I asked for the blood test because my grandpa has it, and I figured it was best to be thorough. When the doctor told me the results came back positive there was a moment where I thought that must mean the test said “yes, you don’t have it.”
Going gluten free isn’t that daunting. My partner is gluten intolerant and my grandpa got his diagnosis years ago, so I know the drill. I don’t have any symptoms, or at least not anything drastically noticeable, but that’s fairly common.
I’m just still reeling from the fact that the test came back positive. Totally was not expecting that.
Update: If I have to have an endoscopy to confirm, do you think they’d let me bring one of my kitties as a “therapy cat” to help keep me calm and avoid a panic attack before being sedated for the procedure?
My parents have two orange trees in their backyard and had to start dripping up the branches with two by fours before Halloween to keep them from breaking under the weight of the fruit. Thus, we have a box of oranges. So this week is one big brainstorming session on how to use up oranges in stuff.
Since I happened to find a Pamela’s gluten free Spice Cake Mix in the clearance bin at Raley’s, I decided this would be a prime opportunity for some experimental baking.
The recipe on the back of the bag calls for 1 cup of milk, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup of butter. I substituted orange juice for milk (hand juiced, tra-la-la-la-la) and olive oil for butter, since I was vaguely sure the citric acid might do something unpleasant to the dairy. Then I added an “I guess this looks good” amount of cocoa powder, because who doesn’t like chocolate, and half a cup of chopped almonds for texture. Poured that in muffin tins and popped them in the oven at 350 for what ended up being about 35-40 minutes.
Instead of frosting I made an orange glaze with 3/4 cup of orange juice, one cup of sugar… and a splash of water to get the rest of the stuck-on sugar off the inside of the measuring cup. Let that simmer for a while until it seemed less runny, which I loosely defined as “kinda leaves a residue on the spatula.”
When the cakes were done, I popped them out of the pans and into a foil-lined baking dish and dumped all the glaze over them so some would soak in on the bottoms and give it some extra moisture. (I didn’t use muffin papers, and actually forgot to even grease the pans. Lol, whoops! But they popped out fine.)
End result, they are delicious little cakes of goodness. The spice of the spice cake mix comes through stronger than the chocolate and the orange, but it’s all in there, and the almonds give it a nice texture. And that glaze? Good. Good glaze. I’m not sure if it was the gluten free or the not using milk, but the cakes would have been very dry and dense without the glaze, which is both sweet and tart at the same time. Would make again.
1 bag of Pamela’s gluten free Spice Cake Mix
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
Orange Glaze Ingredients:
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine all the cake ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Pour the batter into large muffin tins, each cup about 3/4 cups full.
Bake according to cake mix instructions, or possibly longer until it’s done in the middle.
When the cakes are done, set them out to let them cool.
Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
When it starts to bubble to the top of the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it go for about 15 more minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Line a baking dish or shallow pan with tin foil.
Pop the cakes out of the tin into the foil-lined dish and pour the glaze over the tops of them.
Let soak at least until the glaze on top has cooled to more sticky than runny, then eat at your leisure.
My Grandpa is a tall, quiet man. He’s losing his hearing these days, but even before that I always knew him as a gentle giant and a good guy. Before he was diagnosed with celiac disease he was plagued by mysterious intestinal pain (which was a burden he bore quietly) and bad cholesterol. He became gaunt and pale. On medical advice he stopped singing with the tenors in the church choir, because long periods of standing left him dizzy.
Once he was finally diagnosed, Grandma had her work cut out for her. She’s alway been the matriarchal cook and hospitality expert of the family — I think it has something to do with being from Tennessee, and all that southern hospitality stuff. But this was back when I was in high school, in the mid 2000’s. At the time, there was one shelf in Whole Foods dedicated to certified gluten free foods, maybe two. There was only one GF flour blend that was easy to find (might have been Bob’s Red Mill, might not’ve been) so whenever Grandma wanted to bake she did a lot of her own blends, buying pure rice flower, chickpea flower, tapioca flour, potato starch, etc., and xanthan gum, which she once told me is like buying gold.