Plans are afoot chez Troubadour.
Some are sizable -- to the point that trying to write about them here in the last week has produced three different post drafts, none of which seemed to get at what I wanted them to. And that is usually a sign for me that the ideas need more than a little fine-tuning if I can't even elaborate on them in this space, where nothing has to be complete but just somewhat organized.
So, not to keep returning to food allergies, but that's what I can write about. And with the first of our many fall and winter holidays approaching, I've been busy trying to figure out how to make traditional baked goods (because what else does one eat at this time of year more than any other?) using nontraditional ingredients.
There are resources out there. Many, many resources, posted on the web by people who have similar dietary limitations. They're impossible to search through efficiently and most still include ingredients I can't eat. It's one thing to need recipes that are strictly gluten-free. But how about gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free ...
Well, what about the professionals, I wondered. The people who sell allergen-free baked goods? Could they have advice?
A few weeks ago, I discovered the website of a bakery that is known for its friendliness to those with food sensitivities. Refined-sugar-, gluten-, wheat-, soy-, casein-, and egg-free -- yes, they do it all. And there was a cookbook, written by their founding chef, in their online store!
I had huge hopes as I waited for a copy to become available from my local library. Could hardly walk to my car once I had the book in my hands -- I was already perusing the contents: muffins, biscuits and scones, teacakes, cookies and brownies, cupcakes and frostings. Something in here had to work.
Except that nearly every recipe in the book calls for a pre-blended gluten-free flour mix that contains potato starch (or the recipe requires just potato starch itself), and potatoes are the latest GI enemy to make it onto my list.
Yes, I felt a little cheated.
But -- but! -- it's one step closer. I still don't have to reinvent baked goods; I just need to figure out how to use the research in this book to inform my substitutions. Troubadour-friendly, gluten-free flour blend, you will be mine.
Of course, if you know of other professional resources out there that might help me speed up the testing process, I'm all ears.
Yes, Little Boy, You Belong
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