Friday, April 30, 2010
A month ago we saw the opthamologist. Apparently looking at the optic nerve can sometimes give indications of causes of developmental delays. When the doc examined Doodlebug I was told that his optic nerve looked good and his vision was fine too.
We also started working with Child Developmental Services (CDS) to have his speech, language, cognitive functioning, fine motor and gross motor development assessed. He was evaluated when he was 14 months old but was generally functioning at the level of a 9-12 month old child at that point. As a part of the assessment I received a written report. It contains their findings as well as notes on the findings of relevant medical professionals. One of the medical professionals that was referenced was our opthamologist.
So, I was in the kitchen reading my way through the assessment and making Doodlebug's breakfast. Perfectly ordinary Tuesday morning. And without warning it changed into one of the moments in my life I will never forget. When I got to the part from the opthamologist's and read "Dr. Blinkity-Bloop suspects anoxic brain damage."
The world pretty much fell out from under me. No one has ever suggested to us that Doodlebug's problems could be from brain damage. No one has even mentioned those words to us. In fact, most people are thinking he's just a late bloomer. Maybe need a little help to get caught back up.
After I managed to get myself back together and feed my boy, I called the opthamologist's office. I explained that I had received this report and wanted to verify the doctor did believe that he had brain damage and find out why no one had mentioned this to me. That was at 9:00 AM.
While I sat at home listening for the phone to ring I cried. Hugged my baby. Wondered what this meant for his life. Can he still go to college? Have a family? Will he struggle through school? Be teased? How will this affect our family? And then the mommy guilt set in. Is this my fault? When I was in labor and pushing his heart rate kept dropping into the 40's. Should I have done something different? I didn't want a c-section and the doctors thought I was refusing the surgery when I said that. Were my baby's brain cells dying while that was going on? Could I have prevented this?
The doctor's office didn't call back that day. I had a lot of time to think about it.
The next morning at 9:15 a nurse called me back. First she told me she didn't call me yesterday because the doctor had Doodlebug's file and just gave it back to her. Then she told me they didn't know what report I got the information from and that she couldn't give me any information anyway because the doctor's notes had not been transcribed.
As patiently as I could, I explained about the evaluation. I told her I had signed a release for the doctor to send the information to CDS because they wanted to verify his vision was okay. I had gotten the summary from CDS and it stated the opthamologist suspected anoxic brain damage and I wanted to know if that was correct.
Again she repeated that she couldn't tell me anything since the notes weren't transcribed yet but they would be done soon and sent to Doodlebug's neurologist. The notes were not done yet (a month after the appointment) because first the doctor was on vacation and then the transcriptionist. How nice for them, but you see, I really don't care. I am a little more concerned with the words brain damage right now.
When I asked how I could get a copy of these notes she seemed very surprised but said she could mail them to me. They should be in the mail by the end of next week.
And then she tried to get off the phone. Umm, no. We're not done yet.
I asked how CDS got that information if the notes were not done yet. She had no answer for me.
I thought, perhaps she doesn't understand why I am so upset about this. Maybe she thinks someone has already mentioned that he might have brain damage. So I explained that Doodlebug is developmentally delayed. We are trying to figure out why, but this is the first time we have heard the words brain damaged and we are freaking out. Could she please do anything to expedite these notes or get me any additional information under the circumstances?
She told me that "those words are in the report" (anoxic brain damage) and the the notes would be done by Monday and mailed to me. I don't know how that's expediting anything since Monday was her original day. I decided just to get off the phone with her (since I believe her name was The Unhelpful Nurse Who Blames Everyone Else).
I called my husband and asked him to call the doctor's office. If they get enough calls maybe they'll get our report done sooner just to make us stop calling.
He got a nice nurse on the phone who apologized to him (imagine that!) and told him that those words were part of a billing code, not a diagnosis.
Now I'm even more confused. Technically the first nurse didn't say that anoxic brain damage was an actual diagnosis or suspicion, but she sure didn't mention this. And if she knew that and didn't mention it I think I will change her name to Cold-hearted Mean Nurse. (Okay, okay, maybe the name I called her was a bit more colorful, but I was having a really bad day.)
