Blogroll

When I'm not here, you may find me wandering the pages below. (If I'm a regular visitor to your site and I've left your link off or mislinked to you, please let me know! And likewise, if you've blogrolled me, please check that my link is updated: thisroamanticlife.blogspot.com. The extra (a) makes all the difference!)

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For posts sorted by date or label, see the links below.

For posts on frequently referenced topics, click the buttons to the right.

To search this blog, type in the field at the top left of the page and hit enter.

Body: in sickness and in health

I won't lie; this body and I have had our issues with each other for many years. Body image -- sure. Physical and mental overextension -- comes with being a Type A kind of girl. I still struggle with these things, so they show up from time to time in my writing.

More recently, illness, pure but not simple, has added itself to the mix in a multi-system sort of way. And the challenges in figuring out exactly what's gone wrong are many. As problems have revealed themselves in the last few years, beginning with reactive hypoglycemia in late 2008, I've documented them here, partly to gain a little clarity on managing complex conditions but mostly to give voice to vulnerabilities I feel but don't normally share with anyone face to face. Better out than in, they say, right? (Oh yes, humor is one way I deal.)

The links below cover the different angles I've examined (and from which I've been examined) within that experience.

Travel: neither here nor there

When the person you're married to lives two time zones away, you log a fair number of frequent flier miles. And if you blog about commuter relationships, you log quite a few posts en route too.

Since we're no longer in separate places, I blog less often from airports. But we do travel -- together now! -- which is much more fun to write about. So in addition to thoughts on our years of commuting, the links below cover the places we've been as a pair and, in some cases, the adventures that have happened on the way.

Writing: the long and short of it

Why do I do it? Good question. Maybe it's not so much that I like to write but that I have to write, even when the words refuse to stick to the page. Believe me, I've tried doing other things like majoring in biochemistry (freshman fall, many semesters ago). Within a year, I'd switched to English with a concentration in creative writing and wasn't looking back.

After graduating, I taught English for a few years and then worked as an editor, which I still do freelance. In 2007, I applied and got into an MFA program at a place I like to call Little U. on the Prairie. I finished my degree in 2011 and have been balancing tutoring and writing on my own ever since.

The following links cover the writing I've done about writing: process, content, obstacles, you name it. It's not always pretty. But some part of me loves it, even when it's hard. And this is the result.

Heart: family and friends

I'd have a hard time explaining who I am without being able to talk about the family I grew up in as well as the people I've met beyond its bounds. But even with such context, it's not easy! In the simplest terms, I'm a first-generation Asian-American who has spent most of this life caught between cultures. That, of course, doesn't even begin to describe what I mean to, but there's my first stab at the heart of it all.

That's what this group of posts is reserved for -- heart. The essential parts of my life whose influences I carry with me, for better or worse. The links below cover what I've written as I've learned how these forces work within me, for me, against me, in spite of me. They anchor me even as they change me, and they keep life interesting.

Recommended reading

What do I do when there's too much on my mind and my words won't stick to the page? I escape into someone else's thoughts. Below is a collection of books and articles that have been sources of information, inspiration, and occasional insight for my own work.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Testing, testing

Plans are afoot chez Troubadour.

Some are sizable -- to the point that trying to write about them here in the last week has produced three different post drafts, none of which seemed to get at what I wanted them to. And that is usually a sign for me that the ideas need more than a little fine-tuning if I can't even elaborate on them in this space, where nothing has to be complete but just somewhat organized.

So, not to keep returning to food allergies, but that's what I can write about. And with the first of our many fall and winter holidays approaching, I've been busy trying to figure out how to make traditional baked goods (because what else does one eat at this time of year more than any other?) using nontraditional ingredients.

There are resources out there. Many, many resources, posted on the web by people who have similar dietary limitations. They're impossible to search through efficiently and most still include ingredients I can't eat. It's one thing to need recipes that are strictly gluten-free. But how about gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free ...

Well, what about the professionals, I wondered. The people who sell allergen-free baked goods? Could they have advice?

A few weeks ago, I discovered the website of a bakery that is known for its friendliness to those with food sensitivities. Refined-sugar-, gluten-, wheat-, soy-, casein-, and egg-free -- yes, they do it all. And there was a cookbook, written by their founding chef, in their online store!

I had huge hopes as I waited for a copy to become available from my local library. Could hardly walk to my car once I had the book in my hands -- I was already perusing the contents: muffins, biscuits and scones, teacakes, cookies and brownies, cupcakes and frostings. Something in here had to work.

Except that nearly every recipe in the book calls for a pre-blended gluten-free flour mix that contains potato starch (or the recipe requires just potato starch itself), and potatoes are the latest GI enemy to make it onto my list.

Yes, I felt a little cheated.

But -- but! -- it's one step closer. I still don't have to reinvent baked goods; I just need to figure out how to use the research in this book to inform my substitutions. Troubadour-friendly, gluten-free flour blend, you will be mine.

Of course, if you know of other professional resources out there that might help me speed up the testing process, I'm all ears.

2 comments:

French Fancy... said...

Hello CT - I'm going to try and start posting more regularly. I've missed you.

x

C. Troubadour said...

Hi FF! Hope you are managing across the pond. I've missed your news!

xoxo

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Testing, testing

Plans are afoot chez Troubadour.

Some are sizable -- to the point that trying to write about them here in the last week has produced three different post drafts, none of which seemed to get at what I wanted them to. And that is usually a sign for me that the ideas need more than a little fine-tuning if I can't even elaborate on them in this space, where nothing has to be complete but just somewhat organized.

So, not to keep returning to food allergies, but that's what I can write about. And with the first of our many fall and winter holidays approaching, I've been busy trying to figure out how to make traditional baked goods (because what else does one eat at this time of year more than any other?) using nontraditional ingredients.

There are resources out there. Many, many resources, posted on the web by people who have similar dietary limitations. They're impossible to search through efficiently and most still include ingredients I can't eat. It's one thing to need recipes that are strictly gluten-free. But how about gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free ...

Well, what about the professionals, I wondered. The people who sell allergen-free baked goods? Could they have advice?

A few weeks ago, I discovered the website of a bakery that is known for its friendliness to those with food sensitivities. Refined-sugar-, gluten-, wheat-, soy-, casein-, and egg-free -- yes, they do it all. And there was a cookbook, written by their founding chef, in their online store!

I had huge hopes as I waited for a copy to become available from my local library. Could hardly walk to my car once I had the book in my hands -- I was already perusing the contents: muffins, biscuits and scones, teacakes, cookies and brownies, cupcakes and frostings. Something in here had to work.

Except that nearly every recipe in the book calls for a pre-blended gluten-free flour mix that contains potato starch (or the recipe requires just potato starch itself), and potatoes are the latest GI enemy to make it onto my list.

Yes, I felt a little cheated.

But -- but! -- it's one step closer. I still don't have to reinvent baked goods; I just need to figure out how to use the research in this book to inform my substitutions. Troubadour-friendly, gluten-free flour blend, you will be mine.

Of course, if you know of other professional resources out there that might help me speed up the testing process, I'm all ears.

2 comments:

French Fancy... said...

Hello CT - I'm going to try and start posting more regularly. I've missed you.

x

C. Troubadour said...

Hi FF! Hope you are managing across the pond. I've missed your news!

xoxo