My favorite t-shirt has “Gluten is not the Devil” blazed on it in Italian. It’s soft, and the curvy cut is quite perfect, and the pig on it looks like there’s nothing that will bring him more happiness than the bowl of gnocchi he’s about to devour. Flavour Gallery sent it to me after a chef-friend saw it on Twitter and alerted them that I had to have one.
I’ve been on a gluten-free diet for twenty years.
Contrary to popular opinion of many gluten-less, I still don’t think it’s the devil.
My story is rooted in Lyme disease, which means that while I don’t have a life-threatening reaction to gluten like someone with Celiac does, any eating of it (and some other things) will make me relapse. Hard. Like, I was in a wheelchair as a kid, in college I blacked out regularly in class and had violent anxiety attacks, and the last flair had me out of work and home bound for a year. Using food as one way to control illness is a serious thing for me and many, many eaters out there. And gluten is one part of my diet.
Yet while more people know what gluten is now (which, trust me, almost no one did ten years ago) and though we can get a multitude of allergy-free, dynamic ingredients much more easily, that doesn’t equate to easy dining for those with food intolerance. Yes, more restaurants understand food allergies and take them seriously. But there are also a lot of people who claim to have allergies and intolerance yet don’t seem to quite understand what they mean, or how ordering habits affect kitchens and others with serious problems. And, yes, there are those who go “gluten free” for a week or five that challenge the patience of many a server or line cook, inspiring others to question the credibility of gluten intolerance in general. Continue reading
A while back, when I had aspirations of combining my theatre training and gluten-free baking, I did a series of videos for E:How’s Cooking Guide; recipes they requested and a video dude came out to shoot in the kitchen of my childhood home.
Since then I’ve decided I prefer staying behind the scenes and writing about other people who make food, hence my work shifting primarily to its home on WordsFoodArt and my lagging behind with new recipes here. Trust me, I’m still baking. I’m just not quite as focused on taking photos and writing things up. But more Madeleines are on their way, as well as some vanilla almond crepes that have been making my weekends just delightful.
Until then, here’s the first of the 10 E:How videos I’ll be putting up here in the weeks to come!
Milk Bar Mondays are back, folks!
Well… sort of. A long, long time ago, now, I joined with a group of lady bakers and bloggers to bake our way through Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar cookbook, headed up by Audra at The Baker Chick. But then, as often happens, our lives eventually got in the way of the sometimes lengthy, complicated recipes in the book; we changed schools, jobs and cities, some of us had babies (!), and our recipe priorities shifted. I’m sure we all value our blogs still for the many aspects of joy they bring to our lives, but I can’t say I’m surprised at our slow fizzle.
I wish, though, that I could have shared this cake with the other MBM ladies. Because it’s weird. Good weird, but weird. I made it for my dad’s 64th birthday, as the man adores pistachios and for many years bags of them have been stocking stuffers, random tokens of love and birthday gift toppers. So, despite the questionable potential of the cake’s general likeability, the copious amount of not-cheap pistachio nuts and pastes that went into it, and the somewhat lengthy procedure (that doesn’t feel that long, now, if I admit it to myself), this cake would be made.
And, damn, is it good. Weird good, but good.
Muffins are the easiest thing, ever, to make.
Pies and galettes are up there, as is a simple quick pudding and all, and pancakes aren’t half bad either. But muffins… yeah. No electric equipment, one or two bowls, and a hot oven. Yum.
This morning we New Yorkers awoke again to the kind of weather that freezes your face off; no matter the layering or quickness of step, by the time I got in from walking Mitra I could have rather easily snapped the frozen nose off of my face. Directly into the kitchen for hot tea and eggs, my eyes set on three blackened bananas I’d left waiting to be pureed into something sweet. My roommate – who took the rare day off – was still sleeping. I already had chicken stock simmering on the stove, and a day’s pitching pieces and transcribing interviews ahead. Yet there were those bananas. Continue reading
In general I’m a lady of simple pleasures. But now and then I need a little ooh-la-la!
These bars pack a ton of ooh-la-la and a bit of fa-la-la-la-la and a heaping scoop of ho-ho-ho to boot!
I’d had a package of candy canes on my baking shelf since October. Yes, October. Because that’s when my roommate (kinda sorta) lets me at least bring up the subject of Christmas without throwing something at me. But with all the molasses-ing and ginger-ing and cookie-ing of various sorts, I didn’t play with peppermint until last weekend. Continue reading