This post is getting really long. Anybody need an intermission? Seriously, feel free. I'll still be here when you get back.... Ready? Okay, here we go.
I called our case manager's supervisor at CDS and explained the situation. (I wasn't going over our case manager's head, she is off getting married and not in the office right now.) She looked at the notes from the doctor's office and confirmed she had them and that matched what was on the report. She suggested I try to contact our pediatrician or our neurologist to get some more information. Maybe a doctor can get the process moving along.
Now I love our pediatrician. Love him! He is great with Doodlebug, tells me like it is and answers my mile long list of questions when we go in without making impatient noises or faces. I love him. So I called and left a message for his nurse to call me back.
Within two and a half hours he was on the phone with me. He told me that he had no idea how an opthamologist could make that diagnosis. Anoxic means that no oxygen got to the brain which resulted in cell death and brain damage. And since there is no known event where Doodlebug got no oxygen for a period of time no one could make this diagnosis on him in his opinion. Then he told me he called a neonatologist and reviewed Doodlebug's birth history with him. (See, I told you. This is why I love this man!) The neonatologist said that a heart rate dropping into the 40's a couple of times could not have caused this. If it had gone on for several hours or days, maybe. But not 2-3 pushes over 20 minutes. And Doodlebug came out breathing just fine with Apgar's of 8 and 9. He said that when the opthamologist's report comes in next week we will review it together and until then I should try not to worry about it, because there's really nothing he can see to worry about.
Whew! I feel so much better. Dr. E shoots straight with me and if I needed to worry he would tell me flat out.
And then the opthamologist office got it together and got the notes transcribed. They called my husband and read him the report. Here's the gist.
Optic nerve is fine.
Vision is within normal limits.
Follow up at age 3.
So where did the anoxic brain damage come in? A billing code. Yep, all that over a freaking billing code. Apparently that is how they will code it for insurance (as a visit to rule out anoxic brain damage).
I am so relieved I don't know what to do with myself. Doodlebug's still delayed, we have lots of work ahead of us We still don't know why he's behind, but at least no one is saying the scary phrase anoxic brain damage any more.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I love garage sales. There is an amazing variety of stuff, some great deals to be had and some very funny stories. This is one of those stories.... I stopped at a garage sale because I caught a glimpse of a large stuffed Elmo. Doodlebug is a huge fan of Elmo and so I always stop to look at the Elmo stuff for him. I walked up and picked up Elmo to look at the price. Suddenly I hear a little voice.
"Are you lookin' at my Elmo?" I looked up to see a four-year-old little girl, obviously the current owner of Elmo. I laughed a little and told her I was. I moved on to look at some DVD's and noticed there was one about potty training featuring Elmo. As I pick up the DVD I hear her again, "Do you know how to potty train someone?"
Okay, this is just too good to pass up. I love these types of conversations with kids. So I tell her "No, but I'm hoping that if I buy this video I'll learn how. What do you think?"
Crossed her little arms, narrowed her little eyes and skeptically said, "I don't know...."
So I asked her, "Are you potty trained?" Indignenetly she replied "Yes!"
"Do you know how to potty train someone?" She nodded enthusiastically. With really big eyes I asked her "Do you think you could potty train my little boy for me?" Nodding her head she told me "Oh, yes!"
"How much do you charge?" I asked her. After a few seconds she cocks her little head and says, "Ummmmm, a hundred?" Ever the bargain shopper I clarify "Pennies?" That got a quick response of "No! Dollars!"
I told her I could not afford $100 and asked if she could come down on the price a little for me. She said, "Okay, how about one dollar?" "You're hired!" I told her.
And that, my friends, is how you hire a potty trainer for the grand sum of one dollar at a garage sale.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
First of all let me start off with some background. I had no intentions of home schooling my children, I had never heard of it before.
My oldest son had some problems in kindergarten, They called me to the school everyday. I lived at the school. They went ahead and moved him
to first grade although he had learned nothing. Three months into 2nd grade They "Did not have the ability to teach him and he
was unteachable". They said there were special schools for him.
