Hi, Toni Holmes here. As you may know I'm gluten-free due to Celiac disease.
A lot of people think that gluten-free is a new fad diet - sort of like the South Beach or Low Carb. It's not true.
It is a disease that has been around since the ancient Greeks and was reintroduced to the medical profession in the late 1880's when a scholar translated an ancient Greek text that described the malady.
That's right humans have known for centuries that some people are gluten intolerant/gluten sensitive and full out Celiac. When I was first diagnosed, I thought no way. I couldn't do it. I was a baker for goodness sake. I did some reading and wandered the stores desperate to find anything - even canned veggies that didn't have gluten in it. That's when I stepped into my first health food store and tried to find my way through the strange sights and smells of stores that look at food as medicine.
I met helpful people who took me step by step through the process of figuring out what I could eat. Trust me you can only eat so many grilled chicken salads before you would do anything for a warm roll with butter or a cookie or a piece of cake. That's when I started experimenting with gluten-free baking That was six years ago. Thankfully now you don't have to use a scale and weigh and measure proportions of various flours to try to recreate all purpose flour. It's expensive and inefficient. (Not for me any more since I run a bakery, but for the ordinary cook.) I discovered gluten-free baking mixes and replacement all purpose gluten-free flours. Soon I was converting recipes and testing portions until I had tasty gluten-free cookies, cakes, pie and rolls
Now there are people who protest that these things are part of SAD (Standard American Diet) but I look at it a bit differently. I bake gluten-free so that people with special dietary needs can enjoy birthday cake, Christmas cookies, party tarts and other treats.
To celebrate the return of Killer Characters - my writer is giving away a signed copy of "Gluten For Punishment." Share what makes you stand out in a crowd and your name will be put into a random drawing.The winner will be notified and asked to send their snail mail address off the blog.