Writing Gluten and Allergy Free Recipes

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Writing Gluten and Allergy Free Recipes

Being a blogger that includes Gluten and Allergy Free Recipes, on my blog, I was recently asked “Why do you write recipes?”  You know? I had to really sit and ponder on that question for quite some time and I’m still not so sure that I have any one answer.

As a child, I have fond memories of my mother and me in the kitchen just about every weekend.  My father handled most of the cooking, but baking was my mother’s forte!  We would spend countless hours going through recipes and deciding what we would create next.  My mother was Polish, and taught me how to make numerous recipes the way she was taught as a child herself.  Eventually, as we both got older, I took the reigns and ventured out into candy making.  Our specialty was chocolate covered cherries and caramels.  Our last baking moments would be bread-making.  And who can resist a piece of piping hot bread straight from the oven?  I remember it being so yummy!

My mother passed away in June of 1995.  My son was born in Nov 1995.  As I have continued cooking and baking, my son has grown up in the kitchen and has a great knack for creating recipes himself.  He is a little more into ethnic and exotic recipes than I am, but I continue to encourage his love for being a ‘chef’.

I have always believed that things in life happen for a reason.   In Nov 2009, Michaela was diagnosed with Celiac and multiple food allergies.  I remember the feeling of panic.  I remember questioning in my mind “What do I buy?” and “Where do I buy it?”  It didn’t take long to learn that finding foods that met her needs were either nil to nothing, or they tasted horrible.  She had great memories of her favorite foods, and we kept being told by others that she wouldn’t have that great taste again on her restricted diet.  I was not willing to accept that.  ‘Surely, there has to be a way!’ I thought.

That is when I began to get serious about recipes.  I started out with my mother’s box of recipes, experimenting with flours and ingredient substitutions.  I quickly found that I needed to get flour ratios down to perfection in order for different types of recipes to turn out.  Believe me, there were a lot of ‘experiments’ that went into the trash can.  But we didn’t give up.  My son was a big help during this time.  He worked on one thing while I would be working on something else.

Finally, after two years, we are able to cook completely gluten and allergy free in our house without anyone else even knowing the difference.   When we have family gatherings, everything is made here in our kitchen and meets Michaela’s diet requirements.  Everyone who has ever eaten here is surprised to find that they have just eaten a gluten/allergy free meal.

For some people, cooking isn’t second nature for them.  There are a number of recipe hops, so to speak, out there in the blogging world.  So far, I have had a difficult time finding one that includes both gluten and allergy free recipes.  Therefore, I will be introducing ‘Made From Scratch’ Monday which will be a weekly event for others to link in their recipe.  Information and guidelines can be found here:

 Made From Scratch Monday

So, back to the original question of “Why do I write recipes?”  My answer would be because I love it?  I do it because my daughter needs it.  I do it because it brings back great memories of my own childhood.  And, I do it because I hope that my daughter will have great memories of me someday that she can share with her daughter, continuing on the family tradition.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
10 Comments
  1. Caryn January 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Mary,
    Thanks for sharing. You captured the essence of what it is like for a mother to find out their child has major dietary restrictions. I love your idea of gathering recipes made from scratch. I think a lot of multiple food allergy cooks do that because so many convenient foods have hidden allergens. And cooking from scratch is healthier, too. Your hop is going to create great resources for people just starting out.

    • Mary Humdak-Colllins January 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Thank you Caryn. I certainly hope that it helps a lot of people out there, especially individuals that are just starting out. Today, I also thought of another situation that most writers don’t address and that is a relative that a child goes to stay with. How hard it must be for them to cope with dietary restrictions. How nice it would be if they could find our hop and know that there would always be something available for them to whip up. I guess I just have to really get the word out there, but I have no doubts that a lot of my friends will be helping me out 🙂

  2. Martha Orlando January 21, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Mary, I am definitely looking forward to seeing these shared recipes on Monday. I don’t know that I have any that will work, but will certainly have fun trying out ones suggested here.
    Wow! I’m so impressed with your enthusiasm and commitment to your family’s health and for blogging. Are we up to four now??? I can barely keep up with one! 🙂
    Blessings to you!

    • Mary Humdak-Colllins January 21, 2012 at 4:26 am

      Ah Martha, thank you. No, it’s only three right now and one will be only posted on when the team is doing something like an event or tournament 🙂 The allergies and Celiac blog will always remain my main focus as it is my daughter’s life, pretty much. The third one is my personal outlet, so to speak, LOL. Once in awhile I get swindled by my son to help him out on his, but I try to stay away from that scenario as much as possible 🙂
      Hopefully, you will find some very entertaining recipes to choose from come Monday.

  3. Alpana Jaiswal January 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    i have always been a follower of your posts Mary,and will keep on doing so..wishing you the very best for this one.

    • Mary Humdak-Colllins January 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Alpana, thank you so much for your following. I hope that you realize how much I appreciate you <3 I hope that we can touch a lot of diet restricted people with this new event 🙂

  4. Jan January 22, 2012 at 3:33 am

    You are an awesome lady Mary. <3<3<3

    • Mary Humdak-Colllins January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you for your compliment Jan! I’m not so sure about awesome (lol) but definitely motivated 🙂 There are so many things I want to do and just have to keep myself focused on one thing at a time. It’s very easy to get distracted.

  5. Erica March 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you so much for putting this post together.

    I have just discovered that I have gluten challenges and it’s been a struggle working it all out by myself. I have a very supportive husband but what really gets to me is how unsupportive some people around me can be.

    The ones that upset me most are the ones who feel that my dietary requirements are a burden for them. I try and be as congenial as possible even taking my food with me on occasions, but that just seems to make them more uncomfortable.

    Why is it that other people get so hung up on this and get offended when you don’t eat their food and what’s a good way to get around this? Apart from declining all social engagements : )

    Erica

    • Mary Hudak-Colllins March 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Erica, there is no real way to ‘get around it’. You have to become comfortable with it yourself, before you can ask others to be. And even that won’t always be the answer. As time goes by, people will realize that you have dietary restrictions and either accept them or not. You may not always be happy with their choice. I have a very dear friend that has a son with Celiac. They have basically been excluded from all family gatherings because of the cross-contamination issue. Sometimes, people just don’t want to be bothered by it all. That is just plain ignorance, but you won’t ever change it. It’s sad, but true.
      My daughter doesn’t get invited to many social outings of children her age due to either the concern for cross-contamination, the fact that they just don’t know what to prepare, or they feel funny asking you to bring your own food. As awareness becomes more prominent in the public, we may see this change, but for right now hold your head up and be proud of who you are. YOU haven’t changed…just your diet 🙂
      I’m sharing another article I have here that deals with exactly that topic. It is straight from my daughter’s mouth and how she feels about having diet restrictions. http://www.healthylifestylesliving.com/liberate-the-mind/positive-thinking-mind/why-do-you-treat-me-differently/

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