He did not want to leave me. He wanted to stay home with me. He begged to stay home with me. A friend mentioned home schooling
I said what schooling?? We had just got our first computer and I went on and spent hours upon hours at night ( Dial up hahaha) looking up home schooling.
I read alot about learning styles. I started out like most do I think I bought curriculum, NOT CHEAP, That first year I spent about $300, Which he would
have nothing to do with. I spent that year studying him learning what his style was like. I found that he definetly he was not a bookworm
he was hands on. He actually learned and retained very quickly hands on and when stuff was tailored to what interested him.
I learned that he was very technical. So I bought from used stores lots of magazines and books with pictures that had a technical
base. Everytime he showed interest in something we would go to a museum or some type of outing that would reinforce
that lesson. He is just about 18 now and is the town go to for computer fixing, He can fix any computer for minimal cost.
He has learned where to go on the internet to get the best prices on computer parts. He has been given about 10 computers so far
to junk, fixed them up and sold them. This is how he has made his money for the last 2 years. He also in the last year has become
a solar panel and wind turbine actually anything turbine junkie. His entire room runs off of solar energy he built. I have to admit I am not always
crazy about all the moving parts he has in his room, But this is how he learns. I was not happy or secure about the fact
that other than basic addition and subtraction multiplication and division he never looked at a math book. That alone scared the heck out of me.
The one thing I learned with him is that if he wanted to do something I made him find out how to do it and where to go to learn how to do it.
This is how he learned math and reading. If he can learn about all the math involved in solar panels and wind turbines and
wattage and volt meter reading, I am not worried that if he needs to learn something he will find how.
My oldest daughter who is 19, decided to come home in the 5th grade. Within 2 months of of starting 5th grade she finished the math book for that grade.
Her teacher could not move her ahead because of No child left behind and was just going to have her help out in the classroom during math time.
This drove her crazy. I let her come home. She already at that age was reading High School level and reading like mad. Her passion was reading and writing.
I let her go with this. In what would have been her 8th grade I told her she could go on her own completely with me helping as she needed and checking to see what
she was doing. She did choose a more traditional home schooling with a curriculum program. She chose the Alpha Omega Lifepac for her highschool years. Finished them
all by what would have been the middle of her 10th grade and then spent the rest of the High School years pursuing things that interested her. She went to work for the Public
Library this January beating out 91 other more mature applicants. She loves her job, Her career as she calls it. They have been so impressed with her learning ability that
they have given her the job of the payroll while the lady is on vacation, They have given her job of doing the radio show to promote the Library and she is in the running
for the Assistant to the Director postition coming up in Decemeber. She never cared about money just being happy in what she does, But I can brag at the fact that she is
19 years old and makes more then the median income here in southeast Kansas.
I plan to home school all 6 and #7 on the way this same general way. Tailored to their learning abilities and styles.
I would like to add a few things , Our home school consists of Chores, Every child boy or girl must learn how to do everything for themselves.
My girls and boys even the 5 year olds can make a batch of homemade laundry soap, My older ones do their own laundry and can cook complete meals for the family.
The twins have just started cooking and love it, Their favorite is made from scratch waffles and homemade syurp. All children will or know how to clean the bathroom
to my standards. There are rules probably more then they would like!!! I am more lax on some things, I don't believe in censorship, They are free to listen to music they like and watch T.V.
that they like. The rule is that if I catch you listening to say rap music that is explicit you must listen to my dissertation on what the song means, This usually ends up being more work
then they want to be able to listen to the song. I am open to all discussions on sex. And if I see you watching South Park or Family Guy which I loathe you have to be open and willing to me sitting
next to watching it and discussing what they are saying and teaching. This has worked for us. I have kids that bring news stories to me just to see if I have heard about them. I can have a spirited and educated
political debate with my older children that I can't get from most adults. My kids are not perfect far from it and either am I. But we are very close and If my husband and I were gone tomorrow I have
no doubt that my children have the skills to take care of each other and prosper and be happy.
