corn free and gluten free) "You can deprive the body, but the soul needs chocolate."

I suppose if I had to pick, these are the foods I'd hate to live without. The ones I look forward to enjoying. But the past few years have taught me that enjoyment comes from much more than the food itself. The real requirement is that the food doesn't bite back (as wheat does for those with celiacs), that it can be savored (not craved, like potato chips which never really satisfy), and that it is enjoyed in good company, in a pleasant setting. I can learn to live without my favorite foods. And if it means getting to truly live, I can even be happy about it.

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