Monday, December 29, 2008

Baking... back to the basics.

I love to bake. I've been baking since I was a little girl, standing on a step stool in my grandma's kitchen. Flour, sugar, butter... yum. Chocolate. Fruit. Nuts. Yum.

I continued to love to bake all through my youth, adolescence, and early adulthood. Then I got married and had kids. And, my second born was diagnosed with food allergies, particularly to nuts, eggs, and dairy. It's kind of difficult to bake without those items. So, I stopped baking. Period.

When B was days away from her 5th birthday, she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease which causes the body to attack 'itself' in response to the ingestion of gliadin, the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Ok, so it wasn't bad enough that I had to learn to bake without eggs and dairy.... now I could not use wheat flour either. What other options did I have?

In response to my child's extreme dietary needs, I became obsessed with food. I realized that the Culinary Arts, particularly the art of baking, was calling my name.

I just completed my first semester in the culinary arts program at Johnson County Community College and am very eager to start my second. Fundamentals of Baking taught me a lot about the science behind baking. It is with this newly gained knowledge that I will proceed forward to really start experimenting with alternative grains.

My love of baking is rekindled, now my desire to go beyond is taking over. I'm really excited about it. I'm constantly on the search for gluten free baking recipes, tips, flour mixes, etc. Becoming a part of the Iron Cupcake - Earth challenge is really going to test my abilities.

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