Monday 23 July 2012

Me and my Chicken Cutlets....

Did you know that there is a dark seedy, underbelly of gluten free eating? No?  You didn’t know that there is a back alley to the gluten industry? It’s the creepy shadowy mark that seeps into the eating out experiences of all Celiacs. It may not sound like a big deal to all of you but it literally, infuriates me. Literally. I lose my shit every time this happens.

Celiacs get charged extra fees for eating out ALL THE TIME.

 Some restaurants don’t tell you about it. They especially don’t mention it to the Celiac when that Celiac orders Gluten Free food. The restaurant just adds it to the bill when the Celiac is, gee, I don’t know, with a group of people she doesn’t know that well. When this extra charge is openly questioned on the group bill by the bossy 'I will calculate what we all owe becuase I have a calculator in my ass' person at the table, the server comes over and explains in the most condescending, charitable voice possible that the charge is for the Celiac meal and the entire table looks at you and you start to sweat because something that you didn’t want to be a big deal is now a BIG deal and by sweating you realize that you forgot to put in your chicken cutlets so now you have inconvenienced everybody and you don’t even have plastic boobs to make it better.

 (PS Trev says that not everyone knows what chicken cutlets are – they are small soft triangular shaped gel filled bags that those of us who are boobie challenged can slip into our bra’s to fake everyone out - they make me feel like David Copperfield and Dolly Parton at the same time)

 (PPS I have had a totally hilarious moment with my chicken cutlets that was witnessed by my friend Leisa. She has been sworn to secrecy. I will only tell you that chicken cutlets are as dangerous as they are enchanted – use with caution)

Back to the blog:

 Let me clarify for those of you who may NOT have to pay extra money for having an Autoimmune  Disease. The people WITH the autoimmune disease are yelling "GO BITCH GO!" and jumping up and down with giant foam hands and shit like that.

When I go to some restaurants that advertise having Gluten Free options, they charge me extra money. Usually, it’s about three dollars per item but I have been charged five dollars per item.

  As a side note, someone told me conversationally, that a blow job in a foreign country is cheaper than a gluten free upcharge here – I promptly defriended him from facebook and took a shower.

 Sometimes, restaurants just charge me once but sometimes I get charged for every item I eat. As if ensuring my coffee is gluten free has a fee. “Lady, I avoided our flour waterfall in the back for you, that’s WORTH something.”

 So let me break it down for you:

 Caesar salad (no croutons) to start $9.00
I am charged $3.00 for GF Upcharge
Gluten Free Pasta (brown rice – retails for 3.49 a pack )
I am told that the sauce is naturally gluten free $16.00
I am charged $3.00 for GF upcharge 
The (ALREADY) flourless cake for dessert $ 9.00
I am charged $3.00 for GF upcharge

So my dinner comes to $34.00 (not including a glass of wine)

 My upcharges come to $9.00 FOR HAVING A DISEASE

 That is a 26% upcharge.

 Then I have to tip.



 It says, you are welcome here, we accommodate your kind…but it will cost you - almost double.

 I know that Gluten Free foods (namely breads) are more expensive than normal bread. I know this because I buy it too. I have a whole fucking freezer full. I do know that Gluten Free pasta (either brown rice or corn pasta) is NOT any more expensive than a high end quality pasta. SO YOU AREN'T FOOLING ANYONE ASSHOLES! My business (and most likely my repeat business because I do not have many options for eating out) is payment for the extra five dollars you spend on a loaf of bread that you have to keep in the freezer for a year. Don’t tell me what your food cost is – you should see mine jackass.

I also know that it costs extra money in labor costs for a restaurant to prepare my gluten free food. I know that it costs the server time which is time that they aren’t spending at any other tables, I know that a cook in the back (most likely the sous chef) takes time to just prepare my meal, I know that there are discussions about my meal between managers and servers and chefs. I KNOW all that – and believe me I am GRATEFUL that the time was taken.

