Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best things ever

Okay, maybe not ever, but there are two things making my life a lot happier these days. 

Happy Thing #1: Gluten-free Breadsticks
I do much better when I stick to a gluten-free diet, but man, do I miss bread. Not regular bread, but  the kind of rustic loaf that's crusty and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. If I wasn't intolerant of gluten I would probably be living on bread (which, come to think of it, I did for a couple of years in my early adulthood, which is probably when I developed said intolerance...).

When we quit our jobs and began our new lives Mucky Boots, one of the things I planned to learn how to do was bake bread - gluten-free bread. I knew it was theoretically possible to make good gluten-free bread (even though I had never tasted any myself) and I was determined to find a recipe good enough to satisfy my hankerings. And I tried. I really, really tried. I bought books. I trolled through blogs and websites. I bought every kind of gluten-free flour (there are sixteen different kinds in my pantry at this very moment) and every necessary additive like guar gum and xanthan gum and gelatin. And every single loaf turned out more like cake than bread, unpleasant to eat unless toasted.

Until this. Just look at this!

It tastes as good as it looks. Crunchy outside: check! Chewy inside: check! Gluten-free: check, check, check! Plus it's easy to make, versatile (I have used the dough to make flatbreads for pizza, and it would make wonderful crackers), and it keeps in the fridge for a week so you can bake fresh as you need.

The recipe comes from the Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, and the secret ingredient that makes this dough so unlike the usual sloppy, sticky, pourable gluten-free dough is psyllium husks.

Strange but true. You can eat this bread and be regular at the same time.

I am a happy, happy woman.

Happy Thing #2: Aprons
I have a small issue with stain management. I accumulate stains like nobody I know, and I am more useless than anyone I know at getting them out. I think I'm doing all the right things, but somehow my pile of fit-to-be-seen-in-public t-shirts keeps getting smaller while my shockingly-stained pile grows and grows.

The stains come from all sorts of activities. Working in the garden, of course, but I have learned my lesson there and don't venture into the garden unless I'm wearing my Dirty Clothes. But also things like eating.The likelihood that I will spill on my white shirt is in direct proportion to the stain-making potential of the food I am eating. I can drink water without spilling, but as soon as I have a glass of berry juice in my hand an accident is practically inevitable. And there's cooking. Grease splatters, beet juice droplets, chocolate sauce - they all find their way to the front of my shirts.

But there's this thing called an apron. It's a garment that is easily donned, that doesn't restrict your movement or feel too hot or too heavy, and when you need to quickly look presentable because the neighbour has appeared unexpectedly on your doorstep, it is quickly doffed and hidden in a drawer. It comes in a variety of styles, and is easily made by even the most novice of sewers.

But the best thing about it: it protects your clothes from stains. Why didn't I know this? How could I have four aprons in my pantry and somehow not realize I could wear them and keep my shirts from being wrecked one by one?

Now I am a convert. And to celebrate, to mark this turning point in my life, to show my confidence that this simple garment will change my life forever, I have bought two new t-shirts.

White, of course.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the new white Tshirts.
I too suffer from stain management but usually claim to be a slob!
Thanks for the upgrade.

Paula said...

I'm an apron wearer from way back.

Mom turned me on to kapoggi (kah-poe-gee), which is a Japanese apron that covers everything. You should check them out.

So glad you found a way to get your bread!! Your breadsticks look yummy!

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

I HATE pulling things from the dryer and seeing that stain (always right in the middle of the shirt) glaring back at me. My one chemical splurge is SHOUT stain fighter for this reason. I'll make my own laundry soap but they're gonna have to pry the shout from my cold, dead hands.

I have also not found a style of apron that I like to wear that doesn't feel like it's pulling my neck. I need one of those old fashioned ones that don't go around your neck, but hang over your shoulder.

That or a meat coat. Either one will work.

So, um, how do I quit MY job and live on a farm....?? You should write a how-to manual.

Miriam said...

Oh Lindsey, I am the last person in the world who should write a how-to manual about this. I am just a really fortunate person who had a bit of good luck and was willing to swap a life with lots of stress and responsibility and disposable income for a slower-paced and much more modest one. A much easier decision to make without little ones like the Tot to be thinking of!

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