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Cookies and Tears

Submitted by: patrice on December 21, 2010
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Cookies and Tears

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Photo courtesy of Gluten Go Bye Bye

Early December, a few years ago, I received a call from a woman. She said she knew I was a chef, and had heard I had a gluten intolerant daughter. When I acknowledged this, I could hear the relief …

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Photo courtesy of Gluten Go Bye Bye

Early December, a few years ago, I received a call from a woman. She said she knew I was a chef, and had heard I had a gluten intolerant daughter. When I acknowledged this, I could hear the relief in her voice.

She told me how sick her teenage daughter had been. The teen had been in the hospital. I could hear crying as she told me how thin and frail her child had become.

I felt deeply for her. She told me that they had discovered her daughter was severely gluten intolerant. This diagnosis had turned the teen’s world upside down. The girl was thin, and felt different from others at school.

The deep sadness of her daughter had the mom worried about Christmas traditions that had always been special to the teen. She asked if I could teach them to bake gluten free Christmas cookies and what it would cost. When I told her a reasonable hourly fee for that type of work, she gasped. I told her not to worry, we’d work something out.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Snowballs

Photo courtesy of Gluten Go Bye Bye

I arrived at their house and was introduced to the shy girl. I began to bake and tell the family everything I was doing as I worked. As they became more interested, I gave them little jobs. As the family worked busily on cookies, I tried to teach the mother about gluten, as she took notes.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Photo courtesy of Gluten Go Bye Bye

We made three batches of their favorite cookies. When the first pan was out of the oven, I offered one to the teen. Soon a big bite was missing from the cookie. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she looked at me with a huge smile. It was time to go and I realized I’d been there for four hours. The mother seemed worried as she asked me how much she owed me. I could not charge her the real fee. My watch must not have been working. I was only there for two hours.

Oat Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Photo courtesy of Gluten Go Bye Bye

As I started to leave, the girl ran up to me and hugged me. In an almost inaudible voice, she simply said, “Thank you.” As I turned the key to my car and heard Christmas Carols, the tears began to roll down my cheeks. I might have helped her keep baking, but she gave me so much more.


Patrice blogs at Everyday Ruralty.



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Comments

9 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 12-21
    4:32
    am

    You have brought tears to my eyes with this story. Bless you and the christmas spirit.

  2. 12-21
    7:21
    am

    Patrice, you are a great chef and a beautiful soul. You not only helped a young girl cope with a debilitating condition but also showed us what a great person you are. Thank you for your story.

  3. 12-21
    7:21
    am

    As someone who lived on a gluten-free diet through two pregnancies…I can verify that such tender acts of kindness mean SO MUCH. I too cried when my friend made me gluten free chocolate chip cookies when I was feeling 42 months pregnant! May God bless you…it obviously made a Merry Christmas for this family!!

  4. 12-21
    8:06
    am

    What a wonderful Christmas story!

  5. 12-21
    8:34
    am

    My daughter is gluten intolerant and any good tasting gluten free recipe is a gift.Thank you for your Christmas gift.What a wonderful story.

  6. 12-21
    8:45
    am

    Adjusting to gluten-free is so difficult at that age — at any age, really. How wonderful that you were able to help this family adapt.

  7. 12-21
    8:52
    am

    Tears are falling down my face-I’m 60 yrs old and lived for 25 yrs-in pain & miserable till we happened onto gluten free diet for me. Turned my health around. This is a beautiful Christmas gift story. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  8. 12-21
    8:58
    am

    Patrice, what a wonderful story to share, Thank You! It did indeed bring tears to my eyes.

  9. 12-21
    12:58
    pm

    Yep, someone around here is slicing onions!

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