Gluten Free

I am so thankful that I don’t have any food allergies or sensitivities. I have had my fair share of health issues, but none of them have ever been around food – which is great, because I do love food. What’s more, I love gluten. I have the greatest pity for one of my closest friends, a coeliac, who has been craving a Vegemite sandwich for the last ten years. So, obviously, I have little to no experience in creating GF food of any kind. A recent attempt to make gluten free pancakes was one one of the ugliest delights our kitchen has ever encountered – as is attested by today’s featured image. Gross, right? … wrong. This little baby, with a splash of maple syrup, actually made a very tasty brunch, and the circumtances surrounding its creation only added to the charm.

A friend, J, had reached crisis point, and we had offered her a bed so she could get some respite from her daily cares. J, being the sweetheart that she is, arrived the previous evening prepared to cook up a storm. Along with her small son and all his accoutrements, she bore several bags of groceries and proceeded to make a most delicious, very attractive, and totally gluten free dinner. The following morning J wanted to make pancakes for breakfast – and nobody was complaining. Now, when there are children in a household, things take longer. This is just a fact of life. The creation of these pancakes turned to be quite a long process indeed. But it was totally worth it.
I was up with our 4 year old at the usual time of around 7am. My hubby had a recording & filming session that day, so he was up and about too. J’s son is not yet 1 so, needless to say, he and his mama rose bright and early. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend, who share our home, were soundly sleeping. Well, considering the activity around them, their sleep-in may not have been too sound, but that’s beside the point. We decided to get the kids breakfast before embarking on the great GF pancake adventure. Pretty soon there was yoghurt and squished fruit all over (and I mean ALL over!) the kitchen – meal time is play time when there’s yoghurt involved, after all. While hubby set up the garage and yard in preparation for the day’s productivities, the kiddies swamped around in their breakfast, J started mixing batter, and I made (and spilled) coffees and teas. We cut a classy figure, J and I – dressing gown clad, baby’s brekkie kisses smeared on faces and shoulders, hair stylishly mussed – gorgeous!
We were expecting visitors, I should add – the other half of hubby’s newly-formed music duo, and the friend who was going to film them recording a song for their upcoming fundraising campaign. I had planned to be all organised – a wonder woman and super mum – but then I realised it was Saturday morning and I should just give myself a freaking break. So I lowered my expectations of myself, accepted the fact that the house was going to be a mess, and chose to revel in each moment as it came.
There was a knock at the door, it was the lovely lady L – the duo’s second member – whom I had never met before. She must have been quite shocked to be greeted by me in my morning glamour – weilding a coffee pot, wild-eyed and hair askew, but she was very polite about the whole affair. With my small daughter clinging to my dressing gown reins, I led L through the house – deftly sidestepping childrens toys and yoghurt puddles as we went. In the yard, hubby had created a lovely nook for their clip, and I left them to finish setting up. Inside, our darling friend had been distracted from pancake duty by two adorable and sticky children, the elder of whom had added a generous helping of sand to the steadily growing mess in the kitchen. On the bench was a large mixing bowl of greyish goop that, I realised to my internal dismay, was the pancake mix. On a plate nearby was a clump of the goop – a partly charred, partly mushy, wholly disgusting looking blob. In the frypan was another, which looked headed for the same fate. As J valiantly attempted to mop yoghurt off the walls, floor and offspring, I took over her post at the stove and began battling buckwheat. After several attempts and using a variety of different methods, J and I managed to prevail, and produced a stack of delicious, if degenerate looking, GF pancakes.
By this time it was after 11am. Our videographer friend was running conveniently late, so we set up brunch outside – pancakes with maple syrup, fruit salad, yoghurt and enough coffee to make the morning’s crazy fade into oblivion. It was lovely. We got to know L a bit better, we finally gifted J with her birthday present (it had been sitting in a cupboard for a couple of months), and the rare Melbourne sun actually shone on us for a few moments.
As we sat, chatting and laughing in the sunshine, with the chooks pecking around, J painting my daughter’s toenails, and the sudden warmth making the grass steam, I felt enormously glad. Glad for good friends and good food. Glad for our home and health. Glad for the opportunity to make the choices that led me to that moment.
And so, so glad that I can eat regular pancakes any time I damn well please.

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