glutenfreegirl glutenfreegirl

5,805 posts   28,927 followers   1,055 followings

Shauna M. Ahern  welcome to our table #glutenfree #enough

I often think about saving up enough money to take our family on a year away from the US to see the world. (These days, that thought feels more present than ever.) I want my kids to know lives other than our own. I would love for us all to live in Latin America, in Africa, in Scandinavia. I treasure the time I have lived — or spent significant time — outside this country. My brain and heart are wider for those experiences.
.
That travel probably isn’t in our future for a long while. We are firmly rooted in our community right now. The kids are both in schools they love. We don’t have that money saved up yet. But someday. Someday I want to travel widely with my people.
.
That’s why I have been loving this book, A Year Off. Alexandra and David Brown met, fell in love, and began traveling the world only 4 months later. And @stiebywonder has celiac, which made that traveling trickier than it is for most. Not only did they survive that year together, but they got married and wrote a book. (And now they have an adorable baby.) I loved their tone in this book — equal sharing of voices, partly practical, mostly anecdotal. It’s a wonderful read, especially in these times.
.
However, it has made that travel bug almost irresistible now....
.
.
.
#whatimreading #celiactravel #agoodbook

This is part of my drive home from preschool drop-off.
.
Desmond loves his schools. And every day, a couple of minutes before drop-off, he starts to say he’s scared. It’s a big shift: new schools and teachers, new friends, new lessons, new adventures and routines. Oh this boy loves routines. And now, 3 weeks into the school year, it has become part of his routine to say he wants to go home and cling to my hand.
.
But when I pick him up, just before 3, he is laughing and swinging. Clearly thriving. His teachers say he’s doing splendidly. And he stops complaining as soon as I leave his sight.
.
So every day, I point out this view to him, just before we reach his school. And every morning, when I’m driving home, I know that by the time I reach this spot, he is laughing and investigating something new. I stop here for a few moments to feel the sun on my face, gaze at the line of blue water, and listen to the wild geese as they fly away together.


She leaps. She has been leaping since before she was born. Now her leaping is a bit more controlled, less incessant. But I hope she never stops leaping in the sunlight. ⠀
.⠀
Since she was two, people have been saying to us after performances, "Oh, you can tell Lucy loves being up on stage. I love watching her." ⠀
.⠀
And this year, she is doing 3 ballet classes a week and 2 afternoon sessions of musical theater. She is finally doing what we have known she would do all along. This girl. She loves to live in her body, to sing, to dance, to act out parts. She lives for stories and movement. ⠀
.⠀
Leap, my girl. Leap.

A year ago today, our friend Beryl gave us her box of much-loved recipes. She decided that since she can't cook much anymore, she would pass them onto us. I've been loving every recipe. And yesterday, since we were celebrating Beryl's 99th birthday at our Unitarian fellowship, I converted her apple cake. Oh goodness, this one is a keeper. And even though I made it gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free, that cake disappeared, leaving only crumbs. It's kind of dimply and dense, filled with fruit, not a fluffy birthday cake at all. People loved it, including Beryl. Happy birthday, friend. ⠀
.⠀
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ⠀
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger⠀
2 teaspoons baking powder⠀
3 large eggs, separated⠀
1 cup almond flour (120 grams)⠀
1 cup arrowroot (120 grams)⠀
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt ⠀
4 ounces shortening/coconut oil⠀
1 cup cane sugar ⠀
1 cup chopped raisins⠀
1 cup chopped walnuts⠀
.⠀
Heat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10" springform pan. ⠀
.⠀
Add the apples to a large pan set on medium heat. Splash about 1/4 cup of water in there, along with the cinnamon and ginger. Stew the apples, stirring occasionally, until they are soft to the touch, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.⠀
.⠀
Whisk together the two flours and salt in a large bowl.⠀
. ⠀
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Set aside the yolks. ⠀
.⠀
Cream together the shortening/coconut oil and the sugar. When they are soft and fluffy, add the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the flour combination. When the flour is fully incorporated into the batter, add the raisins and walnuts. Add the stewed apples and let the mixer run for a moment. Turn off the mixer. Fold in the stiff egg whites, gently. ⠀
.⠀
Pour the batter into the springform pan. Bake on the center rack until the edges of the cake are starting to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool, then take off the outer ring. ⠀
.⠀
p.s. If you can't do those flours, use your favorite gluten-free flour blend instead. ⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#glutenfreecake #applecake #grainfreebaking #happy99thbirthday ⠀ ⠀

I’m feeling energized by my work with @momsdemand. It is a grassroots organization fueled by the desire for commonsense gun laws (and maybe just common sense). This is not a partisan group. It’s a bunch of moms and dads and people standing up for rational thought and action. It’s time.
.
So I was particularly excited yesterday to attend a meeting with Shannon Watts, found of Mom’s Demand Action, and Michael Bloomberg, champion of commonsense gun laws for more than a decade. They both said the same: we have reached a tipping point. Things are shifting. 80% of Americans want commonsense gun laws enacted. The only reason it isn’t happening is because so many in Congress now are funded by the NRA. Time to vote those out.
.
This isn’t about politics. The hunters I know believe in gun safety. Once you realize that the impulse toward suicide is impetuous, you want a 24-hour law for buying handguns. If a man is convicted of domestic violence and has a restraining order against him, he should be required to surrender his guns for that time period. Lock up your guns in a safe and sane way so a toddler can’t find one and shoot his brother.
.
It’s just common sense.
.
Fact is, as we know, if you want to get something done, ask a bunch of moms. We’re going to get this changed. #expectus

I made the applesauce cake from @turshen’s wonderful new cookbook the other day. It was as simple and lovely as I imagined. We can’t do cream cheese in our house, so I made a maple-tahini frosting. (Equal parts non-dairy butter + tahini + vanilla + maple syrup + powdered sugar.) everyone was happy.
.
One thing I have learned from years of baking gluten-free is that every adaptation teaches me something about how to be better the next time. The recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of sugar, which I loved. But substituting coconut sugar is not something I would do again. The cake almost tasted savory, which didn’t make the kids happy. I used too much almond flour, so the cake was more springy than soft. But I love the science of this and showing my kids in action that nothing is a mistake if you learn from it.
.
We’re going to start making a cake of the week around here. (If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear.) Both kids love to bake. I like to have a little something sweet to slip into their lunches. And we’ll decide together as a family which ones should go into permanent rotation. One more bake and this one is there.

My children may sometimes keep me up past my bedtime, wondering about how to best understand their minds. But they are never, ever boring.

Lucy came running to me after school, eager to tell me a story. “Mama! I made a new friend!” She told me all about her new friend from Syria, who is also in the 4th grade. “She’s really kind and sweet. And at recess, she and I were standing by the climbing wall, and she told us about how her cousin was killed by a bomb when it hit his hotel. She got sad, and I got sad for her, so I gave her a big hug.”
.
I love this kid’s heart.
.
Last year, 2 Syrian refugee families moved onto our island. A group of people rallied to find them housing, furniture, clothing. One of the families began making food at a local commercial kitchen. Oh, it’s good. They were settling in. But the girls were having a hard time at the big public school. A couple of weeks ago, the head of Lu’s school sent around an email, saying we had the chance to have the girls with us if we could raise the money for scholarships. They did. And now one of them is Lu’s classmate.
.
She told us more about the girl’s story at dinner. Desmond was concerned about the bomb, so we reassured him that it had not happened here. “Some countries are suffering wars, children too. We’re very lucky here.”
.
I told Lucy how happy I am that she is welcoming her new friend. And I said gently that there are people in this country who don’t like refugees. “WHY?!” She asked me. I tired to explain about fear, xenophobia, misinformation. And Lucy said, “Mama, these families walked all the way from Syria to Turkey. Why would anyone not want to welcome them here?”
.
I’m particularly glad that we have been reading @suzannekaufman’s beautiful new book, All are Welcome. In wish every child in America could read it.

It’s time to start thinking about mid-afternoon snacks around here.
.
During the summer, when the kids are hungry, they could wander into the kitchen to grab something or I could cook. However, now that we’re back at school, there is a predictable roaring hunger at 3 pm. They pack their lunches in the evenings. I make their pickup snacks after they leave.
.
I’m a big fritter fan. We always have some leftovers. If there is a cooked grain and vegetables, we can make fritters. This morning I took leftover turmeric rice, chopped up all the grilled green beans and broccoli into tiny bits, then threw them into a bowl. 2 eggs. A small handful of cassava flour. (You could try any flour you like but I’m a big fan of @ottos_cassava_flour for this). Mix them up. The batter will be a little runny. A couple of tablespoons of batter into a pan on medium-low heat until browned. Flip them. Finish cooking. Slide onto a cutting board to cool.
.
When I pick up D at nearly 3, he will have been running all day. A few of these with a dollop of hummus should take care of that cavernous stomach. And when we pick up Lucy just after 3, she can eat a few of these in the car on the way to play practice, then tackle the apple and granola she’ll eat during the break.
.
I’m not a big fan of sweet snacks for the kids, since I see what it does to their energy. These work well.
.
What are your favorite energy-making snacks for kids in the middle of the afternoon?

