Thursday, January 5, 2012

Learning to Cook

Not everyone was as blessed as I was to have a chef for a mom. She wasn't a Chef in a formal restaurant, but she was the head cook for the IUS Cafeteria and for ACBL.  Mom learned to cook in mass quantities. Then she would come home and cook for the four of us. It was a hard change and we grew to love leftovers, well not really but don't tell her that.

At my bridal shower I received two cookbooks as a gift. One had some really great recipes and the other was empty for me to fill. Silly me put recipes in the book before I tried them. White out became my friend. The other cookbook had some neat recipes, but the ones that became staples for our family were the cookies, cakes and other desserts.

By the time I was 10 years old I was cooking meals myself. Mom was working crazy hours and I would be home with my brother alone after school. I would call her up asking what she wanted me to make and she would tell me with exact instructions. I learned a lot in that time and my dad and brother were the Guinea pigs. I learned that just because a hamburger is done on the outside doesn't mean it can't be raw on the inside, along with that was cooking a hamburger on 8 doesn't get it done on the inside, but will burn the outside. My favorite is more spices in a spaghetti sauce will not make it better only worse.

A year after I was married I purchased my first cookbook. It is by Betty Crocker and has become my favorite and my go to cookbook. I've learned so much from it and it has become my go to gift for new brides. It is the book my Audrey uses when she wants to cook as well.

All of these experiences have prepared me for where I am now, learning to cook all over again. I've been told for years, and most recently by Alton Brown, that cooking is a science. It wasn't how I was trained to cook, but using these new flours has changed everything and it has become a science. This has caused me to read more blogs to take the time and follow the recipe exactly and to cook things I never would have cooked before. I'm once again being stretched to be a better cook. I'm no Chef Ramsey, but I am determined to feed my family good, healthy meals.

One of my favorite things is to make homemade noodles. Now if you ask my dad he will say that the frozen ones are faster and almost just as good. When I told his mom this, who taught me how to make noodles her face was priceless. I've been looking for a gluten free version and came across one recently. I have all the ingredients and I'm ready to tackle this. I have a turkey that I'm cooking to make a stock for soup and hope to be able to eat it either today or tomorrow.

Wish me luck. I've been missing egg noodles and this might just be what I've been dreaming about.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Chapter in My Life

My middle son William is on the autism spectrum. There are many reasons that I do not believe he should be there, but there are several reasons he is so we will just deal with it.

A couple of years ago we began to fight this battle by visiting a DAN doctor. After some testing we found out that his immune system is almost completely zapped. There were a few other things that were missing, but what was very prevalent was that he had a systemic yeast infection. We began fighting this with a probiotic and a year of Nystatin.

Things were going well, but I noticed that his teeth were looking funny so after taking him to the dentist we found out that the yeast had attacked his teeth and rotting them from the inside out. This is very odd as most cavities are on the outside of the teeth, but he was losing the core of his teeth. So after having oral surgery and having 8 teeth removed, one capped he was on the road to recovery or so we thought.

A year later we moved back home to Indiana. Once we were in our own place I began the task of taking my family on a journey of living a gluten free lifestyle. To say that some members of the family hated this change would be an understatement. I have made some fabulous dishes and made some HUGE mistakes along our journey, but we are starting to tread water.

One day while William was sitting down to take a math test, he told me that he didn't want my help. That he could do it on his own. I read the instructions to him for each section. I while he did his sections I helped Pip with his Language Arts test. It wasn't until later that day that I finally graded William's test. He had not missed a single problem. He had 100%. He had taken this test on his own with out ANY help from me. To make matters even better, the curriculum we use is a grade level ahead of where he is.

As I told Stephen about this after dinner that night, he asked what had changed. Now I have to confess, I have not been keeping a food journal like I should, but I knew what he had eaten for the past two days and something important was missing... White Sugar. It was at that moment that I remembered what his DAN doctor had told me 3 years before. Eventually I would have to take the leap and remove what the yeast feeds on, and that is sugar.

Over the holiday break I began the task of looking into what it would take to go not only Gluten Free, but Sugar Free. Going gluten free was daunting, but going sugar free scares me to death.

It is after much prayer and thought that I have decided we will go down this path. I have been told by his doctor to keep and journal and I really hate writing. He recommend that I try blogging, SO I am going to do this. I will fix our daily meals and take pictures of some of them. I will post my recipes, and our family reviews.

I know most who read this won't care and will think I'm crazy, but if I can help someone else along the path of living this lifestyle then it will be worth it. So starting tonight I will add something and see what happens.

Please pray for me. I'm going to need it to find food my family likes.