Saturday, October 24, 2009

Love Muffins, Part II

It has been a stretch for me to fall back in love with baking. It had been such an important part of my life and a big piece of my identity. After arguing with the dermatologist that I couldn't possibly be allergic to gluten because I was a baker -- you know, the good kind with a grain mill -- after I pushed my luck by continuing to make and devour wheat bread -- after my face reacted in the ugliest of ways, after all of the fussing, I more or less hung my head low and threw in the [dish] towel.

I reluctantly researched my new lifestyle and learned that gluten-free baking is no joke. To mimic the results of wheat flour, typically three or four flours are used, as well as binders...and even then...well...maybe it would maybe be kinda sorta be like what I knew and loved.

I tried collecting the various ingredients for this and that recipe, but when I would finally convince myself to delve into the big, scary world of GF baking, I would inevitably be missing an ingredient or two. So I just didn't.

Then this happened. Lovely people made me lovely muffins. It wasn't scary for them. They just did it. And that gave me the encouragement I needed to dig my heels into this new world of mine. I collected a few more flours (seriously, I probably have a dozen kinds or more), did more research and just dove in.

Guess what...not so terrifying! Granted, I make a bigger mess when I bake now. Potato flour is really fine and leaves dust everywhere. And I tend to make more trips to the basement where I keep my vast array of baking supplies (exercise!) but it's really quite tolerable...maybe even enjoyable. I'm tickled with each kitchen victory. Yes...I have a couple of failures under my belt (the kids are quick to point to those), and will inevitably rack up more on my journey, but the successes are soooo sweet.

Today I tried a new flour. One of The Poet's aunts (who has not yet met me), gifted me a beautiful package of spelt flour. She was in Arkansas with her sisters (one of whom is The Poet's mother) and came across this locally milled gem. A care package was sent this way and today I gave it a run. The label suggested it could be used 1:1 for wheat flour, so I did just that. And the blueberry maple muffins were a beautiful success.

So more love, more baking and more happiness. I've reinvented myself more than once in the recent past. And as hesitant as I was to embrace my new baking identity, and as difficult as I made it out to be, turns out this is as easy as pie.

Pie, huh? Alright...I'll give it a go!

1 comment:

Chgoest said...

Jennifer - your blog is beautiful!! Love the new format and will definitely be checking out some of the "blogs you dig."

The muffins look amazing. Drop by spin class with a basket some morning, okay? (btw - took a class from Rosemarie yesterday and it didn't suck. She left the lights off!!)

Spelt flour sounds really intriguing. Check out this girl at www.ohsheglows.com for "pumpkin chia spelt scuffins" They also look amazing.

Hungry now...must go find breakfast!

See ya,
~Marcy