Gluten-free recipes, The Beach Boys, and a cautionary tale.


Readers have asked me about Grace’s muffin recipes. Full disclosure, Grace is the expert muffin baker. I am not. Remind me to tell you a funny story about that later.

Anywhoo…I was recently working on Autumn Changes. What’s that, Bev? Why, thanks for asking. It’s the next full-length novel in the series, dropping autumn 2012, Lord willing.

Since Grace is always trying new recipes, she’s trying to come up with her own version of a gluten-free muffin. To icky results. (yep. I can relate. Okay, before you judge me, did you know all The Beach Boys don’t actually surf? But they still sing some pretty gnarly songs about it.) 

Sidebar: I’m lactose intolerant, “and I’m not taking it anymore!” Sorry, old joke. Being so has made me sympathetic to anyone with food allergies/sensitivities. (Gary is sensitive to flour. Not a true celiac, but you can see how we make a fun couple, especially while you wait for us to find something to eat in an Italian restaurant.)

I consider myself lucky. At least dairy is fairly easy to avoid, and I can carry OTC remedies. (They are not always 100% effective and sometimes the cure’s worse…ahem, you get where I’m going.)

Back to Grace, always trying to evolve her recipe, and in that spirit, her latest quest is to develop her own gluten-free muffin. In her honor, and because I would only muff them if I tried (see story below), here are some links for gluten-free baked goods, other yummy dishes, and more resources, including a memoir that looks like good reading for anyone who’s affected by celiac.

Now you mention it, I suppose I should share the recipes with Grace. But then I’d have to re-write the scene, and…sorry, a writer’s mind often wanders.

Here’s the list. This will take you directly to their muffin page, but the entire site is chock full of great information.

Gluten-free Girl This is a pretty site. I like pretty. Oh, and she talks about what it’s like to live with celiac, and by the way, she’s written a best selling book/memoir, on you guessed it, living gluten-free. Gluten-Free Girl:How I Found the Foods that Loves Me Back and How You Can Too Shauna also has a page of great links. You may recognize her since she was a child actor. You know I have a soft heart for child actors.

Restaurant Guide – obvious.

KidCeliac – again, you can tell what this one’s about.

And here’s my painful muffin baking story. When I was writing Fresh Start Summer, and dreaming some day it might be deemed worthy of publication, I promised myself that if it ever did, I would bake a batch, and present a basket of muffins, Grace-fashion, to the long-suffering critique group who had read said manuscript since its infancy at Rebecca’s kitchen table.

Flash forward. The week after the editor from Lamp Post called offering a contract, which had resulted in the proverbial happy dance and apparently some brain numbing, I remembered my plan. With barely a couple hours until critique group, I dusted off my mixer, thumbed through the actual Boston Cooking School cookbook, that Grace used.

Time: 3:00 in the afternoon. No prob. Crit group’s at 7:00.

First attempt=gum. Not the recipe’s fault, I got distracted and let the mixer go too long. Ru-roh, the cupboard is bare, need more flour.

4:00 P.M. Quick trip to store and a quick calculation. By the time I get back home, shower, and drive to critique group…I will not have enough time to bake from scratch.

Solution? Packaged muffin mix. (Grace would FREAK OUT. Do not tell her!)

5:00 P.M. Back home, stir in egg, water, into oven, voila! Find basket, line with lovely dishtowel, and then upstairs to bathe.

Result? Hard rock-like boulders suitable for lining your garden path. 

6:00 Still need to dress, and print out critique sample. Grab basket, drive back to store.

6:30 Hunt for bakery muffins. They are nowhere. Completely sold out of the lovely, professionally baked ones.

Last resort? The boxed kind, stocked in cold breads. (That’s the actual grocery store term, y’all. I cannot bake, but I can lingo with the best of ’em.)

Thank you, Sara Lee. (At this point, Grace would unfriend me on every social network.)

So the cook behind the curtain… is a fake.

But what was real was how happy I, and my critique group, was that I’d sold my first fiction manuscript. (And they were grateful I did not serve them anything I cooked to celebrate…and because they knew they’d never have to see that manuscript again! A trifecta of happiness)

Oh, and the individually cello-wrapped Sara Lee’s were enjoyed by all.

Do you surf? Have a kitchen fiasco story? If you suffer from celiac, or another troubling dietary challenge, God bless you. But I’m not cooking for you. And for that you can be grateful. 





Be Sociable, Share!

6 thoughts on “Gluten-free recipes, The Beach Boys, and a cautionary tale.

  1. Janette

    What a cute post! I can relate to trying GF recipes and having them not work out – and definitely not tasting good. We forge on with trial and error. Thanks for the smile!

  2. Lu

    The basket looks great and I’m sure the thrill of any muffin (home baked or otherwise) would have paled in comparison to the real joy of the book deal!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *