Gluten-free-Dairy-free-Sugar-free Biscuits: Lemon-Black Pepper-Ginger Biscuits

May 30, 2015

When I found out that one of this weekend’s guests could not have dairy, gluten or sugar, I thought, “Yikes.  Wonder if there’s any kind of a biscuit that I can figure out to try?”  So I used my normal baking powder biscuit recipe as a base and substituted and added until I thought it might work.  I had found a flour blend at the health food store downtown called “Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend” that said on the bag that you could simply use it cup for cup.  So that’s what I used.  I was experimenting, so I only used 1 cup – (it is very expensive and I’ve tried other things only to have them fail, so I didn’t want to waste more than a cup this time around).  And by golly, Miss Molly, it WORKED.  I had made 4 regular sized biscuits, along with a very tiny one for me to taste, and they had just come out of the oven as our guests walked back through our front door after their evening activities.  I was pumped about my little culinary adventure because I’d just sampled the small one, finding that it was pretty darned amazing, so I told the mom (the guest with the special dietary needs) about how I’d been playing in the kitchen and what had happened – that I’d made her some biscuits.  She stared at me with wide eyes and said, “Biscuits?  Real biscuits?  Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a biscuit?”  I asked her if she wanted to try one.  “Could I?” she asked.  So she followed me into the kitchen, stood right by the stove and bit into the warm biscuit.  Her eyes got wide again and she said, “This is delicious.”  I asked her if she wanted another one.  “Could I?” she said again.  “Of course,” I told her.  So she ate the second one, told me about how she’d eaten what she could at the event earlier in the evening, but that she’d been limited.  She then gave me a big ‘ole hug and went upstairs, with her tummy full, ready to drop into the bed.  Gosh, this is an awfully fun job.

The Biscuits

1 cup Pamela’s Artisan  Flour Blend (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly grated ginger root

Bit of nutmeg

Freshly grated lemon zest plus 1 T juice

1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 ripe banana

1/4 cup + 2 T coconut milk

Mix all ingredients together except the milk.  Cut in coconut oil.  Add milk.  Shape into biscuits.  Grind some sea salt onto the tops of the biscuits.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Trash Transformed

May 14, 2015

Rufus, the rooster, now lives next door.  He came yesterday to Mt. Vernon Avenue.  And he was trash – until he was transformed by a local sculptor in Galena.  I’ve only just met him, but he’s really quite marvelous.  (And just for the record, he’s not even actually the subject of this post; the timing of his placement in our neighbor’s back yard just happened to coincide with the placement of this blog entry on our website. )

Rufus, originally a big oil drum (I think) now stands on his own heavy metal feet with his bright white and royal blue body angled exactly right so you can catch the look in his 8 foot high eye and wonder just a bit at his parted mustard-yellow beak.  But not for long, since he’s not ominous at all, in spite of his great height; just fun.  Their yard, beautiful with its many plantings and outdoor seating area, is now overseen by their Changed Chicken (although it’s not really a chicken, as Mary Jane pointed out, it’s a real-live-looking rooster.)  I love it.  And you will, too, if you come to Simply Bed & Bread.

The “transformed trash” that I originally intended to write about is Philadelphia trash, not our local variety.

We were in the city yesterday, visiting our children and picking up our grandson from school, and we had the unexpected privilege of having some extra time with Em, our older daughter, who wasn’t feeling well enough to go to work.  (We kept our distance, and exchanged “air hugs,” but were able to enjoy her company from across the room on the couch.  We expected our extra treat of being with Erin, since she had planned in advance to treat us for coffee, but the time spent with Emily was more serendipitous.  So our day was full, as parents so much enjoy with their grown children.)

As we were sitting in Erin’s living room with Emily, she told us a story about trash.  (And I do love her stories.)  Our almost-7-year-old grandson has a keen sense of justice roiling around in his young mind, which his parents are always trying to (ahem) straighten out a bit, and this story highlighted this ongoing effort.

They live in a Center City neighborhood next to a bus stop.  And Emily and her husband are glad that their outside steps going up to their front door provide a place for weary people to rest.  In inclement weather the small canopy over their front door offers a small bit of protection that makes their wait a little better, too.  Emily, like my own friendly father, greets them all and gives them a wonderful welcome.  It’s a good, safe spot in which to be.  And some might say it’s a small thing, but I call it big.  Well, Adrian, our grandson, cannot understand why sometimes some of these guests on their steps leave coffee cups and other trash behind.  Or why they also use their window well as a trash receptacle.  “It’s not right!” he insists.  And he’s correct.  It’s not.  But his gentle-hearted mom is teaching him that the trash isn’t the point.  That being “right” isn’t the point.  But that being kind is.  And that giving a welcome is.  So she and her husband try to explain. And Adrian doesn’t get it.  Not yet.  But every day he sees his mom pick up the trash – she says it takes just a couple of minutes out of her day – so that one day it’ll pay off.  He’ll get it.  And he’ll see that it never was about the trash.  He’ll hopefully be transformed in that way-down-deep-inside-place that understands, and starts to pick up trash, too.  At least, that’s the plan.  I cried, listening to her story.  Guess you could say that I was a tiny bit transformed, too.

Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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