Gluten Free Love Story: Foccacia Man

foccacia man

This Gluten Free Love Story was lovingly submitted by Sue

My sweetheart and I have known each other for 32 years, when I was a young mother, working as a teachers aide and he was my principal, twice my age. I had the biggest crush on him. He was kind of an Italian Sean Connery. Fast forward 25 years and we met again at a teacher’s lunch and have been together ever since. Our age difference vanished.

A lot of our wonderful times are spent cooking and eating and traveling and eating. He is a wonderful cook too. He’s an old fashioned Italian gentleman and I learned how to make all his favorites from scratch. For years, I have made homemade foccacia that beats his favorite Italian bakery. We’ve gone to his relatives in Italy and I came home and learned how to make traditional recipes from scratch.

NOW, after many health issues of a lifetime, doctors and some scares, I am gluten free. The first few weeks he just thought I was on some crazy new diet, even though he was aware of my health issues. He noticed a difference in my health though and that made him very happy.

We both live in our own houses 30 miles apart. I teach during the week and we spend weekends together. I explained until the cows came home what gluten was but he just didn’t get it.

Then one night after a delicious Mexican food dinner at our favorite place, I was sick again before we got back home. I was new at it and had green enchiladas and the sauce must have had wheat and I was not good about asking questions.

That was a turning point. He got it now!

The next day he asked many questions and really listened. He told me that when I am there at his place, we eat the same and that is that!

Since then, he really takes the time to buy and cook me things, still with a Mediterranean flair but gluten free.

He knows I do not really want the gluten free stuff from the store.

Only one time he said “Can’t you just try a little piece (of foccacia) and see what happens?” I tried to explain that it is DE-CON to me. I think that was one of our only squabbles. Well…not a squabble…he just got the silent treatment for about a day.

I know this is not a very exciting tale but I see every time he cooks for me as an act of love. Every time he makes me gluten free crumbs to make his pheasant marsala, an act of love. Every time his penny pinching self buys some of the expensive ingredients we need, an act of love.

MY kids at school take care of me and they all know what gluten is. A little girl brought me a little tub of frosting on the day she had birthday cupcakes (just what I need!) HA! But to me…that was an act of love too!

This is an ongoing journey and I feel so lucky to have this man looking out for me when I know it is not always easy.

Check out his picture with my new grandbaby—he’s 86! The man not the baby. I hope we all are that healthy at 86.

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7 thoughts on “Gluten Free Love Story: Foccacia Man”

  1. What a wonderful story! You both look radiant and healthy.
    It is so lovely to hear stories of people who enjoy each other’s company and will do anything to make each other happy.

    (and anyone who lovingly creates pheasant marsala is a gem! Yum!) 🙂

    Thank heavens for GF focaccia. Recipes abound on the internet. You can still create this delicious treat for him once more–and you both can eat it. Mangia, Buon appetitio!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. You just sound like such a happy couple, how lovely to hear your story. It is not about how old you are, it is about how you feel together.

    I enjoyed your love of life and good food 🙂

    I wish you all the best for your (expanding) family

  3. And we are still going strong! Focaccia Man just turned 90 this year. I think he is playing tennis and going hunting later today. ❤️❤️❤️

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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