Ever since I can remember I have been addicted to food… And in recent years food programmes. I have lots of food heroes from all over the world and even though I will never be a chef, I love to re-create their recipes. As a child I have always enjoyed cooking and baking. Like many children I was the sous chef when it came to making the mince pies at Christmas. I had the very important job of putting in the mince meat, but was always careful to not overfill as I was instructed.
My first memories of baking were in my Grandma’s kitchen. I was stood on a dining room chair, with an apron around me and my job was to fill the jam tarts with fresh strawberry jam for afternoon tea. I remember my Grandma telling me how to make the pastry and with my cutter poised, she showed me how to roll out the sweet smelling pastry. I was put in charge of cutting out the pastry rounds and was to put the discs into the tin and then fill them with the bright red jam.
It was baking with my Grandma and my Mum and learning to cook with my Grandad that inspired me in later life to learn more about food. I have always loved the colours of food as well as how they taste when cooked or baked in different ways! I have a growing library, like many foodies, of cook books. I often like to sit on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea and read through them. I find inspiration from all over the world and often like to adjust recipes to suit my tastes, but also my dietary needs.
It’s been six years now since I was told that I had an allergy to wheat. Like for the hundreds of people who are diagnosed with food allergies every day, it’s a life changing event. But also a huge relief to know why you have not been so great! Adjusting to life without certain food groups is incredibly hard and often all the nice food you used to enjoy is no longer allowed in your life. So what do you do?
I went back to basics and it was a great opportunity for me as a home cook to experiment. For a little while in my life, I fell out of love with cooking and baking and found myself cooking plain boring food, but after watching some of my food heroes one afternoon, I felt inspired and saw my food allergy no longer as the enemy, but more an opportunity to experiment and fall in love again with cooking and baking. I spend most weekends now baking and finding better ways of making gluten free food tasty and fun.
So, if you thought that having an allergy to food meant game over on all the things you loved to eat, I aim to prove you wrong and get you inspired to cook and bake some of the nicest things you have eaten in a long time.