As I just sat down I exhaled a HUGE, DEEP breathe. I have had so much on my mind lately – too much that I don’t even know where to begin most days! Never a bad thing though...
I figured if I broke it down into a few sections here, it would not only help me keep my thoughts straight but probably help me from rambling on forever and ever… and ever…
1. Let’s chat about the cookbook first.
I am SO SO SO SO close to being done writing all of the recipes!
Each recipe contains five components:
- Creative Title
Writing up the ingredients and directions are both technical writing and though it can be tedious work, it takes very little creative energy.
On the other hand, writing 75 amazingly unique headnotes that make you laugh out loud takes creativity, energy, time, inspiration, wit, humor, and often a glass of wine. And though I am so close to being done, I have hit a writer’s block... Only seven headnotes to go and my mind is blank.
I was a Math and Econ major in college; creative writing wasn’t something I often did. Proofs that were two pages long, absolutely, bring it on!! But creative writing is a whole other ball game.
If you know of and are willing to share any writing advice you’ve got, please comment below!!
I’d love some help navigating through this :)
As for rest of the book, once I finish with the recipes, I will dig into the beginning chapters: Tips, Techniques, Tools, Ingredients, and helpful charts that I keep around at all times. Ya know, one pint equals 2 cups sort of thing.
I’ve kept continual notes on these chapters as I’ve been writing the recipes; so hopefully, it will just be a matter of forming my quick notes into sweet little blurbs!
The first four chapters of my book have been edited already and the remaining portions will be sent to my editor as soon as I am done. I am not sure I mentioned this but Ben’s Aunt is an editor for a living and so graciously offered to edit my book for free. Ben’s Mom is helping to edit too! I feel extremely lucky to be surrounded by such amazing, smart, kind, and talented women.
Lastly, the photo shoot has been rescheduled for July. So for now, I am putting this part on the back burner until mid-June... Or so I say…
My brain is constantly coming up with and writing down new and other ideas for what could make the photo shoot run more smoothly, what props would make the shoot like no other, or what styling techniques should be used for each item. It is a constant work in progress.
2. Flour Blends. This has been a roller coaster the past few months.
You know, I went back and looked at some of my earlier posts and I had to laugh that I was looking up shipping options such as Amazon. HA! I was getting way ahead of myself!! I guess it is always good to be able to laugh at yourself right?!
There is so much more work to be done before I even think of those steps!
Sometimes I totally forget that you have to crawl before you walk… Anyone with me?!
Great news though, starting in the end of June I will be processing my own flour blends! I have secured a commercial kitchen, which is no longer in use. The only catch is that it once had gluten in it. Luckily, this was only for a very, very short period of time (less than 6 months). So it isn’t like gluten has had much time to pile up. However, us Celiac know that it doesn’t take much.
That being said, I’ve spent HOURS beyond hours researching how to wash away, clean, and dissolve the leftover gluten.
Here is what I’ve come up with:
- Gluten is made up of two proteins: gliadid and glutenin.
- Soap and hot water is a good start to wash away any leftover wheat starches on NON-porous surfaces.
- Rubbing alcohol that makes up at least 75% of its cleaning solution will dissolve both gluten proteins, making it easier to clean up.
- Bleach based cleaners will not break down the proteins but can help clean them up once broken down.
I’ve also realized that the only piece of large equipment I need to use is the commercial mixer. Everything else I need, bowls to weigh flours in, a few hand whisks, scoops, spatulas, and of course a large mixing bowl and whisk attachment for the mixer, can all be easily bought new.
Regardless of only needing one piece of equipment, I’ve decided to clean the ENTIRE KITCHEN, every single fucking nook and cranny, as if radioactive waste had exploded everywhere!! Because let’s be real, gluten is just as bad as radioactive waste to us Celiacs!
When I am done with this kitchen, it will be brand spanking new!!
And you can trust me, I am the queen of clean. Seriously though, I am certain there are many times that my employees wanted to kill me!!!
So my plan of action:
- Wipe down the entire kitchen with hot, soapy water. This means every single shelf, the outside of all containers and all pieces of equipment, the inside of the fridges and freezer, the floors, the walls, … EVERYTHING. Nothing will remain untouched.
- Create a cleaning spray that is 75% rubbing alcohol and wipe down every single surface yet again. For porous surfaces, I’ve got solid brushes to dissolve the gluten that might be hiding away in any unseeable cracks.
- Use bleach based cleaner and wipe up all the gluten that was dissolved by the rubbing alcohol cleaner. Again, no surface in the kitchen will go untouched.
- Wipe everything down one last time with hot, soapy water.
- Repeat whole process for good measure.
I think this will do the trick. It might even be going a bit overboard… Just how I like it :)
Now I just need to get my food-processing permit!! More on that later…
3. As I am trying to finish up the book and get my flour blends going, I am also packing up and heading off on a great adventure with my one and only Mom!!
Our itinerary: Iceland – Oslo, Norway – The Arctic.
I know what you’re thinking…because I’m thinking it too…WHAT?!
I am beyond thrilled and so incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
We were sent a three page packing list from National Geographic whom we will be traveling into the Arctic with. After following that to a tee, I added the remaining necessities for the trip of a lifetime!
- Ultima Electrolytes to stay hydrated.
- Emergen-C to keep my immune system up.
- A slew of essential oils: Peppermint Oil for headaches and tummy aches, Grapefruit Oil to support my metabolism and to use as an energy pick-me-up, and Lavender Oil to help me sleep. These are just 3 of 7 oils I brought along! I love my oils!!
- Our travel size cribbage board for entertainment on the go.
- A mini first aid kit - basically one of everything.
- Still deciding which books to bring...
- And Barkley packed me a tennis ball… to roll out any knots I might have going on and to remind me of him :)
I haven’t decided yet if I will be posting from Iceland and Norway or just simply enjoying the ride and blabbing all when I get back?!
Either way, I promise to share all, take AMAZING photos (to the best of my ability – hoping to learn a little something, something from my mom), and eat all the new GF foods I can find!!
Lick the Bowl – You Only Live Once,