Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cornbread and jam (I don't make the jam)

Ben: What'cha making?
Abbie: Cornbread.
Ben: You mean you're making a vehicle to eat your mom's strawberry jam.
Abbie: Yes.

I have always loved cornbread. Before going gluten free I always had a box of the Jiffy Cornbread Mix in my cupboard. I didn't know how easy and cheap it would be to make from scratch. Until I found this recipe at Gluten Free on a Shoestring (GFOAS). It is the epitome of cheap, easy baking.

This recipe has become a standard in my rotation. It has a coarse but tender crumb, has slightly crispy edges, and works in a square pan or as muffins. I often make muffins, reducing the cook time by 5 minutes or so. They are easy to transport and it's a little easier to have just 1 (or 2) muffins. I can cruise through a square pan in a couple of days. 

GFOAS offers some options in the recipe, and I've tried nearly all of them. My preferred variation is to use butter, plain yogurt (low or nonfat works fine), and honey. I like my cornbread a little less sweet (so I can load it up with homemade jam) so I only use 2-3T honey. 

I'm sure this cornbread would be delicious for stuffing at Thanskgiving, or with beans and rice this winter. But as long as my mom keeps making jam, I'll keep eating it on my cornbread.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gluten Free at the Ohio State Fair

This weekend I went to the State Fair. Not only did I GO to the fair I ATE at the fair. AND I didn't get sick! I consider this a major triumph. I am going back to the fair this week and can now look forward to a few tasty treats.

Here's what I ate and where:

Pig Wings from the Ohio Pork Association. They were grilled and came with BBQ on the side. The BBQ has the ingredients listed on the bottle and the workers assured me that the sauce in the bottle was the sauce that came in the bottle. There was probably some risk of cross contamination because that vendor also sold sandwiches, but it was a big stand and the pig wings looked like they were pretty well separated from the sandwich area.

Ice Cream (Strawberry and Chocolate) from the Dairy building. I ate this while marveling at the butter cow!

German Roasted Almonds from a cart that sold only roasted nuts. The nuts were coated in cinnamon and sugar, no other ingredients. I am definitely going back for more of these. 

Lemon Shake Up from a cart that only sold these. This was okay, but had so much sugar that I had to chew several of the first sips.

I probably could have had corn on the cob, Brats from Schmidts sans buns, and kettle corn pending investigation at each vendor. 

I stayed away from fried food and small carts selling anything with gluten. I figured the chance for cross contamination was probably exponentially greater the smaller the work space in the "kitchen." Also, my dad has always been a stickler for getting as much of one's fair food from the "Associations" and farmers groups as opposed to the little trailers that populate the midway. This rule has stuck and probably aided in helping me select quality food from people who know about the food they are serving. I was fortunate in finding people who were not offended by my asking questions about ingredients and who were very helpful.

This successful experience has helped me feel less anxious about being in new places where I'm likely to have difficulty finding food that I can eat. However, I am reminding myself that vigilance is key to my continued success. It's when I let my guard down that I get glutened.