10 years ago this morning, I woke up early, bleary-eyed from crying. Danny lay beside me, frightened. I reached out for his hand. He took it and nodded. Time to begin.
.
I can’t tell the full story in this small space but suffice it to say that it came into focus the night before that my husband had to stop drinking. That moment. We had been talking and arguing about it for 6 weeks. And then our daughter was born and we descended into the terror of not knowing if she would live. We would get through it together, I knew. But he had to stop. And I knew that he wanted to stop but he didn’t know how. We could find help, if he decided. But he had to choose his health and his family over alcohol.
.
Today it is 10 years since Danny quit drinking.
.
Darling Danny, I am in awe of your dedication and fierce love for this family. Since that night, we have spent a decade solving thorny problems together. We would be lost without you. Every day you choose the chance to play with these kids over the life you could be leading now. You love people, plain and simple, better than anyone I have ever met. Our kids know in their bones what it feels like to be loved. No one makes me laugh harder than you.
.
I am proud of you every single day. You make it look easy, this choice, but I know it’s not easy. It’s love in action every damn day, choosing again and again all this quickly passing life over the safety of the haze of drinking. You are an incredible human, my love. I’m in awe of you.
.
And thank you for letting me share your story here. You chose today to let me tell this in hopes someone else might be inspired to make this change.
.
I was going to surprise Danny with a feast at @canlisrestaurant, the fanciest restaurant in Seattle, for this day. But I didn’t realize it takes 3 months to get a reservation there. So we’re taking the day to be together here — breakfast out, a hike, time to talk, a daytime movie — to mark this momentous anniversary. It’s fitting, really. It’s this life he chose, this hilarious complicated daily life. I’m so damned glad he did.

This is the first year we have bought sturdy new backpacks for the kids. We thrift almost everything we own. Here on the island, our favorite thrift store, Granny's Attic, is the source of much joy. Almost everyone on the island donates there, so everyone shops there. It's a big swap meet for not that much money. Granny's is dedicated to keeping prices low to move everything fast. And much of the profits are given to health organizations on the island. That's why I'm glad my kids have learned to give away what they have outgrown, both clothes and toys. Most of the clothes they have worn in their lives are hand-me-downs or from thrift stores. And why not? That's how Lucy has developed her own sense of style, by finding what she truly loves, not what is for sale at the front of a chain store. We recycle on our island. There's no need to buy much of anything new, apart from underwear and socks. ⠀
.⠀
But this year, we bought the kids' backpacks from @landsend, after seeing a good friend's kiddo carry the same backpack for years. They promise that the backpacks are sturdy enough to last for 20 years. After they arrived, I could see why. (I also love the images in the Lands' End catalogue right now: a girl in blue and sturdy shoes playing baseball; a young black boy looking natty in his picture-day outfit. My kids saw themselves here.) This is NOT an ad for @landsend. I wasn't paid anything to say this. ⠀
.⠀
As we have been budgeting carefully the last couple of years, and we're doing fine, I've been thinking about a different kind of budgeting now. What are the new items that are worth their price, the ones that will last for years? ⠀
.⠀
We love the @planetbox lunchbox we got for Lucy when she was 3. The price seemed high but it is still in great condition. I'm certain it will last another decade. So we bought one for Desmond this year. No more flimsy lunchboxes. No more decisions. ⠀
.⠀
What are the brands that have lasted in your house? What was a slightly more-expensive-than-usual product you bought once that has stood the test of time? Let's share the wealth.

This boy. Oh, this boy.⠀
.⠀
Desmond asks more questions than anyone I have ever met. They come rapid fire, with genuine searching need to hear the answers. A couple of weeks ago, he thought in silence as we were driving, then asked me, "Mama, why does everything fall down? I've been noticing and nothing falls up to the sky. Why does it all go to the ground?" Oh, you mean gravity, my darling 4-year-old? Well, let's talk about that. In rapid succession: Mama, how do boo-boos heal? What are bones made of? Are crayons white from the beginning and the color is injected into them or do they have different colors of wax first? How do they make doorknobs? Why can't we see the stars at night? Why do porcupines have such sharp quills and who made them that way? Do robots have feelings? ⠀
.⠀
I think within about 6 years I will be struggling to answer his science questions. And I have a science mind. ⠀
.⠀
This is why we are so thrilled that today was his first day of school at the two preschools he is attending this year. Both of these schools are led by kind teachers who were trained in Montessori and Waldorf schools and made their own way. These are schools about exploring, discovery, child-led learning, and as much math and science as Desmond's head can hold, for now. They are also across the street from each other, on a little road up from the beach. So most days, he'll be at school from 9:30 to 3 this year. ⠀
.⠀
We're all so excited. ⠀
.⠀
This kid is hilarious. His wit is so quick that we're all left laughing. And when he's not asking questions and laughing, he's all karate chops, kicks, and running as fast as he can. So he's also going to be playing soccer, doing a climbing class, dancing, and swimming all the other days. He is inexhaustible, in energy, questions, and love. ⠀
.⠀
My job as his mama is to give him the space to be himself and give him as many experiences as I can to keep his brain happy. ⠀
.⠀
This year, one of the assistant teachers at one of his schools is a former student of mine. Lucy's art teacher for the next 5 years is another one of my favorite former students. And so my students have become my kids' teachers. ⠀
.⠀
Life amazes me.

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags