i love my gluten. but have been curious about how baking without it could work out. we were invited to dinner last week, and I offered up dessert, knowing that it would be appreciated if gluten-free. I had it decided inside my brain, that it would be almonds & peaches.
a few years ago I decided to pay more attention to how my body felt after eating certain foods. this was my attempt to transition from unhealthily obsessing over how much I ate into a more moderate obsession with what I was eating. we can't always get rid of eating disorders, but we can try real hard to convert them into better versions of themselves.
it wasn't long before I finally accepted that eating foods full of words I couldn't pronounce was a bad idea. and that I needed to focus more on fresh foods, whole grains and avoid additives & preservatives. eat healthy & therefore feel healthy.
i'm not convinced the recent widespread gluten-allergies, lactose-allergies, nut allergies are legitimate. right now they seem more like trends than they do fact. but if someone wants to avoid wheaty gluten goodness because they feel better when they do, then by all means, they should.
but hey, baking gluten-free looks complicated. & I wasn't interested in investing in rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum and all the substitutes needed to replicate the action of a fine, gluten full flour. I just wanted simple.
so i baked an almond crust with ground-up almonds, sugar, some butter & an egg. I baked it until firm & golden.
I let the crust cool a little. and then into it I poured freshly sliced peaches that had been soaking in sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon & nutmeg.
and I dropped little cubes of butter all over the peach mixture.
then baked until the peaches were covered in bubbling syrup.
it came out looking simple & delicious.
and it was like eating a sweet, nubby almond crunch. with cinnamon-peach juices.
we didn't miss the gluten.
a nice finish to the red chile chicken enchiladas and salad of fresh greens which we ate with views of the mountains growing dark.
before I left Kansas, mom had given me several packets of sunflower seeds.
they started blooming in time for her visit.
for the first time I was picking someone up at the train.
spent our weekend walking around town, showing mom the places that i'm growing familiar with.
we visited the Millicent Rogers museum, a maze of rooms housing an astonishing & enviable array of native american & southwestern jewelry, art & religious antiquities.
and then we walked up a little road to the once home of Mabel Dodge. and thought about living in such a beautiful spot in a Taos of so long ago.
two places I'd wanted to see. and was happy to see along with mom & d.
and now it is time to ready for Fall. bringing plants inside. thinking about how a garden should ready the winter. spending a week camping at winfield. losing the flipflops and stuffing my feet into real shoes. changing from tomatoes, cucumbers and peaches to apples & squash.
on a lovely evening we had special guests over for dinner. we grilled burgers, made pasta salad with fresh corn, cucumbers, basil and salty pepitas.
I baked hamburger buns. and though oddly shaped, they came out well. helped I'm sure by the glaze of melted butter.
to continue the adventure in baking, I also made a lemon cake. it came out dense, moist and not too sweet. served with sliced freshly picked very sweet peaches.
in return I received a huge bouquet of wonderful kansas-inspired flowers.
I got to bake for people I care about. and spend a evening of happy chatting, laughing and warm friendships. all while sitting outside in the summer air, as the sun went down.
tonight rain & lightning are in the air.