I started out making pumpkin pie this morning… well, butternut squash pie, really. I know it’s not Christmas Fare. We don’t always play by the rules, Christmas being such a grafted on novelty to Cypriot culture and our family being such a hybrid blend. Besides that, I had a butternut languishing on the shelf, and Phil liked the pie last time I made it.
By the time that was out of the oven, the Christmas lunch starters were on the rise. Also not Christmas Fare, they are bread sticks from Richard Bertinet’s excellent book, Dough. I pitted olives, grated parmesan, gathered and chopped fresh herbs, then applied them to the dough that Leo had kneaded earlier, folded, cut, and twisted the sticks, put them for a second rise and then baked them… Lo and behold, appetiser and starter for lunch tomorrow… Done!
Poor Leo’s grasped the short straw with his no-gluten diet, so we dived into a recipe of gluten-free carob cookies. We were both a bit dubious of the blend of dried figs, almond flour, honey, vanilla, and butter, and it seemed to produce only a small amount, but I just took them out of the oven and Wowee!! Worth a try even if you’re gluten tolerant, and a super-super food.
This new diet thingie in our lives has led me down some interesting culinary roads and into some fantastic and inspiring blogs. I mean to post more in the new year, but the main thing I’ve learned (which many others have learned before me, but each has to travel their own path) is that substitutes DON’T work. Don’t think you can spend a fortune on gluten free flour or pasta and get the same result that you would with wheat… It doesn’t happen that way. People just say ‘Yuck! It doesn’t taste the same…’ Explore new cuisines instead: Asian food and Mexican are almost completely gluten free. It’s just hard work getting four children to stop resisting new tastes. From all of them, at least once, I’ve heard: ‘I don’t see why I should eat differently just because the others can’t eat what I want!’ Even Best Beloved, though he is the most innovative of us all, drew the line at a gluten free meal.
I did try blood tests for the Littles yesterday, just to see if the results tallied with the bioresonance – even though I have been warned that blood results ‘can give false negatives’. Stay tuned!
Best wishes to everyone for a happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous 2011.