These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

Title thanks to television series Seinfeld

Let me first admit that pretzels are not, by a long shot, my favorite snack food. Because of that I had never tried pretzels covered in chocolate of any kind. At least I don’t remember ever trying them, so that says how memorable they were, if I had ever tried them. So when it came to deciding about going gluten free I did not miss pretzels nor go out of my way to try some gluten free pretzels. Finally my sister did buy me some, for a gathering at her house, and I tried them, but didn’t really feel the love.

While shopping at an Aldi’s store a few months ago, I noticed that they were selling gluten free pretzels; plain, milk chocolate covered, and white chocolate covered. I have to admit that I didn’t exactly jump to buy them. Aldi’s has a gluten free brand of products called liveGfree. I’ve tried a several items and like some of them a lot; especially the chicken nuggets.

Finally one day about a month ago I did in fact buy a small bag of milk chocolate pretzels. I loved them! They have just the right balance of the sweet from the milk chocolate, the crunchy and the salty. The plain pretzels not so much, but still it is nice to find another snack treat to look forward to that is great, gluten free, and reasonably priced.

The Treasure Sale That Wasn’t

I had to get out of bed this morning and get ready to go to the chiropractor’s office for some ultrasound for my low back and hip areas. I’ve been doing that for the last three weeks or so and it is helping so very much. I am having a lot less pain, sleeping better, and am walking better as well. It’s always great to be on the getting better side of things. ūüôā

On the way home from the office I decided to get a few errands done. I’ve been kind of sick with ear pain and inflammation this week, so I haven’t done much, and that is okay. Getting well was more important, especially when I tend to have ear pain, sinus pain, nausea, dizziness, and balance issues when dealing with ear pain. Today was better and I really didn’t want to miss my ultrasound treatment, they are helping me so much.

I stopped at the food co-op and got my favorite gluten free bread. It’s Rudi’s Multi-Grain Gluten Free Bread. Oh my god! I love this bread. I’ve tried over five different kinds of gluten free bread as well as making some from a mix and this is my favorite. As I said, oh my god! I love this bread.

I was debating whether or not I felt well enough to walk through a few galleries at a local museum after that, as I was biking by there, and decided perhaps next week or the week after that when I might be feeling less pain and have more fun. Right across from the museum is a church, and there are tons of churches in the downtown Minneapolis, and I saw a sign for a Treasure Sale there today.

I debated whether or not I was going to stop and shop, because seriously the word treasure kind of implies to me item and pricing perhaps beyond my pocketbook and perhaps a waste of my time. I did decide to go inside, driven by a desire to check out their book stacks, clothes, and knick knacks. Well, no treasure and so no sale. I couldn’t even find anything after I found out that all the items were 50% off the listed prices. I can’t remember the last time I walked out of a church sale without a bag or three of purchases.

I guess I really need to go to the usual church summer sales that I go to where I lived before, because I always found something, some little treasure, to take home and keep. I need to remember to find out in advance when the sales are scheduled for, so that I can plan ahead. Summer seems a ways away, but in the meantime I still go to the used stores and shop for bargains and that keeps me acquiring small treasures. I am pretty picky, now that I’ve moved so much since last October and gotten rid of so much clutter.

My Baking Today

Here is a photo of the gluten-free cornbread I made this afternoon. I sliced it up and then had some with an afternoon meal. It was great. Then I thought to take a photo of it to show you all.

Here it is:

Finally, Birthday Cake

I haven’t had birthday cake on¬†my last three birthdays. Mostly due to my hesitancy and worry¬†about baking and cooking of any sort. The other part is due to my gluten intolerant issues.

So this year I planned ahead. I found and bought a gluten-free chocolate cake mix in advance. I was uncomfortable with the idea of making a whole cake. I kept planning on making a trial run cake in advance, but found that I was scared of doing it, kept forgetting, and then when remembering kept putting it off. It was overwhelming to me.

I looked for a good recipe for chocolate frosting, but there seemed to be far too many ingredients to research about being gluten-free and for buying. Each time I would¬†go to the grocery store I would forget to buy any of them or wander the aisle not being able to decide to buy or not to buy. Many visits and I still didn’t make any decisions.

It was very frustrating. It was overwhelming to me. When I get frustrated and overwhelmed about purchases, especially gluten intolerant¬†food purchases I tend to keep putting off buying things. This is exactly the same way about cooking and baking. I attribute all of those food related issues to being abused by my mother around food and her rejection and exclusion of me from “her” kitchen.

Finally I found a recipe online for chocolate cake in a mug.

Mix one cake mix and one 4 oz. pudding mix. This mix is enough for about eight or nine cake mugs.

Use 1/2 cup of this cake and pudding combination and then mix one Tablespoon water, one Tablespoon oil, and one egg white.

Use Pam or some other vegetable oil on mug. Spoon mix into mug.

Microwave mug on high for two minutes.

I thought this might be my solution for my birthday cake. I thought it would be very good with ice cream instead of frosting.

When my birthday came I found that I had not bookmarked the recipe and the evening of my birthday, after my dinner with a relative, I found that I couldn’t find it and really was too tired. Almost too tired for a candle, but I did manage that.

But on Monday night, finally, a birthday cake, in a mug. It kind of looked like a tiny muffin. Kind of funny. Kind of cute. It was pretty great.

A Little Thing Can Sometimes Seem Huge

I have a cold. It took me a couple of days of being wasted and tired out before I realized that I have a cold. I thought that perhaps I was just overwrought and stressed out by the aftermath of the holidays and extra-sore from eating foods that I should be avoiding, which can happen, even if I manage to avoid all the gluten.

I had eaten a few things with vinegar, even if it is gluten free,¬†and that tends to be something I really should avoid, though once in a while I will do it. I’ve had similar reactions to vinegar in the past, even when it is apple cider vinegar. Some gluten intolerant people can’t tolerate it. It tends to ratchet up my pain levels 100%.¬†

It finally ocurred to me when I was taking aspirin for days and had little pain abatement, a few days of having trouble reading without eye strain and constant distraction, and the realization that I was in pain all over my body, well to a much higher degree than normal.

Then a couple more days to get used to being sick. Lots of vitamin c, echinacea extract, and aspirin were ingested. I shuffled around a lot and my complaining about health issues went up a significant notch.

Then I hit the day yesterday when I felt better and it was warm outside, relatively speaking, and went for the bike ride with doggie. So I got a nice exposure to the pollen that’s been flying around because it has been unseasonably warm for several days. Ha!

Today was significantly better. I’m getting some good practice on self-care. Mostly that is going okay.

A Few Simple Things

This has sort of been what I have been working on since moving. Although the few things are not simple to do, they are simple little parts of a life. For me they are huge, doing the simple things of life.

Probably lots of people think they are easy, they are hard for me, though, because I never learned them or how to do them due to neglect and sabotage as a child. If it wasn’t for mandatory home economics classes I never would have learned a thing about cooking. On my own I soon realized that what I learned was not practical or applicable or affordable.

I never learned how to cook. I wasn’t allowed to work in the kitchen, except to do the menial work that was unacknowledged or to do the table or to wash the dishes. My mother was jealous and paranoid and didn’t like to share her kitchen with anyone, except to make them into a slave.

So I am slowly learning to cook a few things. I am learning more about gluten intolerance and more prepared foods that are gluten free so I have some more food options. I am taking more time to assemble something resembling a healthier meal. I am eating more fruits and vegetables and trying hard to exercise a bit more, as I am able. A few simple things. It is nice.