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'Tis the Season for Wheat and Corn Syrup

Cookies, candies, stuffing...

This is my first Christmas season on this new diet. Ad there are so many, many holiday treats that are--I won't say tempting, because I'm not tempted. But I am sad. No chocolate covered cherries, no candy canes, no sampling everybody's favorite cookie recipes. No soda bread, even if I could find it.

This weekend I went in to Chicago to go to the Walnut Room with my family. Unlike the restaurant in Windycon's hotel, this one failed big time. Instead of talking to the cooks, as I'd asked, the waitress apparently guessed what was in the food. One of the possibilities I'd picked from the menu as possibly safe was glazed salmon served with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies. She asked them to grill it plain and serve it with only the vegetables because she didn't know what was in the potatoes (!). When someone else brought it out, with the potatoes, she eventually noticed and apologized to me that they were there, telling me not to eat them (too late) because she didn't know what was in then. My meal was...edible. The vegetables, green beans and carrots, were boring but not dreadful, and the salmon was about as boring as salmon can get. Sigh.  I didn't want plain salmon, I wanted it glazed, if the glaze was made with sugar or fruit juice, both of which are perfectly safe for me; barring that, some substitute--at least a slice of lemon--would have been nice.

The whole point of asking her to speak with the cook was to eliminate the guesswork.

Ironically, the best part of the meal was the potatoes, without which I'd have been left quite hungry--it's not as if I can fill up on the rolls after all--and none of the deserts were safe. It's a good thing I was there for the company, not the food.

And if I can't taste everything, I can still enjoy the visuals!  I work at a personal injury law firm (until Jan. 7th, anyway).  Yesterday, one of the other women brought in cookies.  Another co-worker referred to them as "injure-bread men".  I couldn't resist taking pictures.

My family is way cool too--I'm told they've been experimenting with making Yorkshire Pudding that I will be able to eat, so I can have some with Christmas dinner.  "They looked like pale hockey pucks," said Dragon, "but they tasted good!"

Returning to the topic of cookies, I now have all the ingredients to make magic cookie bars that I can eat (the recipe is on Eagle brand condensed milk); I plan to try both smashed Quaker puffed rice and smashed rice chex, to see which one works best as a substitute for the graham-cracker crumbs.  The ingredients (cereal, chopped nuts, flaked coconut, chocolate bits, and condensed milk) are in a bag in the kitchen waiting for Muse Fusions, last-minute shopping, present-wrapping, snow shoveling, and other necessities to leave time for the experiment.

Oh--and speaking of cereals, the new Chocolate Chex and Cinnamon Chex are based on Rice Chex and are safe!  No corn or wheat!  (Unlike Honey Bunches of Oats, whose first ingredient is corn).  I probably don't need the extra sugar, but it's wonderful to have a choice of flavors when I want cereal and milk.

So the culinary aspects of the season aren't all sad, which is a good thing!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2010 08:15 am (UTC)
The "injure-bread men" are *adorable*.

No candy canes? What's in them other than sugar and mint flavoring?
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)
Corn syrup. Just trying finding ones that actually have cane sugar instead.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
King Leo Peppermint Sticks aren't candy canes, but they don't have corn syrup
Their sticks and candy drops are nice, but they don't have the bend.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Huh. I'll have to look. I didn't realize corn syrup worked in hard candy.
Dec. 24th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC)
It's AMAZING how much stuff has corn syrup in it...or corn starch. To say nothing of corn flour.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC)
And that is why I just don't eat out anymore. There is still a sushi place I'm willing to go to, but even then I must be careful of the cucumbers. Almost all other options (Bunky's) use peppers in just about everything and would just be too risky. Sheesh, even Silly Yak, on the west side, isn't much good. They use peppers and something about the fats they use bothers my gall bladder. Plus, I'm beginning to suspect I am leaning toward lactose intolerant.
Dec. 24th, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
At least I can still do milk!
Dec. 23rd, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Stay away from eggnog, too
Except for organic brands, all commercial brands of eggnog have corn syrup these days. Sigh. I just say no to it now. I'm not off wheat, but it's certainly a PITA to avoid corn syrup this time of year.

King Leo peppermint sticks don't have it, but they aren't candy CANES per se, just red and white peppermint sticks.
Dec. 24th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
Re: Stay away from eggnog, too
I'll have to check out the organic brands. I used to LOVE eggnog, but a few years back, it started feeling heavy instead of yummy.
Dec. 23rd, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Love the injurebread men, and feel so bad for your diet woes! I remember how wretched and unfair-feeling the no fat requirement was (and how huuuuungry I always was). I hope this gets easier for you!
Dec. 24th, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
It's frustrating rather than woeful. Finding good substitutes for at home helps; I'm not sure that restaurant eating can get easier...so much depends on which waiter you get, and how careful they are.
Dec. 26th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
Bummer about the dining out experience. :( I think people in the food industry don't always understand food sensitivities and just think it's "too hard" to deal with :(

Dec. 26th, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
Yeah. It's really no different than allergies--it's another invisible illness that people don't really understand and often don't believe is really as bad as it is.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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