So it’s been over a year since I’ve had pancakes. At least.
This morning after a late night of dinning and dancing and flirting and kissing and hugging and mugging for the camera, in pre-celebration of my birthday tomorrow, I woke up at 9am. I can’t sleep late anymore, I just can’t. After realizing I wasn’t going out to brunch, my terry robe suited me just fine, I was determined to make something yummy at home. But what? Roasted potatoes for eggs would take another hour in the oven. Too long as it was nearing noon by the time I got really hungry!
I remembered I had the Gluten-free Pantry "Buttermilk Brown Rice Pancake Mix" mix in my pantry, waiting to be tried. Huh. Could I make GF pancakes? Yes, yes I thought so! The mix had dried buttermilk so I popped a lactaid chewable as I whipped up the ingredients.
I was afraid I had forgotten exactly how to make them. How to preheat the pan on high, turn it to medium heat, add the fat, and add three, four inch dollops in each corner of the round pan, let them be until they bubbled and browned at the edges. Then, give them a jaunty flip, remembering that the second side is always quicker than the first and really in minutes, you have perfectly golden, Gluten-free pancakes. I barely chewed they were so good. In minutes, I was eating a plateful of delicious real pancakes with maple syrup. Standing up. In my kitchen. Happiness and satiety.
However, as soon as I ate them, and they were terrific, I realized I hadn’t really missed them. You know how sometimes you miss the idea of a thing more than the thing itself? And when you finally get the thing you’re like yeah that was great but…it was a bit sweeter in memory. That’s one of those memory tricks, better in the heart than on the lips, many times anyway. Sometimes the real thing exceeds your expectations and memories and that is great too. But with this morning, with these GF pancakes, as a concept and as a short stack on my plate, I realized I hadn’t REALLY missed them. I’m glad they’re back in some form but I really hadn’t noticed they were gone.
That might surpise some people, not missing pancakes; especially people who can't imagine what it's like to give up wheat and sugar. Many people without food allergies and intolerances believe that we who are so blessed are extremely deprived. The inability to eat an Oreo cookie can’t be called real deprivation. Not in the same league. Not on the same planet. I know here in our western world, our first world, the thought of not being able to eat a favorite and cherished food is thought as living a life "less than". But really it's not.
I see it this way: I’m truly lucky, seriously lucky, lucky duck lucky to lead the life I do. So I can’t have nuts [or salmon, or melon, or eggplant etc., etc., etc.]. Big deal. When something makes you feel unwell or worse, trust me, you don’t want it. I can eat a lot of other things. I never feel deprived or lacking or like I’m missing out on that special pecan pie. Growing up with these allergies it just didn’t occur to me that that was something I needed to long for: world peace yes, pecan pie no.
Which doesn't mean that I don't think it’s great that there are companies like Gluten-Free pantry and more that cater to people with allergies or sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods. I’m grateful to them. I can’t wait to try more of them. I can’t wait to see more of them come to market in the coming years as allergies and celiac disease are on the rise.
I’m simply saying if one is unable to eat a treasured food like ice cream or pizza, it’s just not the end. One adjusts, amends or forgets: one adapts. Substitutes are terrific! And doing without is terrific too.