When people try our samples, the thing I hear most often is, “Wait, that’s gluten free?” I always explain that we pride ourselves on being indistinguishable or better than the items gluten counterpart. Each treat or bread is its own molecular gastronomy experiment. We get curious and start to investigate. We hypothesis by putting it all down on paper. On paper, we try to make sure we have all the right parts in balance. Sometimes, what looked good on paper doesn’t work in the kitchen. Sometimes we must conduct several trials, but in the end, we come up with something indistinguishable or better. What makes this process better than anything in the world is that I get to do it alongside my son, J.
For our customers, who must be gluten and dairy free, I bet the thing you get asked most often is, “Wait, what do you eat?” I know that your diet probably doesn’t look anything like the typical American diet, but it’s better. I know you feel better. When J started his special diet, his food choice was extremely limited because of rigid and restricted behavior. He only wanted to eat orange foods. I know some toddlers go through phases, but only a parent of a child on the spectrum understands the anguish of having a child refuse to eat. They won’t eat when they are hungry. Immediately after starting his special diet, the variety of foods he’d eat expanded. It was like a door opened to the world for us. For those of you who must be gluten free, think about all the food you enjoy now that you never heard of before. Now at our house a weekly menu might have tamales, bibimbap, katsu, Indian Curry and Thai curry, not only eaten by J but probably prepared too. He’ll eat anything green, not because he HAS to but because he enjoys it.
In those early days when J was a toddler I thought my fight was to make him J indistinguishable from his peers. I have regrets. I always have loved and adored my son but there have been times in the last 20 years when I felt like I was in mourning for the son that could’ve been or should’ve been. I feel guilty about it, because of what I know now. I don’t have a son that’s indistinguishable from his peers. I have a son that’s BETTER.
I don’t have to nag to get him to clean his room. J’s room is always in order. I’ve got BETTER.
I get to share music with him. I’ve got someone with the complete Beatles, U2, Disney, Elton John and Billie Joel canon memorized. He could write a book. I got BETTER.
I don’t need a calendar or calculator. I’ve got J. I got BETTER.
I’ve never had to break up fights between my sons. J’s taught his brother to be a compassionate and caring man. I got BETTER.
Just like you, I have a son I can laugh, learn, and goof around with. Who cares if we are not walking around pretending to be normal? Normal is average. I got BETTER.