This is, however, the SAME amount of time used to prepare a meal for someone with a severe peanut or seafood allergy or even someone who is a pain in the ass and wants something not offered on the menu. Neither of which you upcharge for. Do you have any idea how much time your fucking hot water with honey and lemons take? If a server ever committed suicide at work, it would be the hot water/lemon/honey lady that pushed them over the fucking edge.

Don’t charge Celiac’s for services you provide for others for free.

Don’t and I really mean don’t, advertise that you WANT Celiacs to come to your restaurant and then make it very clear that we aren’t welcome.  Let me remind you that I don’t always have the choice of where I eat. I DO have friends (I know, shocking right? I question their judgment all the time) that want to eat where they want to eat and when I have to pay more money than they do, it’s offensive.

I don’t have a choice in the matter. Gluten Free is what I have to eat…no options.

Celiacs are VERY loyal customers. If we are treated well, and get DON’T get poisoned somewhere, we will EAT THERE FOREVER. Now, I can’t promise that all Celiacs are good tippers. They should be. I am a very good tipper because I believe in Karma but I also believe in unicorns and mermaids so I can’t guarantee that everyone is as wonderful as I am.  

Here’s the rule folks:


There are some places that REFUSE to charge for GF options. The Ochre Grill in SW Calgary is one of them and their menu is like 85% gluten free. They carry breads from The Care Bakery and have never charged me an extra penny. This is why we eat there at least once a week.

But a lot of other places do charge for GF food; from the Redwater to Toscana Grill and Chiantis plus many others charge extra for GF options. This has become common practice and it pisses me off.

So knock it off or I am going to start ordering hot water’s with honey and lemon by the bucketful.

Don’t tempt me.

You think my Celiac’s annoys you?

Bitches you have NO idea what me and my chicken cutlets are capable of….

Monday 16 July 2012

It's all about the legs.

Today is a special day in Calgary. It's hangover day. Today is the day AFTER the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth and the entire city curls up in a ball and watches reruns of Full House on their couch. Today is a day of recovery. The carnies are putting the rides back on a truck, the cowboys are loading up the cattle and the steers, that guy in the horrible jacket is packing up the superdogs, rock stars are loading their trailers and the food trucks are heading down Macleod Trail.

Our entire city needs a Gatorade, a poop and a nice long nap.

This year more than others because the Stampede was OFF THE CHAIN for 2012. With record temperatures combined with record attendance, amazing shows and bigger and better rides The Calgary Stampede brought in their 100 Year Birthday with a bang.

As promised, I searched out all the GF food on the grounds which there was more than in previous years BUT with the amount of food availiable, it still seemed kinda lame. It was like being granted one wish from a Genie only to see that everyone else in the world got fifty wishes. I'm not kidding here people. To give you an idea, I took some pictures of all the places I COULD NOT eat at. To be honest, I am not all that upset about some of them.
There was no one advertising "Stale and Cold Cinnamon Buns" so I'm not sure...
My FAVORITE!!! PUB GRUB! On the Menu was "Battered Mushrooms" I, of course wonder if the Mushrooms just didn't have enough self esteem to get out of the relationship

I don't think I can eat anything called Fried Dough - Either Elephant or Funnel Shaped
This place was a little exessive - Pizza - Burgers - Churros - Nachos Yadda Yadda

Deep Frid Pop Tarts - Is that Shit even LEGAL????

This sign I looked at with DEEP LONGING! I MISS Those Little Donuts.
But WAIT! Who do I see there purchasing two bags of donuts? WHY IT'S MY HUSBAND!
There is a knife in my back bitches and it's name is gluten.

