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InterestsTravel to experience different cultures, cuisines, architecture, gardens, history, etc.; food - I instruct cooking classes which can be challenging with celiac; gardening (I am a Master Gardener); reading and walking.
Simple green salad with fresh Balkans feta cheese and local capers. I am making a sort of Mediterranean vinaigrette. This afternoon I made Parmesan and garlic biscuits which will go nicely with the salad.
I have a wicked craving for chile con carne so am making a big old pot of it. Right now. It will pair perfectly with bay-infused Jasmine rice and homemade garlic cheese biscuits. This is our high-carb cheat night. Will probably make some sort of cucumber salad.
Good morning! Thank you so very much for your love and concern. We are indeed just fine. Our house did flood once a few weeks ago and we are having more trouble with leaks and seeping through the floors but nothing like others are going through. Croatia has had more rain this summer than ever on record. I believe it has rained at least 75% of the days we have been here since May, often during the night, but still very strange for the Mediterranean!! Things are stunningly beautiful and lush because of it BUT I feel terrible for the farmers and those who thrive on tourism as both fared poorly this summer. Many farmers lost everything to floods, hail, rot...and yet they must keep going, one day at a time. Thankfully, today is sunny and beautiful; it is to rain again tomorrow and Tuesday and then sunshine again a few days. We have spoken with many Croats who say they have never seen anything like this, even a few elderly people who are absolutely stunned.
Ever since coming to Croatia in May, we have sort of fallen from the low-carb lifestyle a bit and I can really feel it. Strangely, we have not gained any weight but I crave carbs as I used to...when I was doing my best, I had no cravings whatsoever. And now, the more carbs I have, the more I want. I really need to stop this cycle. Carbs bloat me. So, no more potatoes for me or awhile. But guess what I made? Pizza!!! High carb, delicious, unctuous, incredible pizza. Again. And a chocolate chestnut torte with a lovely cream cheese frosting (this was actually very low carb, to sort of justify the pizza ).
Tsk, tsk. You girls are very, very naughty. Lisa, I forgot to email you pictures. I would love to add you to the living in Croatia emails. There is soooooooooo much to catch up on and tell. Perhaps I should start emailing a group of us celiac girls (no men allowed! ). And I, too, thought of that white powder. In fact, we had to encounter that coming over in May. Everything was left unopened and sealed, just in case, but the 5 or 6 kg of not drugs didn't look good. We got through, though, but sadly I wasn't searched as I had hoped. Speaking of which, you would NOT BELIEVE the gorgeous men here. Honestly, makes me blush. Let me just say TALL, DARK and BEYOND HANDSOME.
Oh, yes. Back to dinner.
Tonight I am making pizza, topped with glorious mounds of fresh local cheeses and wild mushrooms. Oh, and homemade pesto. Not trying to make you jealous or anything...that is just so unlike me.
Until four months ago I lived in Alberta and can empathize with you and your plight. Waiting is always difficult, especially in Canada, where waits are many months long and feeling like an eternity.. The longest wait I endured was 18 months for an orthopedic surgeon and I felt utterly hopeless.
For chronic insomnia, I have been taking Zopiclone for 12 years, about once a week, and have never had any rebound or other issues, no side effects, no additional problems whatsoever. There have been periods of time I deliberately chose not to take it for a few weeks to test the waters. Though it does not solve the problem, it has enabled me to sleep soundly as natural sleep is rare for me. I do take Ativan the odd time as well, but limit it to once every two weeks, short term, and to combat jetlag. Melatonin did absolutely nothing for me but it my work for you. Some find success with 5HT-P. I agree that medication is a last resort and my intent is not to encourage reliance on it but at the same time, sleep is absolutely crucial for proper functioning. I have herniated discs and fibromyalgia and insomnia, of course, exacerbates it. I take sleep when I can get it.
I really hope you find the help you need very, very soon.
Lisa, thanks for your willingness to sacrifice luggage space for me! Clothes shopping here and in Slovenia and Italy is very good...you and I are really going to enjoy ourselves. How big are your suitcases?
Another gorgeous, bright and hot day here in Croatia.
Yesterday I made the following so today is encores:
Herb butter roast whole chicken (they actually look like chickens here with beautiful yellow skin and fat)
Roast potatoes (with the chicken fat, of course! )
Homemade sorghum bread I made yesterday with my blackberry jam
Sorry, I was confusing...almond meal is impossible to find here (though I did find it in Italy but it said it contained wheat!) and almonds themselves are those prices I quoted above. Strange, as almonds are grown here! But most are exported. All gluten-free stuff here is unbelievably costly. We do actually have an almond tree but it winter killed a few years ago according to the neighbour. There is not one single nut on it and it does not have any leaves, either. "Winter" here is a lot milder than in Canada, believe me. Actually, this will be our first winter here. Ever. And the warmest. Ever.
Ah...I got a bit lazy. If only I could find some almond meal or at least almonds that cost less than 5 euros for 125 g! Many recipes require 2+ cups of it which would be about the equivalent of about $15+ USD for the almond flour alone! I would be willing to pay quite a lot extra for some things but draw the line at some point. It is insane! I do try to steer clear of such recipes...the things I used to take for granted in Canada! But I am low carbing so it is doubly challenging. My first choice would be coconut flour as it takes far less as it is so absorbent. I really must see whether I can grind the flaked stuff finely enough tomorrow. On the other hand, coconut flour does not make the best breads so I do use buckwheat and sorgrhum (from Canada) for that, but high carb out of necessity. I refuse to give up baking so those are my options.
If anyone is coming to Croatia soon, I will make out an order of items for you to bring along! A long, LONG list!
Ruth, strangely enough I found the same recipe last night...and cannot wait to try it! These rolls really do look light and fluffy. Trouble is, here in Croatia many ingredients are impossible to find, including most flours and starches. The only ones available are white rice flour and I did see tapioca starch once, and two brands of blends. Oh, wait...I did find chestnut flour the other day in Italy as well as buckwheat. Better than nothing! I did bring several with me from Canada, thankfully, along with xanthan gum which is nowhere to be found. And coconut flour here is just finely-flaked coconut. Weird. I have yet to pulse some in my food processor - perhaps that will work. No almond meal at all, I must make my own, if only I could find almonds that are not so incredibly expensive, about five times more than in Canada!! It is very trying, actually. I am a skilled baker and struggle to make adequate substitutions here. Please let us know if you try this recipe. I am very curious about this one!
I live in CroatIia and while it is a gourmand's dream, if you get off the beaten path, be prepared for blank stares. But most are great at accommodating as there are often naturally gluten-free options. Clarify cross contamination issues. Thankfully, you can easily find grilling places. Do eat in konobas, not restaurants, for charm and traditional food. Frequent fresh fish eateries. Risottos are glorious and everywhere I know uses homemade stocks. Do use the restaurant card in Croatian...it is very important here.
If looking for gluten-free products, try DM stores which have a small gluten-free section. Some grocery stores do as well. Gluten-free products are severely lacking but it is better than even just a year ago.
France is much easier than Croatia, as is Italy, as mentioned. I have not been to the UK or Germany since my diagnosis so cannot offer personal reccommendations. But Croatia is the most beautiful!