One time, when my mom asked what I wanted for dinner and I said “noodles.”

“We’re Cantonese. We eat rice for dinner.”

My mom would have been happy to have had pizza or meatloaf for dinner, but noodles for dinner? Oh no, that’s a line she will not cross. So I threw me in a temper tantrum (and this was me as an adult, visiting my parents only a few years ago).

Food laws feel like the most oppressive thing to me — I don’t care about cultural rules or allergies, my values and auto-immune response will not win over my right to eat tasty things.

So even though my people are traditionally rice farmers, one morning I committed the ultimate betrayal — I made my own noodles.

Note: I compared several recipes. Half of them used cold water to mix with the flour, others calling for room temperature – warm water.

I never work with flour but maybe this is obvious to everyone else — the cold water made it difficult to work the dough. It just didn’t roll out as thinly. The result was a pile of rubbery noodles.

The dough using room temperature water, seen above, was easier to handle and roll out. I then stir-fried it in hot sauce:

This was satisfying, but not that good that I would be willing to serve it to anyone without more experimenting.

Now the unfortunate twist is that allergies have got the best of me. I’m in a new city that has brought on the worst hay fever symptoms, so I’ve been trying to eliminate certain things in my diet.

I already eliminated foods from the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, chilis) for two weeks. There wasn’t much of a difference, though I don’t eat those things that regularly, except maybe tomatoes once or twice a week. I did notice that hot sauce would immediately trigger prickly spots around my neck and face. But isn’t that just what happens when you eat spicy food? Is that normal? Who knows. I’m obviously doing a really unscientific, poorly monitored, elimination diet.

So the next curated** diet I’m going to try is going gluten-free for two weeks, which means noodles will have to be avoided. Aside from noodles and beer, this diet doesn’t seem like I will feel totally deprived. I was reading sites suggesting sticking with fruits and vegetables, beans, rice and meat. Sounds mostly like eating a whole food diet to me, sans bread. We’ll see how this goes…

*The most irritating word of 2010, but more appropriate than **curated, the other annoying word of last year.

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