I am Michelle mom to Kriztina 19 my go getter grab life by the horns girl, Chriztopher 17 don't even say I can't do it cause I will, Lyndzie 14 my wild child and test all limits, Jacob 5 my question everything child,
Joshua 5 my quiet but absorb every detail, and Matthew 2 my little bit of everything child. I am the mom who had to quit school in 11th grade get my GED to work to take care of myself and stayed up
all night to learn what I needed to teach my kids all the things I was never taught. I crave knowledge and passed that down to my children.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
1. You have to tell the nurses in the hospital that you are not sure if you actually went to the bathroom or just dreamed it.
2. You cannot remember the word shower so instead you refer to it as "the box you stand in and the water comes down on your head and you get clean."
3. While pumping you realize that your left knee is starting to feel wet and discover you did not attach any bottles to the breast pump.
4. When your in-laws are lamenting a news story in which a mother has killed her 2 month old baby you actually understand how she could snap like that, and then forget to keep that thought to yourself.
5. You yell at the trash can when the lid refuses to latch and it is full of stinky diapers. And then you try to put it in time out.
6. Someone asks you your name and you really have to stop and think about it for a moment. Or maybe two.
7. Someone asks you your phone number and the only answer you can come up with is "I have no idea."
8. When you have a crying fit at 2:00 AM because you are up and down nursing a cranky baby and your c-section incision hurts and no man that had an appendectomy would be doing all this and you just had a big old BABY!
9. You can't think of a coherent way to end this post so you add one more bullet point and then hit publish post so you can go eat dinner.
Not that I have done any of these mind you. Oh no, not me.
Monday, April 19, 2010
***********I don't know a lot about unschooling. I have watched a sum total of 2 TV shows that have included this as a topic. Obviously, my knowledge is pretty limited.***********
But, this morning on GMA, they did a segment on unschooling. I have to say that it bothered me.
Now, the idea of unschooling appeals to me quite a bit in theory. In theory. Letting children pursue their own interests, learning through life experiences rather than from a textbook, the world is a classroom.... I love all that.
The unschooling parents made several statements that bothered me. "If they need formal algebra understanding, then they will find that information." Really? This makes it sound like knowlege of algebra is something that you might find under a rock. If you pick it up and put it in your pocket, presto! You will know algebra.
Parenting with few or no rules is another part of the philosophy of unschooling.
One mom said, "There is no heirarchy in our house. So there is no punishment, no judgement, no discipline." What?!?!?! I have a really hard time with that statement. I don't understand how this attitude in parenting prepares a child for life outside of their home. When your child gets old enough to have a job an employer will judge their work and punish tardiness on the job. Will this child be prepared to deal with this? I want my child to learn to fail while he is at home. I don't want to send him out into the world when he has not experienced or dealt with failure and have to try to navigate this as an adult on his own. I want him to learn about this while I am here to help him and in a place where it is okay to fail and try again. And I want him to learn when the stakes are low. If he fails to handle money wisely when he is 5, he will still have a place to live, food to eat and clothes to wear. At 25 or 35 he might not be so lucky.
This philosophy of parenting and schooling places an awful lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the child. They make all their own decisions, when to sleep, how to spend their time, what clothing to wear, what to learn about.... Why is the child being burdened with all of this? Why are the parents so unwilling to step up and say that the children are not in charge and they don't need to be?
One final quote from the dad on this segment. "They will do what they need to do, whether or not they enjoy it, because they see the purpose in it." Seriously? I'm quite a long way past childhood and I still struggle with this.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Here are a couple of the highlights of our trip.
Diapers-both Huggies and Pampers Jumbo packs are on sale for $5.99
I had 3 coupons for $2 off Pampers
I had 2 coupons for $3 off Huggies
So I bought 5 packs of diapers for $18.
Chicken was buy 1, get 2 free!
Apple juice was $.97/each-limit 2
I also had an electronic coupon for $20 off any purchase.
And a coupon for $10 off any purchase of $50 (from a local competitor, which my grocery store honored).
