Last week in baking class, we had a party where a fellow student and I made pizzas. Although this involved technique and knowledge about dough and baking, it also involved some savory cooking know-how. I realized whilst roasting garlic, making sauce, chopping herbs, sautéing sausage and assembling actual food (not just pastry) that I really missed cooking. Since starting this professional baking program, I haven't been as active in the kitchen cooking food. I am usually too burned out when I actually have time to do so. This realization though seems to have kick started my interest in making food-to-eat again, which is a really good thing.
The other day I made a delicious butternut squash soup that I have been feasting on all week. I decided I was too lazy to go to the store, so used what I had on hand, and therefore had to pull from a couple different recipes. The recipes were essentially the same, just different add-ins. The one thing I purposely improvised on was that I roasted the butternut squash beforehand. I think this made a huge difference in really concentrating that primary flavor. It seems I rarely free-wheel a recipe and have it work out wonderfully, but when I do I find it a particularly satisfying win!
OK, here's the BIG NEWS, and strangely it has not ruined my week or caused me to crumble. The jury is still out, we will know more in a couple weeks, but I may have Celiac Disease. Cruuudddddd. A couple thoughts on that: it's not the worst thing ever, I know people who live full lives with this challenge, and I think I can figure out ways to work around it. I am accepting this possibility as a challenge as opposed to a sentence. Maybe I become a gluten free baker extraordinaire! Maybe it's mild and I just need to be careful. Maybe, it will turn out to not be the case... Other thoughts are - if this is the problem causing my oft upset stomach, then Hallelujah that we have found the problem so that we can work on the solution! It's hard to have a pity party when this discovery only means relief is at hand! For now, I'm going to continue to bake, discontinue eating any wheat, and do a 2-week cleanse. We'll see where I'm at in 2 weeks.
Other fun news - I will be making some desserts for Thanksgiving this year. I'm kind of excited! I really want to make a couple of pies, but considering I may not be able to eat them, I think I will limit it to one pie and try to find another dessert that will be gluten/wheat-free. Now the question is - if I only make one pie, what should it be? The obvious answer is pumpkin, but I just found a recipe for butternut squash pie that apparently rivals traditional pumpkin. It roasts the butternut squash as well, which I am now a big fan of. There is also a pear cardamom pie recipe I have been dying to try. Well, we'll see. Should be an interesting couple of weeks of food and baking.