Thursday, February 24, 2011

Breaking (Gluten-free) Bread With My Brother

My husband and I drove out to Long Island yesterday to hang out with my brother. I called in advance, of course, to make sure (a) he would be home, (b) he would not escape to the gym, or (c) he would be awake for our arrival. He was very excited we were coming and told me he was quickly running out to go food shopping, but he would be back by the time we got there. With the little bits of traffic we hit, he was, and when I got into his house, before I got my coat off he said, "You have to try this bread!"

My heart sank. He must have been talking to my husband... I can't have bread. I am gluten intolerant. I miss bread so much... this was going to be a difficult visit.

"Nicole! Try it! It's from the gluten-free bakery over here. I got it for you. You have to try it!"

Whoa. He was talking to me. It was bread that I could have and it looked really good. I couldn't hold back my smile, "Oh wow, really? Well... can I take my coat off first?!"

"No!" he said, while laughing and handed me a slice, "It's rye!" And then he had me. Standing in his hallway with my coat still on, bag in one hand, slice of gluten-free rye in the other - I took a bite...

"Holy crap. That's good. That's like real bread. Are you kidding me? Where did you get this?!" The bread was still slightly warm. It was soft and had the right kind of give that bread does. I have only been gluten-free eight months now, but I have yet to find a bread that tastes like real bread, texture and all. This was an amazing find.

My brother starting handing me party menus, business cards and informed me that he added me to the mailing list of the Bare Naked Bakery & Cafe located out in Bellmore, NY. While I don't live nearly as close to this establishment as he does, I can definitely see incorporating a swing-by trip whenever going to visit my little brother, or putting in small requests whenever I know my brother is going to swing my way!

In addition to having a bakery on premises and a cafe that serves bagels, sandwiches, salads and pizzas (see their menu), they also serve as a pivotal place for gluten-free support of all kinds. Their BNTAC, or "Bare Naked Truth About Celiac" group is simply one example of what I mean. On the BNTAC website you will find that this establishment reaches far beyond satiating the cravings of the baked good deprived lot who have found themselves intolerant to gluten!  They also:
I can't wait until I have the opportunity to actually check out the place myself! I have to say my little brother did really well. He has been talking about this place ever since I starting eating gluten-free. He kept trying to bring some of their stuff out to me, but every time he would stop by on his way here, they would be closed, or he would be running late and unable to fit in the trip. Of course I realize now that when he told me on the phone that he was "food shopping," he had actually jumped in his car to get me some gluten-free goodies as a surprise. So sweet... and I am not just talking about the amazing big chocolate chip cookies he got me. I guess some things never change in my family, it seems that thoughtful food will always be the simplest way for us to say, "I love you."

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