Baking and Why I Haven’t Gone Gluten Free

So, as part of my blog title explains, I kind of like baking.  I haven’t liked it for as long as I have liked books, or video games, but I have found lately that it is calling to me again.

I say again because at least once a year the baking bug will bite me.  It is always around the same time, the end of summer right before fall comes in.  That is when the fruit I enjoy is everywhere – berries, apples, pumpkins starting to poke its head around.  There is something calming to me about the act of baking.  I find something I want to attempt, gather all the ingredients, get all my bowls in order, and get to work.  There is nothing that beats the smell and warmth of a kitchen that is producing muffins or breads.  I will try to get Girl 1 and 2 involved, Boy usually likes to be somewhere else.  If friends or family are over, they will sometimes get involved and it invokes the spirit of pre-technology and pre-mass production.  Sure, I can throw a can of croissant rolls in the oven from a can I popped open, but it is worth so much more to me to see my family and friends eating the dinner rolls that came from my hands and out of my oven.

In the beginning of the year (or slightly before) I found out that I was carrying the Celiac.  It was a rough blow for me because I love bread, and other things that usually involve gluten.  No one else in my family has this and for a while it was rough going to places and having everyone sort of tiptoe around the stove, not sure if things contained gluten or not.  I can’t say I didn’t get bitter, or jealous, or any other maybe negative emotion that may have lived in me during those first few months, but now I just accept.  I can’t lie, I have a list of things where gluten or not, I may still end up eating them and suffer through it because yes, it is just that good.

On my first post, a friend had asked if I am baking gluten free and I pondered it for a moment and realized I have not yet attempted to go gluten free with baking.  I have had some baked goods that were gluten free (and some of them I would like to forget about).  One of my friends very successfully made a chocolate mint gluten free cookie that I enjoyed, but the kids were not as thrilled with it.  I realized that for me, when it comes to the things that I like to make, gluten free just wouldn’t work.  I am sure there may be some very good gluten free recipes out there, maybe even some that doesn’t make me feel like I am eating grass, but I am not ready for that yet.  I gave up bread completely.  I don’t want to try any gluten free bread out of respect for the bread I have loved and consumed all my life; some things just have no substitute.

I spent some time thinking about why I haven’t really ventured gluten free and then the answer dawned on me.  I don’t bake for myself.  I like the process of baking, of putting it all together, messy aprons, kids with flour all over them and all over the floor.  I like watching Girl 2 pour measured ingredients into a bowl, Girl 1 stirring, making sure not to overwork the batter.  I like getting to know people better in the confines of my kitchen, drinking warm coffee and just talking.  Most of all, though, I love the faces of everyone as they sneak in and grab a warm muffin, break open a roll, or stand around in a circle while someone is distributing the baked item so everyone can have a piece.  Simply put, it is just love.



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