Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Carrot Whoopie Pies (gluten free, vegan)

Let's make some whoopie

Of course I'm far too busy making whoopie to write you a ditty about Valentine's day and then follow up with the carrot whoopie pie recipe.  But I promise I will soon.  This week.  For deffs.

And by 'making whoopie' I mean watching Family Guy in the same room as my husband.  

You may now feel smug and more in love than me.


Pig x 
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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Free From Food Awards 2012

It was Harold Wilson who said: “A week is a long time in politics”.  And I’m sure Chris Huhne would agree. 

Far be it from me to pervert the course of a historical quotation, oh but actually I’m going to tinker just a teensy bit.

Ahem, clear throat and drum roll please... "A week is a long time in food allergies"

Just a week ago there I was venting my spleen and bitching about life with allergies.  And clearly I wasn’t alone in my poor-little-me sort of attitude.  Thank-you to everyone who commented and - perversely - it is a great comfort to know I’m not alone in finding food allergies taxing, annoying, frustrating, upsetting, painful and demoralising.

However, allergy fortunes change and yesterday I had a lovely time in London town being a judge for the upcoming Free From Food Awards! 

Delicious fancies were spread before me and I was part of an inner ring of steel (sort of)  forged for the day to sample and judge the best free from foods the market has to offer.

What a treat to see innovative non-dairy milks, cheeses, yoghurts and spreads that actually tasted good.  ‘Twas a delight to sample gluten free pastas that didn’t break my teeth or stick my tongue to the roof of my mouth.  And a table laden with chocolate for my delectation?  Mwah ha ha ha haaaa.  (That was the evil laugh of a glutton.)

It was really encouraging to see how much choice there is.  OK, so for now we have to grub around in a tiny section of the supermarket for gluten free goodies, or spend hours online trying to find some honey dew coconut oil  (that doesn’t exist, I made it up), but friends, the future is bright.

The future based on non dairy milk, gluten free goodness and vegan, nut free chocolate is nearly upon us!

Rejoice and go bathe – not in asses’ milk – but plant milk!  (Sounds vile, tastes great.)

And you have just a week or two to wait until Michelle at Foods Matter unveils the shortlists -  da da da da da da da daaaaa!!(trumpet call)  - and I can tell you what my favourite stuff was.  

Until then I am sworn to the utmost secrecy.  I feel rather like an important spy.

Stay tuned mein lieblings.

Thanks to Michelle for inviting me and to Cressida for putting in the hours at the cooker.  Also great to see Tanya, Christine, Aurea, Sam, Ruth, Mary, Sue and I hope that’s everyone?!

Pig x

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Life with allergies is unfair. Yes, I'm having a bit of a rant...

Sometimes even the best 'allergy' biscuits aren't good enough

It’s easy for me because I don’t have allergies.  See me absent-mindedly throw a piece of cheese into my mouth and watch as I scarf down a buttery croissant glazed in egg.  And have you tried the honey glazed mixed nuts from Waitrose? Yum.

My youngest daughter sees me do all of the above.  And then she watches her three siblings make orgasmic noises when they eat a chocolate biscuit.

She watches and she learns that life with allergies is not fair and she can’t eat like the rest of us.

I try not to be insensitive about allergies.  If we are out and I don’t have an allergy-friendly option for my youngest, then my older children go without.  Too right they whine, but we just ask them to work out how many times they have eaten dessert while youngest sister ate a square of dark chocolate.  (Clue: we’re in the high hundreds.)

I do my tra-la-la you-won’t-go-without-cake baking, I make sure my girl has a cupboard full of treats and I courier vegan cookies to school in the event of an unexpected-school-celebration-that-involves-dairy.

And guess what?  Some days that is just not enough, because my girl wants to eat exactly the same chocolate biscuit as her siblings. 

It happened last night.  No matter that she’d had a lolly while the others ate  the biscuit, no matter that my latest failed dessert (I called it ‘Squidge’)still turned out to be yummy and allergy friendly and no matter that last week and the week before there was egg free cake in every cupboard.

At bedtime she said: “Why do I have to have allergies?  I want to eat a Rocky (chocolate biscuit) like the others.”

 Not much I can say to that is there?  When it happens I deflate a little inside, give her a cuddle, say soothing, upbeat things and we both feel rubbish.

Life with allergies is tedious, boring and not very fun at all.  Do you find that?  Go on, hit me with your gripes about allergies!  Who knows, it might cheer us up in a sort of ‘we are all in the same crappy boat’ kind of a way.

And by the way, I haven’t forgotten that I write a recipe blog (as opposed to a random, whining blog).  I had high hopes for my ‘squidge’ cake, but I don’t think it will see the light of day again.

Recipes are happening.  Just not very quickly.

Until the next time fellow allergy whingers...

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