Baking Machine

One of the worst parts of Tad’s gluten free diet was that I pretty much gave up baking.  I did do some baking, but it was all out of boxes.  And I have to say that gluten-free baking is pretty frustrating.  Nothing rises the same way as it does with regular old flour, no matter what kind of mix is used.  Betty Crocker has done her best, I’ll grant you, but it took me a couple of tries to get the cupcakes right, and the cookies are still iffy.  Tad has still eaten the results with no complaint, so all the angst I feel is purely from an achievement standpoint.  I like baking.  A lot.

A couple things happened lately that jump-started me back into baking.

First, Grandma and Auntie took a road trip to Whitworth University.  Yes, Auntie is really a senior, and is really checking out colleges.  But that’s a post for another day.  Anyway, Grandma came back from the road trip with a large amount of apples and pears, which she generously shared.  Now, the kids eat apples and pears (Tad especially), but the pears were ripening quickly.  So I went looking for a recipe and found one for Apple Pear Pie.

Now, I have an uneasy relationship with pie crust, and I never seem to have time to experiment (despite the Webmaster’s willingness to be my guinea pig – he doesn’t mind taking one for the team).  So this seemed to be a great time to play with it and see what happened.

It turned out to be fantastic.

I can’t say that all my pie crust problems are resolved, but I definitely managed to do it right this time!

The Webmaster gave it two thumbs up.  And I bribed Tad off with other treats he could have – though I did feel bad making something that he just couldn’t have.

The second thing that has me baking right now is a much sadder story.  There is a funeral at church on Thursday for the husband of a good friend.  She and I have been in book club together for years, and even though she and her husband had over 40 years together, with children and grandchildren, his health had been declining rapidly over the last few months.  He passed away last Friday.  So I am baking cookies – hopefully a few different kinds, if I can manage it – for the reception after the service.

This baking session is very cathartic, because I am baking for a specific reason, with the cookies headed for a specific destination.  It makes it very easy, then, to say to Tad, “No, these are going to church, and you can’t have any, because no one else here is, either.”

I really hope that we can get this gluten-free diet all sorted out by Christmas.  I’m not sure I can handle trying to adapt my favorite cookie recipes to gluten free flour.

Of course, that means Tad could probably only eat the fudge.  Which I’m sure would just break his heart.

One Response to “Baking Machine”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    October 6th, 2010 07:04

    Louise studied Pie Crust 101 and 102 with our mom and she makes a fantastic crust. I, on the other hand, rely on the box with the rolled up crust, and we get along fine. I keep saying I will try again, since I have a food processor now, but haven’t tackled it yet. But I certainly do admire anyone who makes pie crust from scratch. Congratulations!