Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free Beer and Pizza!

It's hard to imagine getting up on purpose on a weekend, but this time was really worth it.  I went to the Jules Shepard baking demo at Earth Fare, organized by Zach who writes the Gluten Free Raleigh blog.

I got to meet some new people, and reacquaint with other nice people I'd already met from the Raleigh Celiac Support Group.  It's so fun to talk with people who are all in the same boat.

Jules was nice and gave a well-informed presentation.  She is the real deal--nice to hear from someone who is walking the walk.  She said she's been GF since 1999.  I especially liked how she said she takes her baked goods to share with health care providers, so they can be aware that eating GF foods can be just as good, or better than, evil-wheat-containing foods.  I was appalled when she mentioned that she's heard doctors tell their patients they "don't want to know" if they're Celiac, because they think the diet is awful.  A doctor like that might try to convince the patient to not get tested.   Unbelievable.

She baked us some bread, oatmeal scones, berry scones, and chocolate chip cookies.  It was all pretty good.  I would want to try the bread machine recipe at home before I weigh in with an opinion on it.  You don't know how bread really turns out until it cools, and she sliced it before then.  It seemed a little on the moist side, and it was still warm, so it's hard to tell.  I will continue to experiment with the man in my life--Breadman, that is--and let you know if and when I find the holy grail of bread recipes.  I am still searching.

Trevor from Bella Monica was there to promote his flatbreads, and give samples!  It is really good.  I read the box, it seems like a lot of calories are packed into the portion size (1/3 flatbread--had about 450 calories, 7.4g saturated fat).  I really try to shy away from high calories and fat, but it has very good quality ingredients like olive oil, so maybe it's not as bad as it sounds to me?  And a treat once in a while is a good thing!

They also had Green's Gluten Free Beer, an amber and a dark variety.  I liked the dark one, to me it was robust and flavorful.  The amber was OK.  But all of this was sampled with scones and bread, so hard to give a thorough review of those.  

It was a fun day for me. Earth Fare also gave us a tour, but the real value of the day was hearing what Jules had to say, and talking with the other participants.  I thought it was really cool how Jules said that she was a gluten free consumer too, and wanted to find quality products and ingredients.   She also wasn't pushy with us to buy her products (which I didn't buy).  She even encouraged us to look up her flour blend and make it ourselves if we were so inclined.  I appreciated that a lot.

Hope everyone has a great GF weekend!

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