Heartlander of the Week: American Music

This week’s Heartlander is BB King.  Partner of Lucille, the guitar; son of Mississippi; child of America.

The nice thing about artists is, even when they leave you, you always have their Work.

Another Angel for the Choir, er, the Band.  🙂

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Gluten-free Monday: Get Bookish

I was in the bookstore the other day perusing the bargain shelves, the ones near the front where a serendipitous collection of a nonfiction, do it yourself, how tos, and self help books are offer at highly affordable prices.  I was surprised to note a half dozen gluten-free cookbooks of one flavor or another–gluten-free cooking for kids, gluten-free cakes, gluten-free crockpot, etc.

Not to sell myself short, skip libraries or endorse any one book or author, but it seems like gluten-free is hitting the mainstream in more ways than one.   It’s nice to see that a diet restriction once thought imaginary or eccentric at best is making inroads into the mass market.  I’m enjoying the challenge of gluten-free cooking and baking and am glad that more resources are available.  I love my old cookbooks and still use them with my own adaptations, and am looking forward to more recipes.


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Heartlander of the Week: Wait It Out

To Blake Hyland, his family, and medical team.

Following a head injury early last year, this young man spent weeks in a coma–classic, he may never recover, never  be the same.  He is now slated to head back to school in the fall and finish high school.

Never give up.


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Heartlander of the Week: Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

To the Wisconsin State Legislature—admittedly, no one’s favorite organization most weeks—for limiting access to heavy weaponry by local police departments.

We’ve come a long way from the mannerly officer on the street corner saying hello to the passersby. Body armor, reinforced vehicles, side arms, M-16s, and then something called the SWAT team.

You could try a rallying cry like, “Remember Ferguson!” Or maybe, “Remember Detroit” when it was one of the greatest cities on the planet. Or how about, “Remember Democracy and Civil Society” before the Crack Wars.

Slip the Daisy down the Barrel. All I am saying, is give Peace a Chance.

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Heartlander of the Week: Young at Heart

To Hayley Okines, a wonderful young lady who passed away this week of Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a disease that causes premature aging.

Miss Okines was seventeen years old and had the effective age of 104.

Obscure illnesses like Progeria are difficult not only for what they do to the patient, but because others do not understand the disease and its challenges, and little constituency to push for treatments.

A smile on the face and hope for a sunny day.  More than that is a blessing.  🙂

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Gluten-free Monday: Et tu, Soy?

So, as I’ve been progressing on gluten-free, I’ve been learning more about Soy.

It turns out that much like Wheat, Soy is a common allergen. And much like Wheat, there is also evidence that in addition to causing “allergic” reactions, that Soy is also something that can cause intolerances.

Not surprisingly, the symptoms of Soy intolerance, are very similar to the symptoms of Gluten or “wheat” intolerance–painful abdominal cramping, diarrhea, heart burn, nausea, vomiting, headaches and irritability.

Apparently, much like allergies, there are tests for intolerances. How good are these tests? That’s the $64,000 question. Since my gluten concerns date back to the days when one’s choice was food challenge or intestinal biopsy (rarely authorized except in the most extreme cases where celiac was suspected), I based my exclusion of gluten on food challenge, as well as positive scratch and blister tests for Wheat allergy several years earlier. (The blood tests, of course, found nothing. Ahem.)

I’ve never much been one for tofu or snacking on soybeans, and since most American soy sauce is actually Wheat, this one seemed easy. Of course, Soy, like Wheat, is often a processed food additive, including in gluten-free products.

So, eliminate Soy? I think it is hard to judge with this one. There, apparently, is also some debate as to whether the form or use of Soy is significant in allergy and intolerance symptoms. Soy flour and Soy lecithin and Soy bean and Soy curd are not necessarily created equal.

It’s hard to miss something you don’t use much, although, I am going to miss my substitute for American Wheat-based Soy sauce.  :S

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Heartlander of the Week: Dream a New World

To Terry Pratchett and Michael Graves (in order only of I how I found out).  To brilliant, creative, irreverent minds who made lives better and brought hope to many hearts.

The body is fragile; the Work lives.

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Gluten-Free Monday: Buckwheat Redux, Nodeln Again

So, I wrote last week about using buckwheat to make chocolate chip cookies, which basically turned out OK.  So, OK, in fact that they are gone!

With leftover buckwheat, I turned to savory dishes.  I looked to the fridge, and low and behold, leftover egg yolks from the somewhat gooey yolk-free chocolate soufflé.  Flour + egg yolks = Spaetzle!!!  (Or Nodeln)

The recipe I used a few months ago called for a mix of flours.  With only one gluten-free flour to use this time, I simplified the recipe to the following:

Buckwheat (only) Spaetzle


4 egg yolks

1 cup buckwheat flour

~1/4 cup cold water (enough to make a dough)

Mix well to form a dough.  Roll out immediately.  Cut into shapes with cutters or a knife.  Let dry overnight.  Then boil right before using until the float freely in the pot.

I used a star shaped (cookie) cutter to make the noodles, and I did roll the dough out more than once, in violation of every principle of noodles!

star-shaped buckwheat noodles


With the buckwheat flour, they kind of looked like gingerbread cookies and they boiled fine, in 5-10 minutes. They tasted fine, too, with spaghetti sauce or with butter and garlic sauce.  Ran out before I could try them with a cheese sauce.

Yumminess.  🙂

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Gluten-free Monday: Buckwheat Give It a Shot

So, I recently found myself with a hankerin’ for gluten-free homemade chocolate chip cookies, but my muck beloved King Arthur gluten-free flour nowhere to be found.  I took a chance and tried buckwheat, and so far so good.

I used the standard “on the package” Nestle Toll House recipe (really).  The dough was a bit dry, but I went with it, and they baked well, in my opinion, in about 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  (I like my chocolate chip cookies thick and a bit cakey, rather than thin and gooey.)

The texture of the cookies was a bit coarser and there was a richer taste to the cookie than when I have used King Arthur gluten-free flour.  I also thought the dough was a bit easier to handle.

Tune in next week for, perhaps, another adventure with buckwheat.



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Heartlander of the Week: I Otter

To the people who rescued the baby Otter, and brought a whole new genre of cute baby animal pictures to the web.

Choose Life.  🙂

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