Bidding farewell to 2011

December 31, 2011

NYE dinner. Pepperoni, abruzze, four different cheeses, honey, gluten-free crackers.

See ya, old year. Hello, new year. Excuse me, the ballgame’s on.

I do not get all worked up over New Year’s eve and day, except for enjoying all the ballgames and lazing around. I do take some time to reflect on the year that’s passed, and more importantly the year that’s to come. It’s not so much resolutions, but just thinking about things I want to do differently, or better. Like learn to bake a loaf of gluten-free bread that will make me go “Oh, wow!” instead of “Meh.”

Toward that end, my gluten-free bread-baking book arrived yesterday, and I took time to skim through it last night so I’d know if I needed to pick up anything else to experiment with tomorrow and Monday. The book talks about the rice-potato-tapioca blend I’d already tried (albeit pre-mixed), but also speaks highly of a bean-sorghum-something-else-and-I-forget-now-what flour. So I stopped by Whole Foods after dropping Child B and Amazing Granddaughter 1 off at the airport (sad face), and picked up some sorghum flour. And some egg replacer, which all those recipes seem to call for, as well as eggs. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but OK.

I note two or three things about gluten-free breads, judging from the recipes in this book (The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread). One, it seems that most of the recipes require two or three eggs, as well as egg replacer, to help the stuff rise. Two, most seem to be batter breads, rather than a loaf that you’d shape and knead.

I also picked up a bag of King Arthur Flour gluten-free baking mix, which seems to be, like Bob’s Red Mill, mostly rice, potato and tapioca flour. It is, however, considerably cheaper than Bob’s. I think I will try my hand at crumpets tomorrow, or maybe biscuits, and then possibly a loaf. We’ll see. I’ll report.

I’m also planning on black-eyed peas with hamhocks, red cabbage, and bratwurst. And mac and cheese and a chocolate pound cake for NS. And spending a good portion of the day putting the house back together in the wake of the whirlwind that is my Amazing Grandchild, who was allowed to play with anything I did not think would shatter and harm her.

Lucy misses Amazing Grandchild, by the way. She’s been wandering around the house whimpering. They became fast friends over the past four days.

Bakc to the gluten-free adventures for a bit — it has now been five days since I had any gluten. That included me leaving untouched the lovely baguette slice on my plate Friday at lunch at The Pantry in Little Rock, which was a quite nice spot that I hadn’t tried before, AND not ordering an English muffin when I went to, well, the English Muffin for breakfast with the kids today. Child B, my authority on gluten-freedom, since she’s been doing it for three or four years, told me I could have something occasionally, but I’m thinking I need to take a good 30 or 60 days absolutely without before I go tippytoeing off that wagon.

Perhaps I will get some New Year’s treats (since I didn’t do Christmas ones) done tomorrow. I want to make macaroons, since I made about three dozen day before yesterday and there are None Left. Child B does love her a macaroon. Also going to make some fudge and some pralines, either tomorrow or Monday, and contemplate getting myself back in the notion of working for a living, since I’ve been off for two solid weeks.

You and y’mama ‘n ’em stay out of the way of the amateur drinkers if you’re out tonight, and I’ll see y’all next year.

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