Smile (even if just to make others wonder why)

Several years ago I succeeded in making this wedding cake that was a) gluten free because it was made with almond meal and b) able to hold traditional white royal icing and so look like a regular wedding cake.  It absolutely made my day to see the happy couple smile at something all could share when one of the family had developed gluten intolerance – not only because it was a lovely wedding, but because I felt more than a little triumph at solving a complex problem for a cook, after being frustrated to see many with limits on their diet treated as seriously second class.*  Of course I later got a whole bunch of smiles at the reaction from my family at the thought that the wild child had morphed into the aunty who cooks wedding cakes!!!

So to make a few more of those smiles, I have been working on recipes that deal with food intolerances, such as to gluten or to food additives (those greeblies are laced into everything and cause a variety of issues that maybe are not true allergies, for example, but still cause skin or digestive problems when that item does not agree with a person’s physiology).

Some look at the wedding cake problem, of cooking without flour at all, some trial the use of gluten free flour to see what works and what is not worth the effort; others look at tricks to more easily working with whole foods and fresh ingredients rather than store-bought stuff that has greeblies hidden in a long list of ingredients written in ant-writing (that I now can’t read without glasses, lol).

My particular take on the problem is that we need food for life, but life has to be about more than just a list of diet limitations and never being able to visit for a meal for fear of inconveniencing the hosts, so it has to be food that we can make with less complexity than launching the invasion of Normandy or landing a man on the Moon.

To get the ball rolling, I have gone back and tagged my recipes accordingly, but also here is a sample recipe of a treat to make.  I smiled when I tried it, but I’m not entirely sure why – it has no added sugar, and no flour of any kind, but it is still somehow rather munchie or more-ish – for want of a better name, I call them carrot bombs (get the recipe) just because carrot makes up a lot of the ingredients.  It’s a two-spooner, but only because you’ll use a blender or food processor, and those should always be approached with caution.

*Don’t get me started about the time just a couple of years ago when I was at a huge (and pricey) conference dinner in Europe, supposedly a gala event with a seven course meal – and the vegetarian option was the same thing for all seven courses – grrrrrr!  I’m not a vegetarian, but it really got under my fingernails that in a place overflowing with wonderful produce, and with great chefs in no short supply, that was the best they could do for all the people present who were vegetarians.

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