Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

'Dare to Bare' - A peek inside my gluten free larder



I haven't done a Random Recipe challenge before. I have no idea why, as I always check out with fascination what other people have found in their recipe books when the posts are rounded up at the end of each month.

But this month, Dom over at Belleau Kitchen really caught my attention. He's challenged us to 'dare to bare' what we hide inside our larders and food cupboards! I am innately nosey, so I LOVE the idea of being able to check out what is behind the doors of other people's cupboards................ What unusual and exciting ingredients lurk in amongst their boxes, jars, tins and packets? How do they organize this most important of closets? What tricks, shortcuts and inspiration will I glean from inside those foodie storage spaces?

It will be fascinating to compare one larder to another at the end of the challenge............... What will each say about the personality and life-style of the individual cooks who keep them?

Actually...... this is beginning to sound a little scary................. What will my larder say about me?

I figured there may not be too many gluten free larders being exposed out there, so I have decided to take the risky leap of sharing mine with the world. I do this partly because if someone had told me how much my larder would change when my daughter was diagnosed Coeliac, I would have dismissed them as a bit bonkers.............. How many flours? Really? I am still amazed every time I open the door!


Well............. here's the reality............... My larder has been taken over by tub after tub of gluten free flours and grains (22 at the last count), each kept regularly topped up and labelled so that I am not totally confused! Sure........ I could just buy a bag of commercially-blended gluten free flour, but in my experience, they just don't do the same thing. Wheat flour seems to lend itself to baking pretty much anything, but the properties of the many and varied gluten free flours mean that you need to combine them with what often feels like scientific precision to get the right qualities for the bake you ultimately want to achieve.


I have explored the various qualities of gluten free flours and grains previously in this post, but I do plan to update it in the new year with the latest additions to the line up. One of the delights of gluten free baking is the frequent discovery that there is yet another different flour you've never heard of before, just waiting to play and experiment with.


Apart from the required obsession with flour, my larder also contains a fairly typical array of tins and jars.......... I confess I am not one for spending hours cooking dried beans, when I can get them ready out of a tin, so I always keep a selection handy (kidney, butter, cannellini, borlotti, etc) to add to chilli, stews, soups and salads. Always always I have tinned tomatoes and for quick meals when there's no time for anything other than baked potatoes, there's a hoard of tuna, baked beans and the usual fayre to throw on the top.


Jars mostly contain spreads and jams, but honey is essential to lots of my recipes as are a variety of vinegars, oils and spices. There is, I confess, an occasional jar of ready-made curry sauce for a quick meal as well as pots of custard and stuff for my daughter.



On the top shelf, I keep a selection of nuts, seeds, rices, noodles and pasta (all gluten free), as well as a box for dried yeast and miscellaneous baking ingredients such as geletine.


I always hide a stash of chocolate bars (white, plain and milk) that I try to save (not always successfully) for cooking, in the space under the tin shelf and I also keep a tub of gluten free oat and nut breakfast bars for those mornings when I have no time to sit down, but know I will need to eat somewhere between leaving the house and getting to work..........

This is actually beginning to sound more organised than I thought! Here's a bit more in pictures......




gluten free crackers, oat cakes, bread sticks and bits......


Our last remaining squashes and some onions from the garden........ Aaahhhh........... reminders of summer!


















Because I now have so many flours to accommodate, I have commandeered a separate cupboard to store my ever growing selection of sugars, other baking ingredients, freeze-dried fruit and collection of cake decorations (glitters, sprinkles, etc). The bottom shelf looks like it needs a bit of a sort through! I love to experiment using freeze dried fruit so buy it in larger quantities and store it in air-tight containers. And there are so many amazingly pretty, irresistible sprinkles out there I think I may be developing an addiction to buying them!



So there you go........... I have dared to bare my gluten free larder................ A strange and exposing process, I am unsure how I feel now that I have done it, but I hope it has been at least a little bit interesting to those of you intrigued enough to take a peek!

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated

8 comments:

  1. I think I hate you just a teeny little bit today... that is the MOST organised and tidy and well stocked larger I have EVER seen... amazing work... well done!!!!!!!!!... thanks so much for the entry, I do hope you enjoyed it and that maybe you'll take part in the more traditional random recipes next time x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dom, Now I feel REALLY OCD! It is a bit of a necessity when you have this much flour to organize. The challenge was definitely entertaining though. Thanks for organizing!!

      Delete
  2. Wow, you got lot's of amazing looking stuff there - and it's pretty neat too! I never see neatly stocked larders so I'm impressed!

    Aimee / WallflowerGirl.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weird how I never see it as neat and tidy. Maybe I will look at it differently from now on!

      Delete
  3. Oh definitely interesting, especially about all the different flours. You are so super organised too. I thought when I started reading I was going to have serious larder envy, but that has now been overtaken by squash envy. For two years running now, we have not managed to grow a single one and I'm really missing them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The flours definitely seem to have taken over! But they have become a bit of a necessity with the Coeliac. I love squashes too……. maybe next year will be a bumper year just to make up!

      Delete
  4. Wow that is a lot of flours!! I think I have about 5 at the most! Looks very well stocked and organised!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anne. The need for so many flours definitely came as a shock when we had to go gluten free!

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave a message about any aspect of this post. It's always great to get feedback!