It’s Thanksgiving morning and the house inhabitants are still asleep. I’m up to get a few preparations started for the day. Ok, truth be told, the dogs have no clue what “sleep in” means. However, I still have culinary tasks to perform and there’s no time like the present, right?
Many people know I rarely buy processed food and make as much homemade food as possible. This applies to croutons as well. Last night, I baked a loaf of gluten-free bread.
This morning, I sliced up the bread and then cubed it.
From there, I added some spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, thyme, parsley and oregano) along with some olive oil and gave it all a good toss to coat evenly.
The soon-to-be croutons went onto a large baking sheet and were baked to perfection in a mere 15-17 minutes in the oven.
After these were finished, I looked up and saw a recipe book a friend had given me years ago. I have been adding to this book off and on. I stopped what I was doing and added the crouton recipe to it.
With this only being the second Thanksgiving since my mom went to live in Heaven, I can’t help but think of all the years I helped her prepare the stuffing for Thanksgiving. My favorite job was to chop the celery.
Granted, my daughter is still sleeping, but I look forward to the day where she too, will help prep our holiday meals, right by my side. I am not keeping this recipe book for my benefit, but for hers. One day, I will hand off this recipe book to my daughter.
I want her to have some great holiday memories to share with her family and be able to share the foods she used to have as a child. It would be nice to have my future grandchildren have their grandmother’s recipe book when they become adults.
Today was like any other day at the office. Well it was, until someone chose to make garlic bread and make me REALLY hungry. Having Celiac’s Disease, I couldn’t partake in the glorious garlic-filled aroma that now permeated the office. I returned to my office, shut the door, hoping to seal off some of the intoxicating smell that comes from garlic.
It didn’t work; sadly.
So here I am, sitting at my desk, thinking about the gluten-free caesar salad I had waiting for me this lunch-hour. To say it paled in comparison to garlic and butter, dripping from glutenous bread, would be an understatement. It’s hard trying not consume anything gluten when it smells as if Heaven is relocating to your nose.
I had to make a lunch adjustment. I took myself to the store to pick up an Udi’s gluten-free pizza. After all, $7.00 for a frozen pizza is better than $20.00 for the same pizza from the local pizza place. Don’t get me started on the over-charging restaurants get away with because it’s “gluten-free”.
I make my way back to the office, preheat the oven, and return when I hear it’s at temperature. I notice thick plumes of smoke coming up from the burner. That can’t be good. I open the oven just enough to have clouds of smoke escape and cloud the office halls along with a burnt smell.
Dang it! Now, I’m gonna get blamed for this one. I quickly throw in my pizza and rationalize it’s only 12 minutes of cooking time. I start to return to my office and see exactly how much smoke is lingering in the halls. It was probably an unnecessary assumption that the smoke detector would go off and then water would rain down from the ceiling, destroying all our electronic equipment.
OFF! Back to the kitchen and turn the oven off. Fan on HIGH! Open windows and doors. Not really giving a care the air conditioning is on. I wait a few minutes before retrieving my pizza. The cheese is half-melted. Not fully cooked. Put it on a plate and into the nuker for a 30 seconds.
It’s official. This pizza sucks. The smoke has stopped coming up through the burner. I use a towel and move the oven rack and start wiping up, what appears to be butter.
That damn garlic bread started all this. It started my craving, led to the pizza purchase and then it ruined the cooking of said pizza. I’m left with an office full of smoke and some gluten-free gelato. Who knew I would need that today? I am just grateful I picked some up. It will make me feel better, esp. now that I will be cleaning the oven.
In our church, someone volunteers for the year to bring the communion bread. I volunteered for 2015. Now, I am one of two gluten-free people who attend this church. They actually changed the communion bread to gluten free, so we don’t have to skip this part of the service.
I volunteered to make the bread, as buying it is really expensive and quite bland. Granted, some of my attempts have not been up to my usual baking standards. However, I think I have finally found the winning recipe and the right flour mixture.
I have switched to a new gluten-free flour mixture. I have attempted, and had some success, making my own mixtures, I have tried several premade flour mixtures and I think I have found the one that works for me: Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend.
I have a really hard time buying mixes, even if it’s gluten-free. I like one flour mixture that I can use for multiple recipes. I made two loaves of white bread yesterday. One for me to sample before taking to church and another to take to church. I was so impressed by the results. The bread recipe I followed was spot on. The bread is moist, delicious and actually looks like a loaf of homemade bread. Follow the tip on a parchment collar. I had never used one before, but it helps immensely.
I have also used this flour blend to make gluten-free pancakes. They are so good, you’d never tell they weren’t made with regular flour. The nice thing with Pamela’s flour is I can Google almost anything and add “using Pamela’s Artisan Flour” and I get a lot of recipes to choose from.
UPDATE (4/6/15): The bread was a success! Over a dozen people came up to me telling me how great it was.