A few weeks ago I headed to Napa for a friend’s birthday party- after rushing around to negotiate a ride that would get me back in time for another birthday party back in the city (failure) -and baking my special brownie cake for the Birthday Girl.
I am famous for my brownies-friends request them for events, holidays, even a notorious FireDrums weekend.
It took me all afternoon to bake this brownie cake, carefully cooking the butter, and icing it with the chocolate chip icing the Birthday Girl requested.
Since I was only scheduled to be in Napa until Saturday dinnertime-I rushed to get this cake made and get out of town.
On the drive up, I rode with a new friend who’d had a stressful week and I suggested maybe a bite of the cake would make her feel better as long as she carefully took a piece as not to ruin it for the Birthday Girl.
After taking a few bites, she looked at me and said “Is this Gluten Free???”
“Ummm, no”-I said (Feeling a little bit embarrassed over my Betty Crocker recipe)
Then, she started scraping off the chocolate chip icing exclaiming “There is SO much icing on this!! Sugar makes me constipated”
The Birthday Girl and everyone else enjoyed the cake all weekend but I felt compelled to tell everyone “Just so you know-it’s NOT gluten-free!!”
The next Monday morning, as I walked to North Beach to teach my 7am yoga class, I thought “Am I a bad yoga teacher, a bad person for not thinking of people’s dietary needs???
As I waited for my cup-I perused the counter filled with cannoli, biscotti, wedding cakes and other pastries.
I asked the old Italian man behind the counter (as I salivated over the pastries)
“Are any of these Gluten-Free”
He looked at me, confused, and responded “What is a gluten???”
The I asked “Is anything here sugar-free or fat-free?”
Again, confusion ensued.
He came over-very serious-and said “Listen, Italians eat food like we make love-we may not do it all the time, but when we do, we indulge and it’s REAL”
Sometimes-the old Italian man has the best advice.
The next morning I taught yoga-I ordered (and ate) the cannoli- gluten be damned!!