Sept. 24, 2013
The people of Israel called the food manna. It was like small white seeds and tasted like wafers made with honey.
Several years ago, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Celiac disease. This means she cannot eat anything with wheat or regular flour in it. At the time of her diagnosis, finding gluten-free items at the grocery story was difficult. I searched on-line for alternative flours and ordered them. I bought gluten-free cookbooks and googled recipes. As Celiac disease has become more common and some people choose not to eat as much gluten, more gluten-free products are available.
Last fall, Ersel was also diagnosed as type-2 diabetic. When I began family leave, I armed myself with a couple gluten-free, sugar-free cookbooks. Of course, the internet is a well of information and why having internet access is helpful!
I have discovered new ways to cook. While I have cooked gluten-free many times, now I cook gluten-free and sugar-free most days of the week. And it is different! There is a reason why we use wheat flour. Some things have been more successful than others. A challenge is keeping things moist. Tonight’s biscuits were as light and fluffy as those made with regular flour. After multiple attempts, I found an acceptable pie crust recipe but am not convinced “flaky” and “gluten-free” can be in the same recipe. Likewise, various sugar forms have different results.
For 40 years, the Israelites wandered the desert and had only two things to eat: manna and quail. Imagine 40 years of the same food, day after day. When manna is described as “wafers made with honey,” I hope it was sweet and not as dry as some of the gluten-free things.
Many people have a love relationship with food. We love good food. Why did the Israelites have to eat the same thing for 14,600 days? God wanted them to depend upon God and not what they ate. They became so bored with manna they complained and complained and even wished they had never left Egypt. That’s a pretty low pot-shot, considering what Moses and God went through.
I know there are days my mother-in-law would love to have a peanut butter sandwich with real bread. But she cannot. On the days we’re not at the farm, I cook with all the regular flour I want. I eat peanut butter toast most mornings. I try creative ways to cook without gluten, just as the Jews tried preparing manna in different ways. The message for us in the same: let’s not let something get in the way of our dependence of God. Even food. Even wheat.
It really is too easy to let something such as food get in the way of our dependence upon you. Maybe it’s food today and money tomorrow. Help us identify those things that keep us from full depending upon you. Place a desire for us to only want to have you. Amen.
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