And (surprise!) a $10 diaper rewards credit. My husband saw this come off the total and sent me running back down the aisle to get some more fruit so we could keep our total high enough to use the $10 off a $50 purchase. (The total after all discounts must be at least $50 in order to be able to use the coupon.)
At the end of our trip we spent $42.12 and saved $136.23. That's a 76% savings. A total grocery store score today.
Friday, April 16, 2010
I never even considered making my own baby food until I saw it on my blog-friend Heather’s website. But after reading her post, I decided to give it a try. We started very slowly. At first I pureed up bananas. Then I gave him applesauce. Then I bought peaches and pears in cans and pureed them. He loved it all. He still does.
At first making baby food seemed to be really complicated. Going to the store, buying the best organic produce, coming home to wash, chop, cook and puree and then (6 hours later) having food that your baby will no doubt hate. Not for me.
So instead I bought a baby food grinder at a garage sale for $1. It works best for foods that are already soft, such as bananas. I’d run them through it and feed them to Doodlebug.
As he tried more foods I branched out into new ways of preparing them. I bought cans of peaches and pears and threw them in my mini blender. When you are buying canned foods just be sure to check the labels. I use foods with no added salt and try to avoid those with added sugar or corn syrups. For apricots the only way I can find them is in heavy syrup so I drain and rinse them and then throw them in the blender.
Sometimes I will steam other veggies from fresh or frozen before pureeing them. We like crookneck squash, zucchini, and carrots. I also buy frozen fruits or veggies (strawberries, blueberries, crookneck squash, carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli) and puree those. I do have to cook the veggies first. I also bake sweet potato, acorn squash and butternut squash. Once they are baked I take them out of their skins, mash and feed them to the Doodlebug.
When I first started making baby food I found this website to be really valuable. I found listings of when to feed what foods, how to make rice cereal, baby menus and other recipe ideas. They also have a lot of information on allergens in case there is a food (or foods) that you would like your child to avoid.
Storing baby food is no longer a big issue for us. Doodlebug can easily eat a can of pureed fruit and ½ a banana at a sitting. Yesterday I pureed up 7 cans of food. I expect that it will all be gone by tomorrow. Plus some applesauce. Plus some rice cereal. Plus a couple of bananas. You get the idea.
When we first started I would portion the pureed fruits and veggies into ice cube trays and freeze them. You don’t need anything fancy; I started with trays I bought for a dollar at Walmart. As soon as they were frozen I moved them into zip top bags and then just defrosted them as needed.
Making baby food does not need to be complicated or time consuming. You don’t even have to make all of your child’s food. We do occasionally buy actual baby food and Doodlebug happily eats whatever we serve him. But it is a big cost cutter from our budget to make as much of it as we can.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Make sure you check for gluten in medications. I have been told numerous times (from health care professionals who should know better) that there is no gluten in medications. This is not true. Gluten containing products are sometimes used as a filler. You can check this site http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com for some name brand medicines but your pharmacist will need to call for most generics. They may have to leave a message and these calls are only answered M-F during business hours. You can ask your pharmacy to flag your account that they need to verify all meds are gluten free.
A word of caution on the medications, unless you know your pharmacist well, always ask if they have verified the medication is gluten free from the manufacturer. Even though my account is flagged at my pharmacy a substitute pharmacist did not bother to do this for me. When I asked he did call the manufacturer and left a message for them to call him back. They didn’t. I had to call my regular pharmacist the next day to have him do it. It took me over 24 hours to get antibiotics for strep throat. Not fun.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I was thinking about how we will prepare Doodlebug to take on these decisions at the age of 17. After all, the decisions involve more than just the morality of pre-marital sex. If our son chooses to have sex and that age and accidentally fathers a child he could be raising a child when he is 17. And then the thought hit me, most boys are already dealing with issues of sex by 14. I remember standing in front of our refrigerator and realizing that some kids are having sex at the age of 12. Not only do we have to share our values with him before then, we have to make sure he knows his own. What does he think of pre-marital sex? If he chooses abstinance how will he make sure he can follow through on that decision? What will he do when he's tempted? Where does he draw the line? And if he chooses to have sex, what will he do about birth control? Where will he get it? What will he do if he accidentally fathers a child? How will he support this child?
Typing all of this out, makes me queasy. How in the world can a hormonal teenager be expected to be able to do all of this? How are we going to teach him how to do all of this in the next 11 years? It takes a lot of strength to abstain from sex until after marriage, where will he get that strength from?
The reality of life today is that we are still working on the word "no". Mostly, I say it and Doodlebug laughs. It's not working so well yet.
But I am also a very practical mom. When Doodlebug decides to climb the stairs (which occurs roughly every 2 1/2 minutes) I let him. I stand behind him and let him fall down the stairs. My job is to let him go while protecting him from serious injury. Bumps and bruises are okay, but a concussion is not. Seriously, I am working with someone who has almost no life experience. He does not know falling down the stairs hurts. If I catch him every time, he never will. And if I wait he will be better at climbing the stairs and fall from a higher height.
Wait, what does falling down the stairs have to do with having sex as a teenager?
It's about learning your actions have consequences. If you aren't careful on the stairs you will get hurt. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Mommy won't always be there to catch you.
It hate watching him fall, but I am determined to teach him these life lessons. It will hurt less to learn them now. The stakes are only going to go up as he gets older.
So Doodlebug's dad and I are trying to figure out how we want to parent our child. How do you consequence a one-year-old who is deliberately throwing food on the floor (and the walls, and the table, and the cat...)? How do we help him to understand that when we say no, the appropriate response is not hysterical giggling? How far do we let him fall before we step in to soften the blow for him? I honestly don't know.
This is what we know in our parenting strategies.
1. We set him up for success. That means we don't take a hungry, exhausted child to the grocery store and expect perfect behavior. We work within his limits and keep our expectations of him achievable. Well, that's the goal anyways.
2. We believe in having him deal with the consequences of his actions. Throwing your paci means you don't get it back. Well, not for all of eternity. After all, he is only a year old. We are still working it out.
3. This parenting stuff is much, much harder than it looks.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I love a good party, who doesn't? But the logisitics of trying to party with a one year old can be rather difficult. But a blog party? Oooh, I can do that if the little guy naps, or in my pj's or when I just have a couple of minutes where I am trying to find excuses not to clean my house right now.
I blog about the things I'm passionate about. My son (Doodlebug) is mentioned quite often. He's just so stinkin' cute!
I also blog about gluten free recipes, living frugally, and the running of my household. I'm a relative newbie at this mom thing and as I accomplish small victories I share them here. This is by far the hardest job I've ever had and I just hope that a few of the things I've learned I can pass along to other families.
I don't blog because I'm perfect, in fact I can't even see perfect from where I am most days. I blog to share what I've learned, to show off my successes and even a couple of my failures.
And I'm really curious, if you are coming for the blog party why did you pick my blog to visit? I think I entered somewhere in the 1000's so I doubt you are visiting every blog listed. I am just wondering what caught your attention?
Editing to add the list of prizes I would like, if I get so lucky as to win.
My top 3 are:
The Toshiba laptop grand prize! Who wouldn't want that???
Or, the stay at the Hilton for 2 nights (US 39)
Or, a baby carrier (US 51)
And since I'm not all that fussy, here's a long list of other gifts I would love to have...INTL2, INTL3, INTL5, INTL8, INTL10, INTL11, INTL13, INTL14, INTL15, INTL16US7, US15, US18, US 31, US32, US37, US39, US31,US32,US37, US 39, US51, US53, US73, US83, US84, US87, US88, US100, US107, US112, US113, US 114, USC3, USC4, USC8, USC15, USC32, USC35, USC37, USC39.
