Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Having Cake and Not Eating it, Either

Can you believe that this is not a real cake? It is a miniature in polymer clay stolen from PetitPlat by sk's Flickr photostream.

Wheat is everywhere. I deal with it. It’s the people I want to backhand.

The other night someone brought some really lovely sandwiches and cake to class — beautifully packaged and artfully arranged, clearly handmade and very thoughtful. The sandwiches were wraps and small croissants, and the layer cake was chocolate with sliced strawberries pressed into the sides of the real buttercream icing. (none of that sugar-Crisco crap. I can tell.) I appreciate good food even when I can’t eat it.

My friend stood there, handing out sandwiches. “Why aren’t you eating any?”

“The wheat thing.”

“Well you can eat the insides. Just take the bread off.”

There are a few things wrong with this approach:
1) And do what with the insides? Eat chicken salad out of my hands?

2) You can take the meat out of the sandwich but you cannot get the bread off the meat. I tried that when I first when gluten-free and realized the next day just how badly that doesn’t work. (And for the record, if there’s pasta in a soup, you can’t “eat around it.”)

3) What an incredibly flippant, ignorant thing to say to someone when you KNOW she’s allergic to wheat. Nothing like being zinged by a friend.

“No, I can’t just take the insides out,” I replied, “Ask your son’s girlfriend, the one who’s so allergic to nuts, how she feels about eating something that’s touched peanuts.”

“Oh, yeah…” my friend said. Maybe it made her think about what she said, I don’t know. I left it at that.

This exchange is at the forefront of my mind because I have written a really pertinent article about this VERY SAME TOPIC, and I can’t find a publisher.

It seems our local newspaper (and I live in a metro area of 1.2 million people) no longer has the staff to accept reader submissions, even after I told the editor I would do the piece for free. And then three days after I called the paper laid off 75 people, so I know she wasn’t just trying to get rid of me.

So here you are — my article, for free! — and I hope that whether you’re the hostess or the guest, you find something useful.

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