Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lunch: What is the new normal?

Today, as I made lunch for my nearly-3 and nearly-5 year olds, I took a mental inventory of possibilities for myself. I'm still adjusting to my new dairy and soy-free life. In case you missed that post, our newest son Lucas is allergic to both and since he is nursing, that means I need to eliminate those things from my diet as well so they do not pass through my milk to him.

Anyway, the possibilities were a little low today. I was tired of the leftovers we had, but almost every new lunch creation I could envision required bread. Of which I was out. You see, life with dairy and soy allergies really limits what I can just grab out of the cupboard and eat. I have to make most of what I eat entirely from scratch. It's hard! I have 3 children under five! Who has time to cook from scratch? Ok, well, I probably *do* have time to cook from scratch, but that Facebook account doesn't run itself! Just kidding. It's more about patience. I've never really been the kind of person who is thrilled to be in the kitchen, creating something new. I have learned to cook, and I enjoy eating new food that I have cooked, but I can't really bring myself to say the phrase "I enjoy cooking." There's a difference, know what I mean?

Luckily for me, I recently discovered the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoë François. At the very minimum, I do indeed have 5 minutes of patience in one day. The gist of it is, I mix up a large batch of bread dough, enough for a few loaves, and store it in a bin in my fridge. When I need to bake a new loaf of bread, I grab enough for a loaf, slap it into a loaf pan, let it rise and then bake it. Really, my whole part in the process lasts for about 5 minutes, broken into 3 chunks. Unless you count the eating. That might take a while.

But sometimes the benefits of this new lifestyle make me forget for a few moments the negatives. Because pulling a beautiful, crusty, delicious loaf of bread like this one out of the oven is its own reward. It smells fantastic and tastes even better.

I couldn't properly capture it in this picture, but there's still steam rising off this bread. Don't worry, I slathered some (dairy-free) margarine on that heel of bread so fast it was melting off the knife. And that, my friends, is how you enjoy eating dairy-free and soy-free.

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