Let Them Eat Cake

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We’re off to a big birthday bash tonight. Apart from the torrential rain, and slippery mud roads, I’m quite looking forward to a party. With everyone living in their own far flung spot of the African bush, it’s great to get together and just have a blast. Because there are so many of us bush babies around it’s considered fair for everyone to bring along a dessert or salad. This is also brilliant for those sweet-toothed souls among us who could very easily end up with twenty different puds on their plates. Bliss!

For me though, things tend to be a little more complicated with my Celiac disease. This is a severe allergy to gluten in all of its forms. If someone with Celiac ingests gluten they get very sick. The body’s immune system attacks itself, and the damage to the gut each time you slip up takes about a year to repair. You could also find yourself pushing up daisies if your inner bits rupture. Always a possibility. Anyway. Enough of the internal organ talk.

People are always lovely about this odd illness, and go out of their way to ply you with gluten free goodies. Considering that this particular nasty lurks in everything from whisky, soy sauce, malt vinegar, to liquorice allsorts, the chances of the old belly getting away unscathed are pretty unlikely. After too many of these slips, I generally cart my own food to parties, unless I’m pretty sure that the hostess is properly clued up on the gluten front. Not eating meat in general doesn’t help matters. I don’t usually eat at all after three in the afternoon either, so the requisite salad is normally the way to go. A bit of interesting salad and lots of sweets, and I’ve done my duty, and can nibble on something so as to not make people uncomfortable with me not munching away with them. It really is true that people don’t like eating when someone’s lurking around not doing the same. So the salad scam usually works out fairly well.

Today though, I thought I would toss Nigella’s advice about sticking to what you know, and try something really original in the salad department. After a couple of hours of painstakingly preparing each element, I tossed everything together, safe in the knowledge that any sort of veg has to be great with a bit of olive oil and balsamic. Well. I have to encourage those more adventurous of my friends never to mix together beetroot, wilted spinach and frizzled baby aubergine. Unless you have people coming around that you really don’t want ever to return. The oil and vinegar only made it worse. As did the pile of pepper, and seven cloves of crushed garlic, that I was pretty sure would not only save it, but elevate it to Gordon Ramsay heights. It is a truly terrible thing. There’s no time now to start again now, so I’ll just take it along in a bowl I don’t mind losing, furtively place it somewhere out of the way, and waffle a lot about my gluten free almond cake, pineapple and coconut trifle. Another experiment, but not too bad at all. I just hope I can keep a straight face if some poor unsuspecting guy fancies a bit of the salad from hell.

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Till next time friends. xxx


12 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Cake

    Sandra.Austin said:
    February 16, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Have a great time Jo, sounds like fun. I have a cousin-in-law that suffers with Celiac disease 😦 . I am not sure if it is age and experience (says she). Touch wood it seems to have eased as she has got older. I think it is like you, so practised with the menus, that is what keeps it at bay xxx


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Thanks Sandra – when you don’t get about much, you have to make it count 😀 I agree with you though – keeping a beady eye on the menus is the best way. I don’t reckon I would ever be brave enough to put getting older to the test. Not even for a cheese toastie – fave before I was diagnosed. You have a lovely night too! 🙂 xxxx


    writebrainrd said:
    February 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Forgive me, but I am not all that familiar with Africa, except for my friends in Nigeria. Where are you located? My thanks.


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Hi! I’m in Zimbabwe. South Africa is our neighbour. 🙂


    unsweetenedtea said:
    February 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I’m amazed at the number of things containing gluten that you’d never think to suspect- and really, really glad I don’t suffer with celiac disease, because all my favorite things contain it.


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      So true! Even regular Cornflakes and Rice Krispies have gluten in them. You get used to not eating most things – maybe not bread so much though – walking past bakeries is still torture.


    adelesymonds said:
    February 16, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Have a great time Jo, and let us know the look on the face of any unsuspecting taster of your experimental ‘salad’ lol


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      LOL! It seemed to improve after it soaked in the fridge a bit, so I never injured any innocent tastebuds after all.


    Jaspreet Taunque said:
    February 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Hi Jo! Hope you made the salad look perky, sitting next to mashed potatoes. Enjoyed your post but had a pretty dull weekend myself. The funnies have left me. When is your muse visiting the bar next?


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

      I hope your funnies are back Jas! My poor muse is still recovering from the – er – salad – on Saturday. 😀 x


    Molly said:
    February 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Nooo! Nothing worse than a sad salad.


      jorobinson176 responded:
      February 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

      LOL!!!! The end of the world almost. 😀 x


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