Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wine and beer

Love them! Although I prefer my drinks additive free I do understand that sulphites are part of the wine making process. Here in New Zealand we have some incredible wine makers (some just up the road from here) and are renowned for the whites - sav blanc, chardonnay... But even these seem to have added sulphites.

However the fantastic news is that Steinlager have brought out 'steinlager pure' - additive free and just totally delicious. Apparently the company can't keep up with demand.

I wonder what will happen when the first winery announces 'no added sulphite white wine...?"

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Well the reason for no posting is that we have just found out (and are still going through the process) that husband and bub (now 16 months) are celiac. Wow that came as a shock! And so we have been plunged into the world of no gluten. Or A1 dairy. And it is either very easy and incredibly unpapatable - or very hard and delicious. I bake even more than I did before.

The funny thing is that it is soooo complicated. It is not enough to read the ingredients list on a packet and use or discard, you actually have to have an understanding of the food industry practices, constituent ingredients and e numbers. So for a start I didn't know that most icing sugar contained gluten. Look at the ingredients: sugar. No mention of wheat or anything. But it is there - a free flow agent - that is part of the manufacturing process - so doesn't have to be declared. So lollies (sweets, candies...) are out - unless you are 100% certain that they are gluten free. This isn't actually a big deal in our house as most contain artificial colourings...

Rice flour doesn't taste nice. And potato flour is pretty bad too. And the idea of sticking things together with gum that don't naturally emulsify? Why even go there? I have borrowed one book after another about wheat free, celiac cooking, eating right - but they all seem to list ingredients that contain those additives (again) or gums or 4 types of flour and extra eggs, producing some eggy monstrosity.

So why do it? We now eat more fruit and veges than we did even before. And eat wonderful eggs (free range from open air chooks) and they are great! Bread has been replaced by rice and potatoes. Well not literally. It's just that no matter what sort of bread we have tried (home baked, store bought, gluten free bakery...) it's just not nice. And as you know we like nice bread. But who said bread HAD to be a part of the diet? We did without for a good few thousand years...

A1 milk has ben replaced by A2 - goats cheese occasionally and did you know that you can get A2 cows milk? Cakes work with cornflour or cocoa or ground nuts. And they taste GOOD! Fatless sponge with cornflour has been around for years - with fruit spread in the centre... YUM!
Biscuits made with eggs and almonds - no rice flour or potato flour here. And NO ADDITIVES!

No take-aways now. So it actually works out cheaper than it did before. I have had lots of celiacs recommend rice cakes to us - you know the crispy things - but most are flavoured - we occasionally have plain. We eat more things now. Lunch is hard. And so is breakfast but we are slowly getting there. It's a good job the kids like fruit!