Thursday, 28 November 2013

Gluten Free Support Group

The second-ever gluten-free support group was last night. Last time, eight or nine people showed up. I figured more would come this time, but for some reason, there were only four of us. All four of us had been to the last one, too.

Two of the women were the ones that organized it and put it all together. The third was one that I remember from last time as a non-stop talker. Irrelevant, unrelated things that she just didn't stop talking about.

I arrived a little early, and sat down alone while the woman running it ran around like a chicken with her head cut off. The next woman to arrive was the talkative one. I recognized her, but I don't think she recognized me. She sat down next to me and said, "So, how long have you been diagnosed with all this business?"

I smiled and said, "Nine months." I was thinking that morning that if my celiac disease had been a pregnancy instead, I'd have a baby by now.

She gave me a smile that I can only describe as an 'Oh honey' smile and said, "You're still learning."

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Tattoo the Second

Well, I got another tattoo. I've been wanting a second since the day I got my first - completely addictive! Quite honestly, I didn't long and hard about this one. I did think about it, I did plan it out, and I did carefully go over the sketch. But there isn't a whole lot of meaning behind it. The design, the pose and the location truly mean nothing to me. It's pretty, it looks great, and I love it. That's what ultimately matters. Besides, why not decorate my body with pretty art that everyone can appreciate?

So anyways. It's a robin, like my name. It's also my favourite bird, because of its name.

There's always this moment before I do something permanent that I think, This is the last time I'll look like this. When I got my ears pierced (when I was a tween), I sat there holding my ear lobes, feeling their undamaged flesh. It was the same when I got my nose pierced. On my way to my first tattoo, I took a picture of my leg. I've never shown anyone, because it's literally a picture of my bare thighs. Not the most attractive picture. This time was no different. As my tattoo artist got everything ready, I sat there with M, thinking that my back would never look the same. I was more excited than nostalgic, though.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Wok Box

I think it's about time I tell you about one of my all-time favourite restaurants. Well, I guess I have before, but I really only mentioned it, the first time I tried eating out and then again when I quickly stopped by for lunch.

I've eaten at Wok Box (the Regina South location) pretty much every time I'm in Regina. Actually, I can't think of a time I've been in town in the last nine months without eating there.

There is a little sign on the glass beside the till that shows wheat-free friendly, vegan friendly and vegetarian options, listing all the mains, sides and sauces you can eat in each group. I've ordered all of the mains (excluding the pho soup) from the gluten-free friendly section, and have not been disappointed. One of them is supposed to come with udon noodles, and I have to select rice noodles instead, but the others are regularly made with rice or rice noodles. There aren't a lot of options, with two noodle bowls, two rice bowls, one curry and one soup, but their attitude towards it makes it worth it.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Montana's in Saskatoon

This is a guest post from Robynne's husband, the infamous "M". He had a memorable experience while out without his doting wife, and wanted to share it with you. It has very little to do with gluten-free, but it does have to do with eating!

Earlier this week, one of my classmates wanted to celebrate his birthday at Montana's. Eight of us all went out, and six of us had every intention to get very drunk.

Friday, 15 November 2013

My Strainer Fiasco

Contamination is one of those tricky subjects. A lot of celiacs will turn blue trying to avoid any form of contamination, refusing to eat food that even entered a kitchen containing gluten. Some people seem to think contamination isn't a big deal at all, giving me looks when I ask that they wash that knife or grab a new spoon. There's a spectrum of people at every level in between.

Personally, I do as much as I can. People who live in my house eat gluten. That means my kitchen has gluten in it. Crumbs get on the counters, dirty dishes go in the dishwasher, things happen. I wash all of the dishes in the same loads, and I definitely don't have a separate set of utensils. I don't use a dish if someone else has used it, no matter what they used it for. I don't put my food on a bare counter unless I just wiped it down. I think I toe a pretty safe line.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

What do I want from Life?

When my husband and I drove the two and a half hours to Saskatoon, so that he could start school and we would spend the bulk of eight weeks apart, we talked a lot.

He asked if this is what I want to do. Is this, right now, what I want to be doing forever? The answer is no. We've talked about this. I want to work a job that I enjoy at least until his apprenticeship is done, and then I want to start trying to have kids. I want to take maternity leave from whatever job I'm working, and I want that mat leave to last twenty years. I want to be a homemaker, a stay-at-home-mom. I don't think there is anything wrong with being a working mommy, no matter how old your child is. I used to baby a six-week-old so her mom could go to work. There is nothing wrong with that.

But I don't want to work. I want to be a full-time mom. I want to devote my life, my energy, my every waking moment to raising children that are each 50% me, and 50% my first love. First, because I know I will fall head-over-heels for each of those children.

I know that plans are nothing. That plans are just God's funny page in the newspaper. I know that all of these may change. Maybe we'll find ourselves expecting before M is done his apprenticeship. Maybe we won't have kids right away. Maybe I'll find a job and fall in love with that, and I'll want to go back to work. Maybe money will be tighter than we can handle, and I'll have to work. Who knows? Plans are just that.

But in the meantime, we talk. We toy, we jest, and we dream. What if we did something else? What if we started a business? What would we do if we could do anything? What kind of business do we want to see?

We spent much of the drive talking about this. Playing with the future and bouncing ideas back and forth.

So what would we do if we could do anything?

Open a gluten-free milkshake place/diner with some old-school arcade machines to make it a sweet hang-out spot. And it would also be a truck-stop with fantastic bathrooms.

How we got to this place, I couldn't tell you.

After our weekend, when we ate at an amazing gluten-free Mexican restaurant, we changed it up. We'd open one of those. He says our town doesn't have the demographic for a Mexican place to thrive, but who knows?

I love cooking, and baking, and serving food to others. I love making people something to eat. I love milkshakes, I love Mexican food.

He loves arcades, he loves old-school things. He would be happy tinkering and fixing and upgrading.

But only for so long. I don't know that we could make a go of this and be happy with it for years and years. There's a chance that it would be our passion. There's a chance that we would fall in love with the restaurant business. There's a chance we would never want to do anything else.

But is it a big enough chance to gamble our lives with?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Jerry's Artisan Burgers & Gelato

I'm quick to say a place is my favourite, but this place is my favourite. First of all, gelato. I shouldn't have to say more, but this place is so amazing, I do.

I was pointed towards Jerry's the first time, because I expressed a need to have ice cream, and M's new flatmates said there was a gelato place not far from their house. They have two display cases filled with ice cream, gelato and sorbet, all made by them. I did have a hard time finding two gluten-free chocolate-free gelatos, for my friend (who has a chocolate allergy) and I, but that is a little bit specific, so I don't blame them.

On my second trip there, I noticed their billboard advertising a gluten-free friendly menu, and a sign saying breakfast was served until two pm. I'm a serious lover of breakfast at all times of the day.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

EE Burritos in Saskatoon

This weekend, I finally got a chance to go back to EE Burritos. M & I went there in February, before I was diagnosed, and I haven't managed to get back since. I remember loving the food, but I had no idea how they were for gluten-free.

EE Burritos is this little restaurant on the corner of Ave P & 22nd St. It's not exactly a nice area, and as far as I understand, Ave P has quite the reputation. The restaurant is in a strip mall, and entering it is a little weird. They also host a small Latin American grocery store, so you enter into that, and the restaurant itself is to your left. The dining room is large, with several tables and a bar, and enough room to easily maneuver between the tables.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Coffee Encounters

There's this little coffee shop downtown that I quite like. Coffee Encounters has a fun, hip feel, and plenty of menu options. Mostly, I like it because they sell gluten-free treats. Depending on the day, they'll have cupcakes, muffins, cookies, squares, cake... I wish I could eat a sandwich there, but a cupcake suffices most days.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Duck Duck Goose

There's a little tapas bar in Saskatoon, just off of Broadway, that I've seen several times called Duck Duck Goose. Late Saturday night, my friend and I decided to go there for a couple drinks and see what kind of food they offer.

They have several options which are all odd. Or at least couture, or however you say fancy food nowadays. I ordered bacon wrapped dates with a molasses sauce, my friend got a duck poutine, and we split some grilled asparagus with Romesco vinaigrette.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Antonella's Cheddar Pasta Sauce

I recently stumbled across a new brand at Safeway. New to me, not to the market. They are a Canadian brand, but all of their sauces are gluten-free. Meet Antonella's! They have four different flavours of pasta sauce, but I only bought two to start off with. I will, however, definitely be picking up the other two.

The two I bought