Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne - The Gluten-Free Bread Genius

A heroine of mine.

Already a chef, Lucinda felt frustrated when she found that her two sons were wheat intolerant and so were being advised to follow gluten-free diets. Due to it being intolerance the young boys would not be eligible for gluten-free food on NHS prescriptions for diagnosed coeliacs like myself. Therefore Lucinda would have had to resort to trying the minimal range of gluten-free bread products available in supermarkets. The Genius website presents her findings as tasteless and expresses her annoyance at having to toast or cook the bread before it was edible. Lucinda, like myself, obviously enjoys a challenge and has a great deal of patience as she spent a lot of time perfecting a recipe that would provide a “fresh bread” alternative. The result being a fabulous loaf that can be eaten straight from the packet; bread that doesn’t crumble when you so much as look at it and is great for sandwiches. This bread has made many an appearance on my special “gluten-free shelf” at home but I am afraid my heart belongs to another loaf. For those of us who are registered coeliacs we are entitled to gluten-free food items on prescription. (I recently acquired a pre-payment certificate for the year so I don’t have to keep paying per prescription. I would recommend this to any other coeliacs)

So what is this gluten-free bread that rivals the Genius giant then? The bread that I am talking about is made with Juvela Gluten Free Mix (500g) in a breadmaker on a special gluten-free program. Although that sounds like a lot of work it’s not. A lot of breadmakers now have gluten-free programs and once you’ve put the flour in with water, oil, salt and yeast, pressed the button and waited 2 hours you will be rewarded with a beautiful soft, light, spongy loaf. This bread is so good that I often eat half the loaf when it first comes out, that is if my dad doesn’t eat it first. Although he isn’t a coeliac he tells me that freshly baked Juvela bread is better than any normal bread! A pretty strong statement from a man who is a self-confessed bread addict.

So if you have the ability to get gluten-free items on prescription (by prepayment cards or other eligibility) then definitely give it a go. Juvela Gluten-Free Mix (500g) will not disappoint!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

What brings you joy?

Anything you want to know these days people just ask Google. Myself included. But recently, in my position as a Creative Writer Intern I have noticed how many blogs crop up in my daily google search results. Whether it's a travel blog about a place I'm writing about or a how-to blog teaching me how to use a new website, I cannot help but read blogs.
That is why I am writing my own blog, in the hope that some day my blog posts will show up in someone else's google results. For now I am content just writing what I'm thinking about, my own views on the news and maybe offering a little advice to those people that find themselves following a gluten-free diet.
I myself am a coeliac so follow a STRICT gluten-free diet, no cheating for me! Well unless I fancy my chances in the ring against bowel cancer... not likely! This means that I should be limited in what I can eat. But I'm not. Why? Because if I can't eat something on the shelf I will just make it myself. I see gluten-free cooking as problem-solving and I love solving problems.
In a job interview recently (one of many) the interviewer asked me "what brings you joy?" I had struggled to answer previous questions and yet when she asked me that final one I answered almost instantly. Finding food that I would otherwise not be able to eat and making it myself without the gluten. Then offering them to friends and family, waiting for the verdict and then delighting in the replies. Making food for others is what brings me joy. A strange question for an interview but it stuck with me for the rest of the day and most of that week too. What brings you joy?