Blueberry July

new mexico sky

The view from our casita last night was a painting in progress- rapidly changing washes of color from east to west. The softest pink pushing into indigo. Cerulean dropping into sea green when you least expected it.

The day had been hot and dry and discouraging- I had realized abruptly, driving home in late afternoon glare to the beat of an REM song (I've got my spine, I've got my Orange Crush) that I had used a chicken bouillon paste in the previous night's green chile. I reached for it automatically. Without thinking. Just as I had the cup of herbal tea with lemon the night before that.

I felt like an idiot. 

Armed with new information that will ease my ills I poison myself, in spite of my best efforts, in spite of my notes and lists and label reading, and spending twenty minutes stalking the cereal aisle at Whole Foods to search every package of oatmeal for evidence of gluten-free certification (the odd and unexpected good news is I tested totally negative for an oat allergy). I screwed up. Again.

And it frustrates the hell out of me.

Gluten and soy free for years, you'd think I'd know the drill. But as it turns out, I don't. I woke up last Tuesday and discovered the rules had changed. My list of verboten ingredients is too long to memorize. Lemon and mustard wreak serious havoc, we know. But now orange and grapefruit are starting to misbehave. I wasn't tested for lime, but now I'm leery. The whole sweet 'n sour citrus family doesn't seem very hospitable these days.

I am becoming kumquat-phobic.

Pecans are tempting. But with reactions to peanuts, almonds and walnuts, how smart would it be to start noshing on a walnut cousin? And then there’s eggs. They are in everything. Did you know egg whites are used to clarify many domestic and Australian and South American wines? I didn't. I blamed my sinus congestion and headache on the weather, not the wine I drank three times last week. In order to find wine that is absolutely egg-free you must find a vegan winery. Who knew?

Oh, and then there was the toasty-sweet goodness of that jar of sunflower butter I bought last week to replace my childhood comfort food, now off limits. Scanning the Food Allergy Testing results, there it was. I am mildly allergic to sunflower seeds. And almost every gluten-free corn chip is cooked in sunflower oil these days. 

Okay. Just breathe. I knew this wouldn't be easy. Or fair. I never believed life was fair but. Geesh. Give a gluten-free goddess a break. A girl does not live by bunny food alone. There are needs. There are food dreams. There are favorite recipes - the whole shebang now in exile.

I'm trying to be upbeat. Really I am.

But in all honesty? This is tough, Babycakes. Even tougher than going gluten-free. I said to Steve last night, I'm losing the will to live. Cue violins. 

Don't worry. He made me laugh with a Big Lebowski quote. I'll be fine. Really. I just need to channel The Dude. Go with the flow. Chill. And to paraphrase Walter...

F*ck it, Dude. Let's eat blueberries.