I was all set to write up this post last night, but I only got as far as uploading the photos before my eyes started to pause on shut for just a little too long. You see the kids and I have just finished the first of our 4 week period of eating Wheat. The first few days we were feeling okay, and I even started to think that maybe all our previous symptoms were a figment of my hypochondriac imagination. By the time day 4 hit, Kye's excema was looking bad, I was tired and Ada was GRUMPY. When day 7 came around I felt completely lifeless, hence my early night. It's something I have been thinking about for years now, but have only just built up the courage to finally do it. Yep, you guessed it... we are all getting tested for Coeliac disease.
Because of our Wheat and mostly gluten-free diet over the past 4 years, we have been asked to eat wheat for 4 weeks before having the initial Coeliac blood test, so that it will be a true test. I had thought I would be really excited, eat anything and everything you want they said. A few years back when I was struggling with going gluten-free I dreamt of this day. But you know what? I don't want to eat Wheat anymore.
It's like telling a reformed alcoholic that they can now drink as much as they want for the next month. Okay maybe that's taking it a little too far, but you get what I mean eh. Wheat and Gluten, is something that I as a mother of two young kids -who have previously reacted to Gluten and dairy badly- have learned to fear. To now be told I have to give it to them, has taken a few days of getting used to, that's for sure.
I'm hanging out for this month to be over and I can only hope that now the kids have tasted lovely soft wheat bread, they won't completely refuse to eat the only bread they had ever known before now. Toasted of course, to make it more palatable.
This Sunday just gone, Si celebrated his birthday and with the sun out in full force all weekend long we spent most of it outdoors, lapping it up! Being a long-weekend there were people everywhere. It's funny how after a long, quiet, wet winter like we have just experienced, you can forget just how busy Raglan gets when the sun is out. The beaches were packed and town buzzing with a definite feeling of summer in the air. Si is not the type to want for anything on his birthday. Not even a cake he said, but me being me and with the kids saying it's not a birthday without one, I decided to whip up this tasty wee Almond cake dotted with freshly picked Rhubarb from our garden.
If you haven't already got a Rhubarb plant in your garden, you really should. They produce all year round and don't ask for much more than the occasional feed of manure, or liquid fertiliser. Home grown stems don't seem to produce quite the same intense red colour as commercially grown crops, but if you add a handful of fresh or frozen berries to the mix when making a compote, stew or jam, you can fake it.
This buttery Almond cake is the perfect base for tart Rhubarb, but can also be topped with which ever fruit is in season. Pear halves, plums, apricots or even berries would all be great substitutes.
I hope all you New Zealand readers had a great Labour weekend, with plenty of time spent in your vege gardens. Ideally Labour weekend means D-day for getting your Tomato plants in, but if your quick I reckon you will still be fine to plant some over the next week or two.
gluten-free rhubarb, lemon and almond cake recipe
This recipe can easily be made dairy-free, simply by using dairy-free margarine in place of the butter. I used brown rice flour, but feel free to use white rice flour. Serves 6-8
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup (145g) caster sugar
- 125g extra soft butter, or dairy-free margarine
- 2 3/4 cups (300g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1/3 cup (40g) fine brown rice flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 stalks of rhubarb (approx 150 g)
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar, extra
- gluten-free icing (powdered) sugar for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease a 23 cm/9 inch cake tin and line the bottom with a round of baking paper. Wash the rhubarb stalks, cut into 1 inch lengths and while still slightly damp from washing place in a small bowl with the 2tsp of extra caster sugar, and mix to coat and set aside
Beat the eggs and sugar using either a hand-held electric beater or a stand-up mixer for 5 minutes until very thick and pale in colour. Slowly beat in the soft butter, then beat for a further few minutes. A few small lumps of butter will remain, this is okay. Gently fold in the almond meal, rice flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Dot the rhubarb pieces on top, gently pushing them down into the batter a little. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the rhubarb is tender.
Cool in the tin before serving dusted with icing sugar and softly whipped cream on the side.
This recipe has been linked to: Seasonal Sunday @ Real Sustenance