Monday, 27 April 2020

The Gluten Free author's guide to yummy home cooking (as long as you keep your eyes shut)

I think it is, anyway.

Hi all, yes, I know long time no chat. It's been weird hasn't it, not going out socially distancing and so no nice places to chat about.

Actually I have to to chat about The Grove in Aukland, and Ma's Food, fish and fries in Napier, and Erik's in Queenstown and Wanaka, New Zealand. 

Yes, just before we all battened down the hatches we were in New Zealand, on the most amazing holiday. We got home two weeks before we began the stay at home. Those gluten free places were absolutely spot on. In fact Erik's only sells gluten free so you can imagine how brilliant that was...

Plus Voegel's g-f bread, as good as Warburton's and that's saying something.

Now, home in Scotland with eating out a fond memory, and my local Coop absolutely pulling the stops out (for the size of our village it's brilliant and the staff are great) and stocking as much as they possibly can, I can get all the basics needed but there are somethings I can't. Of course they are the things I really want (Schar Rich Tea/Marie biscuits and Nairns oat and fruit biscuit breaks, M&S Butter chicken curry and sausage rolls, Genius fruit loaf) However that means a 20 mile journey, and let's face it, they aren't exactly essential.

So I'm baking. Adapting recipes from Gluten full to gluten free, Making my own self raising flour (as I can only get plain gluten free flour here) and getting a lot of satisfaction out of it (and probably a lot of inches on the hips...)

The lovely hubby is of course taste testing. He did say why did I keep baking...I replied he didn't have to eat it... His reply was a sort of a 'you what?' look.

There's been a lot of hmmm is this better, or that, or... 
some failures, (first lot of pastry, no idea what went wrong, except it wasn't my usual flour) some not as good as others but in the main I've got it down to three favourite recipes, easy to make, and oh so easy to eat...

I'm not a pretty baker, but if you close your eyes as you eat the can't see that can you?

Digestives (which I put currants into for the lovely hubby) this lot was a bit uneven, I have got better, just don't think to take a picture

Scones (and yes, my local Coop does have clotted cream...) and I make them small on purpose.

Banana Bread, which seems to be a lockdown staple in oh so many households.

I wanted to be able to add Maid of Honour buns in here—but the pastry still isn't up to scratch, must try harder.

The recipes for the Banana Bread and Digestives are both from a cookery book called Whitworth's Spice of Life, circa early fifties, that is stained lost its cover, and one of my most prized possessions. The recipes are all in pounds and ounces of course, and cooker temperature in Fahrenheit, but as I like using lbs and oz, and can translate heat to my Aga, that's fine by me. All I've done is substituted gluten free flour.

The Scone recipe is one I've fiddled with, because by trial and error we decided we wanted less salt than the recipe says. (also double the amount of xanthan gum as mine is shall we say somewhat aged...)

This week I'll be making my g-f batter for fish (flour and sparkling water), and I'm trying to make sultana cookies that are chewy not crunchy. No luck so far, but I will try again.

I'd love to try bread but...can you use yeast ten years out of date????

(Guess who mucked out the baking cupboard?)

Hopefully soon I'll be able to chat about places... until then, stay safe and happy eating,

love Raven xx