Monday, September 28, 2009

Treats? Treats

Evan appreciates having treats. I don't mean that he enjoys treats, though he certainly does. He appreciates them, kind of the same way Ben Gunn, the maroon on Treasure Island, appreciates cheese.

A couple of weeks ago we were at a family gathering; desert was pie and ice cream. Evan can eat neither of these so he had a piece of gum. Yesterday he went to a birthday party. While everyone else was eating cake, he munched on a few pieces of what may be the only gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free*, corn-free, grape-free, coconut-free non-gum candy in the world. He routinely watches other kids have fruit snacks, potato chips and juice boxes that are off-limits because they have some trigger food on the ingredient list.

Today we had company for dinner, and there was wheat-flour carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert. Knowing this ahead of time, I made a rice-flour carrot cake for us. With the lemon glaze from the freezer, It was one of the rare times Evan had it just as good as everyone else. As he finished his second helping, he gave me a big grin and said, nodding, "This is great, Dad. Yeah. Really great!"

After dinner, one of the other husbands asked me what I do for fun. Pretty much the only thing I do is bake, but I don't usually think of this as "for fun"anymore. It doesn't really count as leisure since I have to do it for us to live.

Ben Gunn spent three years on Treasure Island before Jim Hawkins and crew arrived. For three years he lived on salted goat meat and fruit. When he met Jim, one of the first things Gunn did was ask for a piece of cheese. He said that he would dream he was eating cheese, only to awaken and find himself in a cave, with nothing but salted goat for breakfast. When he finally got his cheese, you can imagine that he enjoyed it, but he probably appreciated it in a way that most of us never will. Tonight as Evan thanked me for making him a good cake, it seemed like he appreciated it,

Carrot Cake
3 cups shredded carrot
3 eggs (or equivalent flegg)
1 cup oil
2 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix everything together well, and put in cake pan. One of the joys of GF baking is that you don't have to worry about mixing order so much. Bake at 350 F, until it looks done. Voila!

* gum always contains soy lecithin. I think it is the soy oil that bothers him and soy lecithin seems to be fine, at least in the amounts they put in gum.