Once upon a time I had a friend who could not work out why she was feeling so unwell all the time. She had stomach aches and headaches and was constantly sickly. She couldn’t remember a time that she didn’t feel a little foggy in the brain. As a child and a teenager she had no energy, and believing she was not smart enough or had nothing to offer , she rarely spoke.
One afternoon, after we had a bowl salad for lunch, she wondered aloud why she always felt so unwell, and confided that she was worried. After all didn’t she eat really well.?. ..oats for breakfast, wholegrain bread….. good stuff. She showed me her hands asking if I noticed anything unusual. I looked at her fingers, and I can tell you, you would have been worried too. They looked like little hammers. Skinny fingers topped with fat ends.
This poor girl had suffered from gluten intolerance all her life, her poor battling body could take no more. Sometimes people are so relieved to know what is wrong with them they celebrate but, my darling friend worked in restaurants, she had seen first hand what is said about someone that has a dietary foible. She cried for weeks, for all the things she would not be able to eat, for the strange turn her health had taken and for what the future would hold.
Today she is alive and well, however, can you imagine what it would be like to know that food can make you very very sick. This is not just someone that has decided not to eat carbs. This is a person who must read every label on every food. Did you know that some coeliacs can’t eat barley or millet or oats. Or that soy could see you laid up in bed for days or that a Lindt milk chocolate ( containing barley) could make you very sick.
This isn’t a diet or a choice , it is eating to live and learning to live again.
We all know that certain someone that always says they are a vegetarian at weddings or events with a set menu. How ’bout the ones that are vegetarian but eat chicken and fish?. Or maybe someone that is lactose intolerant, until they see chocolate ice cream….. the vegan who cant resist bacon, the gluten wary person that loves a croissant?. Yes we all know one. So spare a thought for the person that may die if you get breadcrumbs mixed into their salad………..
Sometimes we get a little panicked when we have to cook for people that must omit something from their diet. I like to have a few gluten free recipes up my sleeve as, I have the personal motivation………. that is to keep my dearest friend alive and well when we eat together.. I try to use ingredients that I already have so I don’t have to make it all too hard.
Always be aware that utensils such as cups, chopping boards, knives and and benches should be thoroughly cleaned before making any foods for coeliacs
Chocolate and Almond Cake
Gluten free girl is also the name of a fantastic blog that I enjoy reading. The story of Gluten free girl is inspiring and really well worth the read
for gluten free breads and pastries in Sydney try
: Chocolate and Almond cake
- 250gm dark chocolate
- 100gm unsalted butter chopped
- 125ml strong coffee
- 6 eggs, separated
- 115gm caster sugar ( 1/2 cup)
- 200gm ground almonds
- 1 Tblspoon caster sugar
- Pre heat the oven to 180deg. Grease and line a 20 to 23 cm cake tin.
- Put the chocolate, butter, coffee and vanilla into a saucepan and melt on low until combined. Cool to luke warm.
- Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and beat until light and creamy, gradually add the chocolate mixture. Fold through the ground almonds.
- Using clean beaters and bowl beat the whites until soft peaks form , add extra sugar and beat well.
- Fold the whites through the choclate mixture
- Bake 40-45 minutes. Test with a skewer , to make sure it comes out clean