Oh, I haven’t had those in a while.
I miss the smell of real vanilla extract and eating the raw cookie and brownie dough from the mixing bowl while waiting for the treats to bake. Then, eating them as soon as they are cool enough not to burn the roof of my mouth.
And having them for breakfast, snack, and dessert over the next few days, throwing some into the freezer so they don’t go bad and can be enjoyed later.
But my mom has been working a lot for the past five years, much of that time weird hours. And other things have happened that have knocked her for a loop.
So, despite her love for baking, she hasn’t had much time or energy for it, apart from moments here and there.
I wish she would, though—at least her kitchen sink cookies to use up some of the random ingredients in our petite pantry.
She baked all the time when I was younger, and before, she worked in a casino call center. For us, for other family members, for people at her work, for the kids at my school, and even for various Girl Scout events
She experimented with a range of styles and alternative ingredients for those with food allergies and intolerances, like both me and her. And those who have alternate eating styles, such as vegan and paleo.
She had us be her guinea pigs for whatever she had created, wanting to know how she did and what she could improve on, then writing her tweaks onto the recipe.
I was always the more reliable taste tester between me and my stepdad. I told her what she wanted and needed to hear, unlike him, who just said everything was delicious.
And he was mostly correct.
A few duds have happened, though. And while most were only duds because they didn’t look pretty enough for the public, some of her dinners were not good.
She’s also made many of my birthday “cakes,” finding ways to swap out the frosting since I’m not a fan of it.
One year was a giant tiramisu cake, and another a coffee mousse cake. Both were tasty.
Some of my favorite treats she’s created include raspberry scones, lemon cake/bars, and kitchen sink cookies, but there are many more that I can’t recall on the spot.
Her use of alternative ingredients has rubbed off on me as an adult; my cooking and baking style is as wheat and sugar-free as possible.
It makes me feel good about what I put into my body—knowing that I’ve created food that doesn’t contain all the additives, sugar, and gluten that often don’t agree with me.
Not that I’m always successful at treating my body like the temple it is. But sometimes all I want is pasta with butter and parmesan cheese, as it’s comfort food for me.
I am trying to eat cleaner, as I feel physically and mentally better when I stay away from wheat, which makes me feel blech when continuously consumed, and random additives that make my stomach cramp and bloat.
It can be difficult, though, because my stepdad doesn’t like gluten-free anything, mostly just to be stubborn. However, he makes an effort for us occasionally, even if he complains about the textures.
Another challenge is that my friends, for the most part, don’t share the same food quirks that I have, so they often can’t or don’t know how to accommodate me.
I usually don’t say anything; I do my best to work with what I’ve been provided. However, one friend can usually make wheat-free meals whenever I come over, as much of his diet doesn’t use it.
But no matter the obstacles I face in this area of my life, I won’t stop trying until I can fully eat the way my body needs.
And hopefully, make all the fresh baked goodies my mom created.
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Originally published at https://amethystaurorachampagne.substack.com.