The father of my children.
He even BRAGGED that it was the first time ever that he didn't have to share the Donuts.
 Mother Fucker.
Now – I did go and visit the GF places on the grounds. I went to the Mexican place that promised Gluten free food. The lady who was serving me didn’t know what I was talking about. How do I know this? She looked at me and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” So I didn’t eat there.
The Turkey Leg (side note - what in God's name is that bitch in the picture WEARING? Is that a bathing suit or a bra or just some string licorice? Bleh)

I did however have a turkey leg from this place. I asked about Gluten Free food and the lady was MORE than accommodating. She promised that the legs WERE GF and even pulled out the BBQ Sauce so I could read the label. This is a picture of me eating the SMALL Turkey leg. No shit. The extra large one looked like a fucking ostrich limb. It was delicious.
This is my favorite picture of myself EVER - Seriously, put this shit on my tombstone.

I also saw THIS delightful sign and ordered the meal immediately. It was AWESOME! The steak was tender and flavorful and it was MORE than enough food. That was great too. I also had a corn on the cob that was super yummy

The best meal on the grounds and all Gluten Free!
 Now the Stampede is known for it’s beer, lots and lots of beer flows over the ten days. I however discovered this fine gem which is responsible for hours of happiness on my part.

Once again, the Stampede puts on a hell of a party and I loved every second of it. I am going to go nurse my hangover now and dream of all the great GF things I will eat next year! Maybe the pain of  what I now call "DonutGate" will fade by then....

Saturday 7 July 2012

A Gluten Free Guy Weadick

Guy Weadick
He ate A LOT of Gluten-

It is that time of year people. The ten days of glory of the Calgary Stampede. It is officially one hundred years ago that Guy Weadick convinced the Big 4 Ranchers to put on a fair and rodeo for the New West of Canada. That tradition has morphed into something that is something quite extraordinary. It still has countless saloons, real hardcore cowboys, a massive agricultural fair, merchants selling wares from booths that are either life changing or snake oil, many places to gamble away your hard earned coins, music, laughter, rides and a deep feeling of community and western pride. Really, the only thing that has changed in the last one hundred years is the massive lack of prostitutes and the fact that the ground isn’t dirt anymore. Both excellent improvements if you ask me.

One of the best things to do at the Calgary Stampede is to eat and eat and eat. There is food everywhere, at every corner, at every stop and yes beside every cow. I am not kidding when I say that you can walk for three hours through the Stampede and be eating the entire time. Watch out though, for the Stampede does not care for your digestive wellness in anyway. It takes no prisoners.

 To give you a visual.  Here is the Stampede Recipe for Disaster:

12 mini donuts

1 Beef on a bun

4 Beers

A turkey leg

A Carnie Screaming “Do you Wanna Go FASTER?”

Two hot Dogs

Ice Cream

6 Beers

The Smell of Cow Poop


Corn on the cob

Les McIntyre’s voice announcing “AND THEY’RE OFF”

Cotton Candy

10 Beers

Put all this into a Magic Bullet and fire it up. And THAT is a bad Stampede Day. You MUST pace yourself if you wish to survive unscathed. You have ten days to make the previous list happen. Take your time.

If you vomit at the Stampede whether you are 5 or 55, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Now the Stampede has made it possible for us Celiac’s to make the same gluttonous mistakes. The Calgary Stampede now has Gluten Free food. Something that I don’t think Guy Weadick (or even the vendors from 5 years ago) would comprehend. Metro Calgary (bless them) has released a list of Gluten Free options on the massive grounds. Some of them, like McKay’s Ice Cream and Mac’s Frosters are no surprise, I am somewhat shocked to find Mini donuts on the list. Have they come up with a specific gluten free donut that is cooked in its own fryer? For some reason, I doubt that.

I also see Pizza 73 on the list. I have heard they have a Gluten Free Crust but I am interested to see how they can handle cross contamination in a food truck. The same goes for Second to None Meats, Beef Bacon and the German Sausage who say that I can have all the meats but without the bun. I already knew that I could have the turkey leg and the corn on the cob, the kettle corn and the lemonade too. I am excited for the tacos from Los Compadres though.

I haven’t been down to the grounds yet. I am taking the Spawn on Monday. They don’t know it yet, but I am going to allow them to ride every ride and then force them to visit as many as these food booths as I can. Of course I shall trick them into thinking that we are going to other fun places and that I just keep getting lost. This is how I get my kids to run errands. They constantly think we are going to the toy store, only to end up buying me shoes, silly Mommy got lost again! I am practicing my lines for Monday already, “Oh kids, I am so sorry is this NOT the tractor pull/buckaroos/superdogs/roller coaster? Let Mommy eat a turkey leg and we can hunt out that tricky elusive Giant Ferris Wheel.”

So check out the Metro Article HERE  the Stampede has posted the allergens in chart form HEREand get your Gluten Free boots on and get down to the grounds. I will report back on my visit and let you know how it goes. If you run into my kids, do not let them know that there is a map of the grounds in existence.

I wasn't surprised to see that the Stampede had Gluten Free options, it's just another way to improve. The Calgary Stampede has spent the last one hundred years striving to make itself bigger and better. Indeed, is there a more wonderful way to spend a century?

Tuesday 3 July 2012

My Body People

For once, I am writing a post NOT about my own selfish ass. Please read and pass on. It’s important.

 I cannot live my life without people who give a shit about me. I know, so elementary right? Not really. I mean, we all have people that surround us; that we spend time with, that occupy space and energy and time and money. Think about these people, now, think about the ones that REALLY give a shit about you. Honestly, stop for a moment and really review your nearest and dearest in your mind and assess what kind of person they are to you.

 Think about the people in your life that are kind to you, that listen to you, that laugh at your jokes, that smile when you walk in the room and don’t judge one word that comes out of your mouth. That do things for you without asking and certainly without reminding you of it later. I call these friends, my “BODY” friends. If, for whatever reason, I had a dead body in my possession that needed to be disposed of, I would call one of them. I know that they would help hide the body and never speak of it again. I’m not kidding, I make this kind of distinction.

One of my body friends is Jenny. I met Jenny about sixteen years ago when we both worked at Earls together. I distinctly remember meeting her because it was within 5 seconds of either of us talking that we were laughing so hard it hurt. We haven’t really stopped laughing since. Jenn is by far, the most genuine person I think I have ever known. She comes from a deeply loving, wonderful family and when I met her, she was a Vocal Performance major at the U of C. Jenn's voice is really unmatched. You feel blessed to have heard her sing. I always thought that God made Jenn to be a singer, until I saw her become a mother and realized, THAT’s what she was supposed to be. She is one of those friends that I can talk to every day for a week or go three months and it doesn’t matter one bit.

Jenny is one of my favorite people in the whole world and she would hide a body for me.

Jenny has Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia  and it breaks my fucking heart.

It’s the shittiest, most horrible, rotten Goddamn thing in the world.

Jenny is the mother of two young, beautiful, bright, funny children.

Jenny needs bone marrow in order to live.

It’s that simple.

Now, my first reaction was, okey dokey smokey, come and fucking get it. I don’t even know how you get the bone marrow out but if you gotta break my arm to do it, that’s beyond copasetic. Break a bone, take an organ or a hunk of spine, it matters not. Actually, donating is a fairly easy, non-risky procedure, especially, considering you are saving a life. Unfortunately, the chances that Jenn and I are a match are slim to none.

So I need your help. I need you to sign up on thisWEBSITE and see if you are a match and then I need you to pass it on to every single person you have ever met. All those facebook randoms? Get them to do it. The guy who is asking you out? Get him to sign up before you give him a fake number. Tweet it. Send out a bloody smoke signal, I don’t care, just please, help me save my friend's life.

I KNOW that you don’t know Jenny but I KNOW that you HAVE a Jenny. I KNOW that there are people in your life that you seriously give a shit about and they give a shit about you. I can’t save my Jenny but maybe I can save your Jenny one day.
Please sign up and get every person you know to sign up.

Then send a simple text to your “Body” Friends.

It should say. “I love you and I am thinking about you today”

Because they should know that you give a shit about them.

Thank You and as Always,

Much Love