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11 October 2007

life, gluten-free, with a little help from our friends

steam on the artichokes

Life, gluten-free, can be this warm, inviting, and delicious.

The picture you see above (as well as on the banner on the top of this website) is a plate of steaming artichokes, in the Chef's hands. We had the decadent pleasure of dining on these - and many other arresting dishes - with Judy Witts Francini (otherwise known as the Diva of Divina Cucina) in Florence, on our honeymoon. I had meant to share the details of that gorgeous day before we left for New York. But life has a way of throwing monkey wrenches into the best-laid plans.

In twenty minutes, I climb into the car and drive to pick up the Chef at his restaurant. We'll embrace each other, say goodbye to all the staff, and drive our packed bags to the airport, to climb on a plane, just before midnight.

New York, here we come.

But first, I have to wait for the dryer to stop running, so I can throw some clean socks in our suitcases.

See what I mean about life?

Life, gluten-free, can be just as hilarious and madcap as that with gluten. In fact, when you're healthy for the first time in your life, you have more energy to run around doing errands, have coffee with a dear friend, pack at the last moment, and still put up a blog post before going. Three years ago, I never would have been able to make this trip.

Tomorrow, my book is officially published. And we are celebrating in style, by jetting across the country to New York.

While we are gone, and for the next few weeks, updates on this website will happen when we can. We hope to meet many of you on the road. And of course, there is this book to read, if you need to occupy your time. I will post photos of the trip, little stories, and restaurant recommendations as I can.

But in the meantime, there will still be plenty of gluten-free options.

So many people, when they first find out they have to be gluten-free, worry that their lives will be pale and damaged forever after. And mostly, we feel like we have to concentrate on what we have to live without, always eating specialty food, from now on.

Not true.

Over the course of the next two weeks -- starting tomorrow -- some of the world's best food bloggers will be conducting a virtual book tour of my book. Each day, a different vibrant personality will be writing about their attempts to live gluten-free, or memories of food as children, or posting recipes of their favorite dishes that are naturally gluten-free. These folks are my friends, and they are being kind in supporting me. But collectively, this little tour should demonstrate to everyone: living gluten-free is no loss. In fact, you have the entire world at your fingertips.

Tomorrow, my dear friend Tea at Tea and Cookies will lead us off with her take on the book and gluten-free life.

Here is the schedule for the food bloggers around the world:

October 12 - Tea and Cookies (Tea)

October 13 - Rambling Spoon (Karen)

October 14 - Fresh Approach Cooking (Rachael)

October 15 - Allergic Girl (Allergic Girl)

October 16 - Amateur Gourmet (Adam)

October 17 - Soule Mama(Amanda)

October 18 - Pink of Perfection (Sarah)

October 19 - Celiac Chicks (Kim and Kelly)

October 20 - Hogwash (Jess)

October 21 - Smitten Kitchen (Deb)

October 22 - Orangette (Molly)

October 23 - Simply Recipes (Elise)

October 24 - Wednesday Chef (Luisa)

October 25 - Not Martha (Megan)

October 26 - Roots and Grubs (Matthew)

October 27 - 101 Cookbooks (Heidi)

October 28 - David Lebovitz (David)

Now, with a star-studded line-up of truly beautiful writers, photographers, and human beings, I hope that you'll be entertained and enlightened in the next few weeks. (Dates are subject to change, life being what it is. I'll try to keep you updated with a reminder every day!)

Thank you to everyone who has agreed to participate. You have my deepest gratitude.

And for everyone reading? Remember to say yes.

Now, I have a plane to catch. See you in New York!


At 10:55 PM, Blogger terry said...

what a grand idea. thanks for giving us something to do while you're away.

have a wonderful trip!

At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea! I am so looking forward to this.

And I love the photo ...

At 3:56 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

I am coming to Chicago! I could only get two days off, Saturday and Sunday so my partner and I will be flying rather than taking that 7 hour drive. Can't wait to see what events are in store and I will have my book in hand for signing! Enjoy your tour. It will be fun to read along with such a great line up of bloggers reviewing the book this month. Tea's post was lovely!

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Daniela said...

Yesterday I picked up your book at the store and even though I spent 16hours in class, I went home and started reading your book. I love it! I am in culinary school and try to cook as many dishes as possible gluten free. Its hard because a lot of classical sauces and dishes call for flour. But so far I always found a way to make it work with something glutenfree. I hope to get a chance to meet you when you come to Chicago!

Have a safe trip!

At 8:39 AM, Blogger I Am Gluten Free said...

Hi Shauna,

My husband and I were hoping to drive to NYC from our home outside of Boston (about three hours north) for the cooking class you and Daniel are giving but it looks like the class is sold out. On the Whole Foods website, it says that the instructor can open it up to additional people. I'm hoping you might be able to do so for us.

I'm hoping that you check your blog comments today!

If you can squeeze us in, that would be great! Thanks!


best, Ellen Allard

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Katelyn said...

Congrats, Shauna... I have the power of Slog today so I gave you some props over at The Stranger.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Amy Jo said...

I can't wait to see you and your man in San Francisco. I will be off to buy your book tomorrow, 2 sick kids in tow. Enjoy your success, enjoy your trips and most of all, continue to enjoy your beautiful life with The Chef.

