Thursday, October 20, 2011

Festering gluten-Freely at the Fall Festivals

So, let's start with Oktoberfest. Helen, Georgia, embodies the German influence in its half-timbered buildings, sausage-laden menus, and alpine attitude year-round, so it's the perfect place to celebrate Oktoberfest. And, oh, do they celebrate! People were carrying steins and sporting Bavarian style green fedora hats, lederhosen, Saint Paulie Girl outfits, and suspenders, and noshing on streudel, sauerkraut, hot Bavarian pretzels, and various -wursts. But, really, when one is gluten-freestyling one's way through most "fests", food (and beer, in this case) is to be circumvented, rather than encircled. It's not easy Living Without (love that magazine!), especially when funnel cake is in fruition. Beer was abundant, but I never found a stein or boot-shaped mug, or table tapper offering Green's, New Grist, or Redbridge. Yes, it was disappointing watching everyone devour their delectable delights. For once, I was wishing I was with a weight-conscious, fattening food-avoiding, fork dipping in the salad dressing (on the side), diet-obsessed girlfriend. At least I indulged in a scrumptious caramel apple and a chocolate turtle, alongside my Glutino granola bars and fruit.

Next, was the Tuskeegee/Morehouse football tailgate fete. Holy wow, do these Southerners know how to tailgate. Giant turkey legs, fried fish, barbecue, you name it! And, what was I able to indulge in? A mango smoothie and a bad ear of corn (hard to please a Midwesterner when it comes to corn). Be still my heart. We were there all day and a Lara Bar wasn't cutting it, so I had Seth stop and pick me up some fast food fries when I came home. Thank goodness for Five Guys. The best part of the lackluster football game was the Tuskeegee Band- dancing tuba players and Beyonce-inspired dresses on the drill teams were jaw-dropping. This ain't no Midwest band attire. (We attended because a USMC General was doing the coin toss- Seth had brunch with him,
but I skipped that, for gluten free and sanity reasons. Since Seth is Commanding Officer, we have many weekend functions to attend like this.)

Kilted Men
Giant Potato Ribbon
Scotch Egg
 Finally, there was the Scottish Highland Festival. My Major is Scottish, (but his ginger hair comes from his mom's Italian side).he Carolinas have a huge population of Scots, who come down to the woods of GA to compete in Highland Games including the Caber toss (where they toss a giant log, end-over-end---this began as a bridge building skill in Scotland!), the sheep toss (they use hay bags to simulate sheep, since the PETA probably wouldn't be happy about them chucking the real woolies multiple stories thirty feet in the air), Highland dancing , falcons flying, and sheepdogs herding by whistle command. Kilted men, redheads, and bagpipes abound! Way fun, but I couldn't even partake in ice cream because when I asked if they could scoop mine from a clean container, they opened a new package of cups and scooped it from the container contaminated with waffle cone crumbs, etc. This is why I heart Baskin Robbins. They always get the clean container of mint chip or gold medal ribbon for me. I only wish they still had Martian Mint, my all-time fave. Although, I wonder if that flavor is gluten free? So, I noshed on Glutino crackers and Justin's almond butter and Lara bars which tasted all the worse when watching people devour mile-high ribboned potatoes, Scotch eggs, Bridies, essentially a sausage turnover (which I forced The Major to sample- and he wouldn't put it down, he loved it! It really irks me when he won't try new foods, because I have always enthused in this when I travel or go to cultural events and now I am unable to partake in ethnically eclectic edibles.

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Crisp
  Halloween and Fall- Yes, there are gluten-free recipes in abundance, but it really irritates the heck out of me when people SUBTRACT the BEST PART of dishes to make them gluten free. CRUSTLESS pie? Are you freaking kidding me? Isn't that called pudding? Or porridge? Or mush? Or gunk? What's so difficult about concocting a nut crust, gf graham cracker crust, or a gf flour crust? Here's a clue: we already live WITHOUT enough stuff. And nobody eats the pie for the filling. I don't recommend pumpkin pancakes- Seth's banana ones are far superior. Pumpkin cookies, chili, Vitamix pumpkin bread, Sylvan Farms pumpernickel bread, apple-cranberry crisp (without sand-like gf flour--this omission is an improvement on the crunch factor), caramel apples and that dip, and those ginger spice cookies with the Sun on the package, Laffy Taffy, mini-Snickers, and Charleston Chew are probably my gluten free fall favorites.

Glutenized Fall foods and candies I yearn for: bread bowls of soups and dips, licorice Nibs, Milky Way, Ralph's grocery store soft sugar cookies, Kit Kat, Twix, and all the festival foods!


Frozen Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks
NEW GLUTEN FREE FOODS ON MY HORIZON: I can't wait to try: Frozen GF Mozzerella Sticks, Trader Joe's mac n cheese, and Good Grub Subs. What I've been eating (since I have to drop a few extra pounds-our USMC Birthday Ball is in Nov.- and Seth is in CA all week): I'm trying not to mess up the kitchen and be low-maintenance for my own satisfaction: Breakfasts: Grits, Greek Yogurt, or Udi Raisin Toast Lunches: Lara Bars, Kettle frozen chili (only b/c it was on sale), or egg salad on Udi bread Dinners: Bell & Evans chicken tenders with bbq or with mozz cheese and spaghetti sauce, or GF Brisket Tamales from the tiny Farmer's Market on Johnson's Ferry Road, and sweet potato, and veg Snacks: Individual packet of French Meadow Bakery brownie or cookie, pears, and celery (plain)
Serendipity! Gluten free tamales under my nose!
What I'm afraid to try: @Joy_bauer 's idea to add canned pumpkin to yogurt for a fall treat. sounds ick What I've tried recently: red quinoa- very nutty flavor. I don't think Seth loved it. I can see why they recommended half red and half plain in the recipe I found online. Gluten free frozen bavarian pretzels- pretty fantastic! Fall foods I'm happy I never cared for: pumpkin pie, cheesecake of any kind, butternut squash soup, casseroles of most kinds. Baby hats my aunt sells that I buy from her to use as gifts:

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