This one is easy.
I miss wheat.
No, that’s not fair. I don’t actually miss wheat, because no amount of gluten-y nutty goodness is going to make constant anxiety and neurosis desirable, but I do miss certain things that seem to only work with wheat flour.
Like bagels. Wheat-free bagels have always disappointed me, but remember that I’ve had real, honest-to-goodness New York bagels. There is a chewiness to the crust that balances out the bounce and loft in the bread, and it is a divine culinary experience. My very favorite bagels in the world are regular plain bagels, English-style toasted (which is to say, cut in half, smeared thoroughly with butter, and toasted under a broiler), then spread some horseradish, then liverwurst, then put a slice of tomato, drop some capers on there, cover with a nice slice of Muenster cheese, toast again for about 30 seconds until the cheese is nice and melty… there is nothing finer you could put in your mouth. It is every calorie it sounds like and then some, and it is totally worth every single one.
Likewise, homemade bread. Sure, Rudi’s is a good gluten-free bread – I buy it whenever I can, it makes amazing cheese toast – but it’s just not the same as making your own. Before I figured out that it was the wheat that was causing most of my neurological issues, I was quite the baker. Bread was something that I was getting more and more into making, exploring different recipes, trying to get it just right at high elevations (I lived in Wyoming, remember)…
Gluten-free bread flours have been very disappointing. I am leaning heavily on technology to get with the program and come up with a good alternative.
And speaking of baking, oh my god, the holiday cookies… husaren krapfen and pinwheel cookies and gingerbread houses and sugar cookies and so many sweets, holy hell, it was like a freakin’ elf sweat shop during some winter months. The smell of a proper batch of cookies just cannot be duplicated with most other flours.
But, again, there’s nothing for it. I can miss it all I want, but no power in the ‘verse will make me go back to it. I really like being able to go out in public during the day.