(Watching Hamlet on Masterpiece Theatre as I write this, so beware the preposterous prose.) And why should you, the blog reader, pay attention to yet another insipid recipe-post in an unknown blog? Here’s why. Stephen—man of few praises—is sharing this repast with me. About three-fourths of the way through the first plate, I say to Stephen, “Well, you haven’t said anything about the new recipe yet.” A significant pause insues, and then, “I think it’s a little triumph,” he says, “Interesting textures, lovely blend of seasonings, healthy, balanced food.” So there you have it, don’t read on at your own peril. Heh.
I have been telling people that I have given up on blogging—because almost nobody reads this blog—and started to contribute my writing efforts to Wikipedia, where what I can do is occasionally useful. And that IS more or less what I have been doing this year. However, tonight, with relatively little effort, I produced from the same batch, one very beautiful (I daresay, perfect) gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake (for dinner tomorrow) and six gluten-free blueberry muffins (for breakfast tomorrow). And I just have to tell you how I did that, and of course brag just a little. I came up eager to tell Stephen that I had missed my calling (as a chef), but he was already snoozing. So . . . finally, ‘nother blog entry.
Now HERE’s a real contribution to the gluten-free dessert recipe collection: a delicious, no wheat or soy in it, rich fruitcake that I would wager you could not recognize as gluten-free. Not eating wheat or soy (and a few other foods) has made a real difference to the health of one of our family members. Naturally, when the holidays rolled around, I googled the title of this blog entry. After perusing several of the results, I was not finding a convincing answer to my question. So I thought, OK, I will do this myself, I will come up with my own gluten-free fruitcake.
It looks like this blog is turning into a recipe blog. Maybe that’s because in this hectic time of mainly caretaking and basically surviving, cooking is one of the things I still manage to do successfully, and occasionally even have a little fun with. For decades now, I have been making a cauliflower quiche that’s to die for. But I hadn’t made it in a while, because the recipe uses a wheat flour crust, and you may remember that in this household we are spending the year gluten-free.
Today I needed a good dessert to take to share with my play-reading group, which has two gluten-intolerant members. In addition, my definition of gluten-free rules out wheat, rye, barley, soy and oats. We’ll have our quibbles about this view in another blog entry. I did finally find an apple crisp recipe on the web. This one comes from Scott Adams’ celiac.com website, identified simply as Apple Crisp #2 (Gluten Free). His recipe was for a 9″ x 9″ pan, I modified it for a 9″ x 13″ pan. Other than that modification, this recipe worked well just as written, but I have several food preparation points that I want to make in this blog.
This has been a rough year. Well, just for starters, mom died this January. Lorene was the one person that I knew I could always talk to, from the time I was very young, for about 70 years. One of the things I most valued about mom was that she was a really good cook, and we talked about cooking a lot. So was my dad, my grandmother, and her mother a good cook, but it was my mother’s cooking that made my day. Once I set up housekeeping on my own, never very many days went by without my cooking something “Like mom used to make,” a practice which continues to this day.
Cooking like mom becomes a special challenge when your partner has food sensitivities. Readers of this blog will remember that we are currently living in a gluten-free household. We are also avoiding OD’ing on certain other foods, cow’s milk being one of these. Now milk and flour were staples of my mom’s cooking, so to continue in this cooking tradition, I have to be really inventive and experimental. And once in a while, I do whip up a meal or two that I can brag is “just like mom used to make.” Tonight was such a night, and I am proud to report it one day after what would have been her 96th birthday.
Permit me a bit of a rant to start this blog. After reading the Progresso and Campbell soup labels for ingredients for 10 minutes this morning, and finding wheat or soy in every one of them, I decided that I would make my own gluten-free tomato soup, better and cheaper than Progresso. And I did! Unfortunately, it took more time that just opening a can and heating. It took about 15 minutes. But the result was worth it, and so I am sharing this easily-modifiable reciple with the world.
1 cup water
1 boullion cube
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch (or other gluten free thickening agent)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar (or other sweetening agent)
1/4 c. tomato ketchup
1 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
several fresh basil leaves, minced (or 1 tsp. basil)