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I get home from work yesterday, exhausted and brain-dead from a long week. I'm looking forward to just chilling for the evening. I sit down at the computer, and do the usual, which is go right to glutenfreegirl. OH MY GOD! It's October 12th! The book is out today! I'm out the door in two seconds, heading to the book store. I enter the store, head right to the cook book section. After searching a couple of aisles, I see it! Oh happy day. I grab the book, clutch it to my chest like I am hugging a friend. I do not have celiac, but I am gluten-intolerent. I do not avoid gluten entirely (although I probably should), but I do try to cut it out as much as I can. You have been such an inspirational with your stories, your photographs, your recipes. I am thrilled and honored to own this book. Maybe someday I can get it autographed by you. I live in Maryland, so it doesn't look like I'll be seeing you on your book tour. Maybe someday. Yes? YES!!
Thank you so much for all that you have contributed to my life.
Good Travels to you and the Chef,
Meredith in Maryland

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, if you are ever in Las Vegas please let me know. I love your blog and your love for food. My husband was diagnosed with sprue celiac over ten years ago. We've had a journey since then. It is somewhat funny because Marc's (my husband's) reaction to his diagnostic was so negative that his doctor was very worried. We have come a long way since then. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Congratulations on your book. I will be purchasing it.

At 4:39 AM, Blogger chris said...

I'm enjoying your book but had a terrible time finding it until I realized that it was in the health section. Just to let like-minded folks know. I went to two different bookstores before I finally just asked!

At 7:21 AM, Blogger nectaryne said...

I am really enjoying the online book tour so far. What a fun idea! Thank you for continuing to champion the thought that life without gluten is NOT life without life. Best wishes to you as you travel!

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Rachael Narins said...

Okay doll-head. I posted. Cant say its my best post ever...but its from the heart.



At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi shauna,

i feel slightly dim-witted, but for the life of me i cannot find a link to your email address. it was great to meet you and dan yesterday in central park. it's really great to match up your voice with your voice, so to speak (spoken vs. written, that is) - and also to meet and chat with some of your circle of friends. i would like to pass along some info. for merida - if/when you have a chance to email me i can send it to you. i hope you've been having a wonderful weekend in nyc -
such spectacular weather you guys brought with you! i hope the walk in rye was a success - and fun.
sgropman at earthlink DOT net

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with Powells asking if your book was in stock before I made the trek to the bookstore and I was sad to find out that I'll have to wait 2 days to have it shipped from a warehouse in another part of the state. It seems at this point that Powells isn't shelving your book in any of their stores.

At 2:47 AM, Blogger Gemma said...

Amazon have just delivered your beautful book to my desk. I want to stop working right now and start reading, congratulations it looks beautiful and I am enjoying the virtual book tour - great idea.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger therapydoc said...

Does sound delicious. But is it kosher? :)

At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are very blessed...the Universe is smiling down on should be very proud. Cheers!

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Shauna!

Just wanted to say hi and I'm glad you're doing well. The book tour sounds amazing.

Alice Woodward

At 5:17 AM, Blogger Lyrically speaking said...

I appreciate reading your blog daily, thanks for this one

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Amanda McDougall said...


I am a long-time follower of your blog. My cousin is 17, an aspiring chef, and has celian. He is headed to AI in Seattle next fall, but I would love to give him your book, signed if possible, as an early Christmas present. I will be out of town while you are in Seattle (I live in Issaquah). How could we make this happen?

At 12:28 PM, Blogger marycatherine said...

Dear Shauna,

I met you over the weekend at your book signing at Strawberry Fields. I just wanted to say, once again - it was so great to meet you.

I have been devouring your book this week, and I have to tell you - it's changing not only the way that I look at life with celiac, but also the way I look at life in general. You're paving the way for so many of us to be, and write, and share, and change the world! So thanks for sharing it with us - now we can all learn how to say Yes!


p.s- Michael took a couple of great pictures of the book signing, they're here:

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Cakespy said...

Oh, what a nice idea! Have so much fun. What an inspiring blog/website!

At 4:17 PM, Blogger sweetpea said...

I started with good intentions, to savor the book, read just a little bit every day. But the fact of the matter is that when I started, I could not stop. So it was over in a few hours. Still, I can't take my eyes off the cover and I have been nurished by the virtual tour. Shauna, it was everything I imagine and more, simply brilliant, wonderful and a keeper. It has been raining here for 15 out of the past 17 days and when I woke this morning for my usual early morning walk I was so down I could not get myself out the door. I thought, this might be the day to try making a "batch" of homemade tomato paste, something I think you mentioned once in post on the contents of your fridge. I will concede, I am tomato obsessed. I found a great blog, food obsessed and followed Derik's instructions for Paul Bertolli's conserva. Lucky me I got the last 5 pounds of local tomatoes at Whole Foods and by 9 am I had about three cups of tomato essence that went onto a jellyroll pan and into the oven. I turned the paste every hour with a spatula and every hour my essence got thicker and thicker. By 4pm it was reduced to a mere half cup of thick, tacky, brick colored paste that exploeded in my mouth. The point of course is to thank you for inspiring me to start from scratch, cook by hand as Bertolli says. To live a rich gluten free life that is sustainable, local and safe. I also made your sorghum bread (which didn't go so well) and a pot of butternut apple squash soup. While I wanted to covet the scant fruits of my labor I couldn't help but slather my bread with the conserva. It wasen't the best pairing with the butternut soup but it made me smile at the end of a very rainly, gloomy day. LOOKING FORWARD TO CHICAGO :)


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