Food & Dining
A Minute on the Grill with Amelia Cronic
by Bradley Hartsell
What is the importance of gluten-free?
I think that gluten-free is different for different people. The most severe is celiac disease [which damages the small intestine as a reaction to gluten], but there’s also an allergy to wheat, which my oldest son has, which is like a severe allergic reaction.
It’s a very broad range. There a lot of people who don’t eat wheat for their health because they feel like that’s better for them. Too much starch is shown to be a bad thing.
How long have you been a gluten-free family?
We started going wheat-free probably close to 10 years, because two of my sons can’t have wheat.
I keep a loaf of bread around the house for when my husband wants a sandwich, but it’s something we honestly don’t miss that much. We still have brownies and cakes and cookies. We try not to have too much of that stuff because it has a lot of sugars, but we don’t miss [gluten] very much.
How is the marketplace for gluten-free people?
In the last decade, there’s definitely a much better selection with gluten-free. I still prefer home cooked to store bought gluten-free, but that’s usually true of all foods, even with wheat.
There’s absolutely a growing market for palatable gluten-free foods. I’m still not sure your average wheat-eating person wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between gluten and gluten-free foods. But our cookbook recipes were tested on gluten-free families and gluten-eating families and it was the same result.
One of the most difficult gluten-free recipes is bread. But my sister, who’s a picky eater and doesn’t like gluten-free, she liked our bread recipe so much she makes it at home.
What’s the hardest part about putting together a cookbook?
It was a lot of work. It would have been a lot harder had my mother not have been a talented graphic artist.
The hardest part, though, was coming up with the recipes. I can’t tell you how many bread recipes I went through, because it was a lot. Or pie or pizza crust. It took a lot time and a lot of work to get them right. Me and my mom made a huge mess.
The writing of it was new to us, as well, and we had to figure out a lot and are still figuring out a lot of things on our own.
Did you enjoy working with your mother?
My mom and I have always been really close. I used to joke as long as we weren’t in the same house together, we were fine. But really, she’s my closest friend. We argued about something early on, but we love each other so we got through it. I loved working with her.
How common is gluten allergy?
I have read different statistics, but overall, I’ve read as many as 30-40 million people are or are trying to go gluten-free, either because they have to or because they feel its better for them.
It’s not a fad. This is something that makes people violently ill. For people who suffer from celiac disease, wheat intolerance, wheat allergy, it’s a serious health issue.