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Cheese Requiem

Posted by , 23 December 2012 · 1,070 views

I've lost cheese!

I put two and two together and am now on a two-week casein elimination diet. HOLY COW. It's day 4. (On day 2, my rennet arrived in the mail. It was a sad day.)

I just made a dinner for my husband and me that took an army of hands. There was my gluten-free pasta, his gluten-ful pasta, my homemade meatballs with fennel seeds, his homemade meatballs with parmesan.

Why not make gluten-free pasta for both of us? Because it's freakin' expensive and a waste on him. He sees pasta as a meaningless sauce conveyor so he gets cappellini. I see pasta as mana from heaven, so I get super-pasta-y elbows.

Why not make meatballs for both of us? He hates fennel seeds and I...miss parmesan and want someone to be able to eat it.

Tricky to make food you can't taste to check and see if it's all right. But I had so many irons in the fire that I overcooked the meatballs. Sigh.

Then I ate some mini-snickers, like an idiot. Hello, trace amounts of casein (not to mention the possible cc).

No cheese, no butter, no decent candy. They don't have vegan Dagoba chocolate here at a US base, folks. And Larabars? Forget it, Amazon won't ship them to an APO address (but water kefir crystals -- sure, no problem, go crazy).

The local specialty is delicious taco rice, which is exactly what it sounds like. Greasy, cheesy taco filling on pure Japanese rice. Except I had to ask for no cheese, and it ended up being shredded lettuce and ground beef on rice. Suddenly, it's just half a dish.

Cheese, butter, tiny bits of milk in chocolate -- this is the glue that holds deliciousness together. And since I've reacted RIDICULOUSLY well to my casein elimination diet so far -- like a dark cloud has lifted -- I have to consider the idea that this may be my future forever. Oh, sure, there are wonderful work-arounds, lots of consolation prizes (Van's gluten-free waffles are DAIRY-FREE!), but for the moment, I'm just sad I've lost my cheese.

I told my mother. "Oh," she said. "I couldn't live." Then, ten minutes later, she said, "I've thought of something you can eat. You grate some parmesan..."

"No mom," I said. "No. That's the entire point."

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