Sunday, June 21, 2009
While browsing for ideas on what to do for Fathers Day, I came across somebodies Twitter post, mentioning this fantastic idea done by Bakerella. At first I thought "psh, yeah right, that'll happen", and left the page. It looked way out of my league, and the biggest turn off, it was made with flour. As my journey to find the perfect Fathers Day activity continued, I grew tired and hopeless. Thoughts of road trips and sunblock came into mind, but didn't quite sync up with the penny jar. I went back through my Twitter read, and found the link again. I stared at the screen for awhile, lips scrunched up, head slightly tilted to the right, and finally out of my mouth came the words "its on".
Gluten free baking is kind of like Science. And I was always really bad at science. As fun as it was to look at things through microscopes and wear awesome safety goggles... I sucked at it. Baking for me, has had its ups and downs. First, I could eat anything and everything, wheat included. Then out of nowhere, the gluten free bus hit me and left me with a really rotten case of baking amnesia. If that wasn't enough, I developed a million other food allergies shortly after, one at a time, and had to learn new ways to cook, just about every other day. Until I realized that I never had any food allergies at all, and I could eat whatever I wanted again, just... anyways... I'm still learning how to bake. I have to make things complicated, or it wouldn't be right.
I started off by baking the french fries. Sugar cookies, made using Pamelas baking mix (my favorite baking mix). At first I made them all too large, and they looked like home building materials. I set those ones aside, knowing that Christopher wouldn't care what any of it looked like in the end anyways, and tried again. By the last batch went into the oven, they looked as close to french fries as gluten free sugar dough would let them. Next I made the brownies, for the "hamburger patties". I had planned on making my favorite brownies, using more Pamelas baking mix, but realized that I had just used the last of the mix on the cookies, and my Amazon bulk order is still a few days away from arriving. Crap. Making a mix from scratch seemed far too overwhelming at the time, so I grabbed my Bobs Red Mill (my backup) baking mix from the fridge, and used that instead. The taste was totally off, seeing as Bob's mix is nothing near excellence in comparison to Pamelas, but it did the job. When baking the brownies, I lined the pans with tin foil, so that I could easily pull the entire batch up and out. I folded the foil over the brownie blocks, and put it in the fridge to cool and solidify. When they were cooled, I brought them back out, took the back of my jigger (bar tending materials), sank it into the brownie just enough to leave a mark, and then cut the circle out with a knife. I wrapped each patty individually in foil, and put them back into the fridge with the scraps. I don't know about you, but when I bake gluten free, chilling things is key. Next up, vanilla cupcakes. Again with the cheater mix, because I'm a mother of two with a lot to get done other than baking, I used Pamelas vanilla cake mix. When the cupcakes were done, I wrapped them up and put them in the freezer to chill. A few hours later, I unwrapped them and cut out the middles, leaving a nice little bun. As they defrosted they began to get sticky, so I had to work quickly, and keep them as cold as possible so they wouldn't lose their form. By the time this was finished, I was wiped out. I was sick of being in the kitchen, the taste, and even the scent of sugar made me gag, and the thought of tackling the mountain of dishes that I had let pile up throughout the day was hanging over my head pushing me towards a bottle of ibuprofen.
When we woke up this morning, Eleanore and I made the final ingredient, the frosting. 3 cups of sugar (mixed with tapioca starch and ground finely in our vita mix), 1 cup of Earth Balance, 1/4 cup of soy milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat, beat, beat. Fluff, fluff, fluff. Added some Betty crocker gel colors. One bowl of green for lettuce, one bowl of red for ketchup, and one bowl of yellow for mustard. Eleanore's favorite part of making anything is the tasting part, and when told that she can no longer taste, a tantrum erupts, and the fun is over. I held off as long as I could, but eventually it did come time to actually assemble our hamburgers. The tears didn't flood us out of the kitchen like I thought they would, but a poncho would have been nice. When she saw the amazing looking "cupcakes" that we were making, a fit of giggles dried up the rain, and confetti and fireworks exploded in her eyes. Bun, patty, ketcup, mustard, lettuce, bun, sesame seeds... voila! We did it!!
Happy Fathers Day Daddy!!