I'm starting this article with a howdy call out ‚ "HOOOWWWDDYY " from the Mid West. It is a balming 70 degrees outside with 30 % humidity here and I am still adjusting. My summer vacation is just getting started. it does not feel like vacation yet as I arrived a few days ago only to open up my Vintage Silver Streak Trailer ( Gracie) to find out that she was flooded! There was about 2 inchs of water accumulated on the floor in two very large pools. ‚"Bummer"... kept running threw my head as the wet down pour continued unabased outside. It felt like lightning was throwing it's bolts right at me to try and disappoint me ;(
We here at Gluten Free -Yes I Can know that gluten free has to be a life style not a diet you stop and start. We decided to take up the challenge of creating a gluten free work space in a small kitchen space RV because I'm not the only one traveling around during vacation months. I know you are probably thinking, " Right it is hard enough cooking gluten free in my large home kitchen." Again I'm not looking to prove anyone wrong I'm just here to continue on in creating healthier gluten free meals no matter where I happen to cook from.
You might hit some of the common snags that I have so why not find solutions together.
My first huge snag was finding a grocery store in this rural area only to realize there was hardly any gluten free products! I was so excited to discover a Wallmart Super store 40 minutes away. Wallmart had around four small shelves of gluten free products. I found Rob Mills gf hot breakfast cereal, four selections of gluten free pastas and some gf pasta sauces. Wallmart turned out to be so limited in my choices that it wouldn't be worth it for me to drive the long distance.
Not to worry because we can all order online for our gluten free needs. As long as you have an address they will ship. Get started right away by placing your order so you can have your favorites shipped to you quickly. You will need a baseline of gf products such as flour, mixes, spices, sauces, etc. for your cabinets.
When you travel to different locations it is always fun to get the local newspaper and look up in the " What's Happening" section where all the farmers markets are and the times and locations. I love, love farmers markets, you can support the local community and meet passionate people sharing their love of growing organic fruits and vegetables.
I like to find out from the locals what delicious unusual veges are in season and learn how they use them in their recipes. If you have a learning spirit coupled with a good attitude I find people enjoy sharing their tips and dishes easily. We are all proud when a dish surprises us with unique flavors.
I must admit I'm having a slow start getting gluten free on this trip because of the crazy storms and tornadoes. Life happens; we make great plans but I have to keep in mind that God directs my steps and these steps lately have been filled with slushy mud and a leaky trailer! Here is another traveling tip, make sure you use premium gas from reputable gas stations. My car suffered a major expense because of the cheap gas here. Apparently, they mix the gas with water and my car hated it and fought back with a whopping repair bill. Lesson learned.....
Factory tour of the gluten-free facility at Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukie, Oregon (outside of Portland). Everything is super-clean to prevent cross-contaminati...
Finding people with free range chickens was easier then I thought. there is a woman in town that gathers her chickens eggs and brings them in town to her local business to sell. You just have to bring her your empty egg cartons and presto Organic free range eggs. PERFECT now I'm on the hunt to locate a local Bee Keeper who sells raw organic honey :)
I woke up to a beautiful morning here in the Mid West. I am stopped off writing this article at the Frontier Diner. What an eclectic experience. The outside of this place resembles a broken down Ghost town complete with cowboy models and a set up scene with fire pit in the window box.
I feel like I'm on a movie set when I sit down I notice the people in this place are staring at me. HMMMMM.... I'm starting to feel a little self conscience until I realize I am wearing my sparkly blinged out Birkenstock sandals which I'm sure is a dead give away that I'm not ' from around these parts'. instead of ignoring the stares I decided it would be fun to smile real big and wave to each one...Wow that got a few chuckles...giggles..hopefully I can focus better now.
This article is a work in progress because as you can probably tell I am learning how to go with the flow yet incorporate gluten free living tips. Planning meals with seared meats with vegetable side dishes is what has worked for me so far.
My adventures continue as I walked into an adorable shop in the Mid West called " The Three Ladies" It is a Coffee shop and gift store with so much more. Becky carries a lot of gift items and girly stuff. I love to order my coffee latte and browse around her store looking at all the cool merchandise. While spending time in her store I noticed no gluten free food choices to go along with my caramel latte's so Becky and I remedied that problem. She is now offering our vanilla pudding gf cupcakes with marshmellow buttercream frosting to her customers - NUMMY!
Small towns rock! I just love the attitude of the locals here in this slower paced Frontier land of the mid west. I was working on an article in a dark corner of a local diner being refreshed by the rattle of the old window box air conditioner when an elderly man leaned over from a nearby table and started talking to me familiar like we have known each other all our lives!
He wanted to invite me to his church service and proceeded to explain in detail how to get there and that the service was in 45 minutes... How awesome is that? No fear meeting people here, no way to keep to yourself and try to live a solitary life. Nope the ebbing and flowing of life here is a subtle refreshing current and involves a group type mentality. Coming from California where you are praising God if you are lucky enough to find a parking space at Vons without conflict; this pace is delightful!
Always being careful I might entertain angels unaware. Fast forward to different breakfast but same elderly gentleman whom I saw last time I was eating at the diner leaned over AGAIN from where he was sitting and asked how I was doing. I shared that I wanted to try a local church but when I called noone picked up the phone. I asked where he goes to church and again he invited me to attend. I just followed behind his pickup truck until I ended up at a beautiful country church. A diamond amongst this old ghost town with closed down stores and broken windowed store fronts. I drove past a cheap gas station, an old post office, and one thrift store which was all this lil town offered but it made the little country Church shine brighter.
Seemed to me most people at the church wanted to greet me. Not used to this kind of hospitality but I am humbled and reminded that this is God's standard...He wants His faithful to love one another.
Becky owner of 3 Ladies coffee and gift shop
she is displaying our gluten free vanilla pudding cup cakes with marsh mellow buttercream frosting
Becky has so many fun and interesting gift ideas. I love her decorative headbands and scarves. Her bracelets with encouraging scriptures are also a fav of mine!
My summer vacation has an end in site (one more week) and I will be packing Gracie up( travel trailer) then Olliver (dog) and I will hop on a plane homebound. I have many take aways from my adventures and will continue to pray for all the victims of the tornados and friends I've met along the way!
Gluten free Dee :)