Here at Delight, we love nothing more than scrolling through a beautifully presented blog full of great gluten-free recipes and cooking tips. So we've started featuring one of our favorite gluten-free bloggers each week! Have a blog you'd like to see featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only diagnosed for a little over a year, Molly at Based on a Sprue Story has already gained a large following for her humorous takes on gluten-free life. She may post her version of classic novels or maybe interesting news surfacing in the gluten-free community, but one thing you won’t find? Recipes. Yet, that doesn’t make a difference! Molly’s blog is inspiring and offers all gluten-free eaters the chance to laugh about their situation.
Why did you begin this blog?
To tell the truth, I’d wanted to start a blog for a while and couldn’t think of the right theme. In that sense, developing a chronic disease was fortuitous! But equally importantly, I was searching for stuff to laugh about in those somewhat bleak early days. I hoped my blog would make me laugh, and others too.
What is your favorite thing to post?
One of my earliest posts was a series of fairy tales remade for gluten-free people (you know, Goldilocks never would’ve eaten that porridge if she didn’t know the oats were certified). I had a lot of fun with that, so I’ve also done gluten-free Disney tales, Christmas stories, and children’s books; Pride and Prejudice with gluten; and a few Harry Potter and Game of Thrones posts. I also do monthly gluten-free astrology posts (just for fun, although you never know . . .). I like researching and putting together infographics and that sort of thing, too, but the most fun posts to write are definitely the zany ones.
What are some of the different posts that viewers can expect to find on your website? Or, what are the topics that you write about?
I mix it up from post to post; sometimes I’m going for laughs, and sometimes I’m pretty serious (thus my tagline, “silly and serious stories . . .”). I touch on gluten-free food, symptoms of gluten-related disorders, research developments, news, the gluten-free community, cooking and entertaining on a gluten-free diet, and living life as a twenty-something with celiac in Manhattan.
I try to get across some serious stuff even when I’m doing something absurd, like imagining that Ramona Quimby (from the Beverly Cleary books) had celiac disease. Basically, I write about the things that I obsess over on a day-to-day basis, and I try to make other people think and laugh about it along with me.
Which topic has received the widest support among your readers?
My sister and I joke that if she rolls her eyes about a post idea, it’s a guaranteed success. She has celiac too, but she’s also a Scientist in Training and prefers to concentrate on Serious Things. When I write, say, a list of Christmas gifts not to buy for your gluten-free friends, she thinks I’m wasting my time. But I love that stuff, and everyone needs a chuckle.
I’m also always touched by people’s responses to my personal stories and occasional venting. My readers are among the nicest people I (sort of) know. Oh, and one of my most-shared posts was an interview with a Girl Scout who’s starting a new gluten-free summer camp this year, which is awesome because it’s a great cause.
You don’t post recipes. Why is that?
That’s a good question, with several good answers: (a) If you glance at my occasional photos on my Twitter feed, you’ll see I’m not at all qualified to take the kind of photos food blog readers have come to expect; (b) I work on cookbooks at my “day job,” so when I get home the last thing I want to do is write recipes; and — this is the big one — (c) although I like to cook and read a ton of food blogs (GF and otherwise), at heart, I’m a writer. It’s what I do best, and it’s what I love most. I have posted exactly two recipes, both of which were more like creative parodies. Mostly, I try to bring my readers useful info and a few laughs, and leave the recipes to the pros.
What is one thing that you wish someone had told you when you discovered you had celiac disease?
“Just kidding!” would’ve been nice. Or, “...and scientists recently discovered a cure.” Failing that, I wouldn’t have turned down an offer to be my personal chef for life.
Jokes aside, I started out with a lot more information than many people do, because I’d been working with gluten-free-focused books for a year by the time I got diagnosed (I’m an associate editor at The Experiment Publishing). All I really needed when I got diagnosed was support, and I’m lucky to have had family and friends who gave me just that. I hope that with increased awareness, more and more people will have all the knowledge and support they need right from the get-go. And I hope that Based on a Sprue Story contributes to that!