Somebody's gotta win 'em!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Let me just say that baking gluten free is much, much different than baking with gluten. The biggest shocker for me was the vast difference in the consistency of the dough for bread and pizza crust. With gluten you can roll the dough up into a ball. Gluten free dough is more like a thick brownie batter. My first rounds of gluten free baking involved many skeptical looks, deep breaths and cooking the stuff anyway. Usually it came out fine. Gluten free baking is also a lot more finicky than what you are probably used to. It’s really tempting to make substitutions in recipes and make things your own way, but I would recommend that you find a recipe that looks good and follow it. Once it comes out the way you want it to, then start to tweak it. By tweaking one thing at a time you will most likely avoid the scenario below. I pulled this from the comments section of a recipe I found posted on line.
After 60 minutes, the centre of the cake in a Bundt pan is mushy and I don't think it will improve. Nope: an hour later - bound for the garbage can Time and money spent, all for nothing. I made a couple of substitutes - 2C almond flour + 1C Red Mill 'all-purpose' gluten free flour vs. the suggested flour mixture; 2 Tsp vanilla, 2 Tsp almond flavoring, neither of which was gluten free; added 3/4 Tsp guar gum and 1/2 Tsp baking soda and 2 Tsp baking powder.
Here are the most likely culprits in her cake disaster. The substitution of flours. There are a lot of gluten free flours out there but many are not able to be swapped out cup for cup. If one of the flours is denser or holds more moisture it can drastically change the finished product. If you need to substitute flours do an internet search and see what flours will substitute well for the one you want to eliminate. Usually all purpose gluten free flours can be exchanged out cup for cup, with very little difference.
I’m not really sure why she added the guar gum, baking soda and extra baking powder. I am guessing that the guar gum was used as a substitution for the Xanthan gum in the all purpose flour recipe. Guar gum and xanthan gum are often used in gluten free baking. Gluten is what holds together traditional baked good and when it is removed from a recipe Guar or Xanthan gum are used to help bind the finished product. In this case, I would expect that it is already a part of the all purpose gluten free flour mix.
One other critical mistake was using vanilla and almond flavoring that were not gluten free. Even if the cake had turned out fine, the small amounts of gluten in the flavorings would have contaminated the rest of the cake.
The recipe being discussed above is the one I base my pound cake on.
And yes, I did make a couple of substitutions. I know, I know, I just told you not to do it. A classic case of do as I say, not as I do. I was fortunate and the recipe came out okay. Had it not come out okay I would not know what was to blame. Was it just a bad day? Did the flours change things? Was it the substitution of corn starch for an egg? Then I have to decide if I want to try that recipe again and see if I can figure out the problem, or just move on.
One final note about baking gluten free, it's really easy to get caught up in buying tons of different flours and baking mixes and that gets expensive quickly. I have tapioca flour, potato starch flour, corn starch, corn flour, white rice flour and brown rice flour. Those are some of the most affordable flours and I have founds I can make almost anything I need to with them. When I want to try a new gluten free recipe I hunt for one that uses only the flours I have in my cupboard. If I can't find a recipe using those, then I will buy a new type of flour. It helps.
Friday, April 9, 2010
4-6 slices of gluten free bread
1 T sugar
1 cup milk
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla
1 husband who is willing to make the gluten free french toast for you. (Although this is not essential, I sure like having him around.)
Whisk all ingredients except butter and bread in a shallow dish.
Place the bread in the egg mixture and let it soak about a minute.
Heat pan or griddle over medium or medium high heat.
Melt butter in the pan.
Add soaked bread to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on or until golden brown.
Flip the bread and continue to cook until golden brown on the other side.
We typically serve this with powdered sugar sprinkled on top and maple syrup. When we have it for dinner it is usually accompanied by ham, although we like bacon with it too.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I knew that hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, plain water, Lysol and Windex did not work. These are my go-to cleaners so I was a little sad. I found a couple posts that said I could use mineral oil, baby oil or flour. Well, since wheat flour would make me ill I decided to try the other ideas and a few of my own.
Here are the contestants in today's experiment.
2. Beaded oil on the fridge
3. Looked great, until touched
Can you guess which was which?
1. Streaky--The Pledge Multi Surface
2. Beaded oil on the fridge--Orange Glo
3. Looked great, until touched--baby oil
4. Success!!!! Pledge Furniture Polish
I was totally shocked. But my kitchen smells lemony fresh.