Our local Tesco (Flitwick) just had a refit. They squeezed in some more shelves (of junk), but somehow managed to reduce their free from section. Infuriating! When I was at the Allergy Show a few months ago, I met the Tesco people and they were busy showcasing all their new products and said they were launching a bigger range – but where are they? They did say that some were still in test, so why keep advertising them in their magazine?
Also, earlier in the year I contacted Humdinger Foods about the disappearance of their Dairy Free Chocolate Buttons.
They said they had been delisted by Tesco because they were bringing their own chocolates out. A few weeks later Humdinger contacted me again and said that Tesco had changed their mind. Yet, not only have the Dairy Free brand failed to return, but our local Tesco has stopped selling dairy free chocolate altogether! Has anyone seen either lately?
A while ago, I posted a blog about revisiting some classic 1970’s recipes for some inspiration.
It was because I feel that home cooking was a lot more simple back then and a lot of the recipes in my Mum’s old cookbooks were real classics and so easy to follow. Last time I was at my parents, my Mum treated us to meatloaf, which was one of the recipes she learned at a cookery class when she was first married. It was so delicious, that my husband made me promise to cook it myself one day.
Yesterday, I kept my promise. But before I could start, I had to work out if you can make it gluten free. The original recipe contains breadcrumbs. I did a quick online search and soon found that our trusty friends at Hale n Hearty make them.
Hale n Hearty product link
I love a simple recipe. And in my opinion, the best foods are often those with fewest ingredients, so when my daughter Sophia requested pancakes the other day, I thought I should see if I could find a good GF/DF recipe.
Good old Doves Farm. They make the best (in my opinion) gluten free flour, always have interesting recipes on the pack and have a good website – and sure enough, they have a recipe for pancakes. http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/recipes/gluten-free-pancakes/
I did think it would be and should be as simple as just swapping in the gluten free and dairy free ingredients, but I wanted to be sure, because my hunches with baking are not always correct. Sometimes with gluten free baking you need to add an extra ingredient to perform the magic to make it rise or stick together, e.g. xanthan gum.
Before we became a free from family, I never enjoyed baking. I find it is too much like science, which I was never very good at. It is so precise and there is definitely ‘chemistry’ going on, and if your measurements and combinations are wrong, as with any experiment, things can literally blow up in your face. With gluten and dairy free baking you have even more ‘science’ to deal with, and every so often, I find myself looking recipes up just to be sure. Even the professionals can get it wrong, as we discovered recently when we bought several loaves of Genius bread that were full of holes and totally unusable.
We are not regular junk food eaters. When you have food intolerance and allergies to deal with, junk food and processed foods are not something you can eat and as far as I am concerned, is one of the benefits. Although I often feel sorry for my three year old when he goes to children’s parties and cannot eat the same as the others, part of me is glad. Being so highly sensitive to wheat and dairy means that he will not grow up addicted to pizzas and burgers etc – he doesn’t even know what they taste like and has never shown any interest in them.
However, from time to time, even the most vigilant Mummy with the greatest of intentions can get caught out. Two weeks ago, we set off on a (usually) 2 hour car journey to my parents on the Dorset coast. I had lunch boxes full of food for both children – as I knew we would probably still be travelling at their usual teatime. We left home straight after school, so were due to hit the M25 just before rush hour and knew we could hit some trouble – but nothing prepared me for the 2 hour crawl around the usual half hour stretch.
I am sure you have read all the recent stuff about ‘battery dairy farming’. As usual Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver are getting involved. From the ‘farming’ and ‘naughty supermarkets’ angle. They seem to be very concerned with low price of milk in supermarkets and inferior quality of the product. I am with them – to a certain extent but wish they would push it a bit further. Cheap, rubbish milk is a problem. Has anyone considered what the consequences are and have been? I don’t just mean the economic or animal rights issues. What about the human rights and health aspect?
Anyone with dairy intolerance, or worse, cow’s milk protein knows it is near impossible to buy food in the supermarket that isn’t ‘sprinkled with poison’ – by that I mean, containing some cow’s milk protein in some guise.
My hunch is that the ‘milk’ changed when we were kids – I am nearly 40 so I mean about 30 years ago or more. Once upon a time, milk had cream in/sitting on it and went off after a couple of days. Now it lives forever! Apparently cows are not fed on grass anymore and we all remember the BSE thing. What if this is all part of that? If I remember rightly, that was caused by cows eating food they are not meant to eat. From what I hear they have been fed the wrong type of food again. Too scary to think of.