Wednesday, July 11, 2007

minions at work and rest

According to the teensy counter on the blog, installed some months ago, 8,945 visits have been made to the blog. I tested it, shifting between pages, and it counted me as one visitor - not counting per page visited.

Eight thousand, nine hundred. Even including search engines, that's a whole lot of you bleaders (I've been reading Julie Powell) and you are awfully quiet.
That's not unnerving, really it's not.
In fact, it's enormously egotistical to even begin to think that number is real.

I think that if I work on it, I can make that last bit sound convincing.

I've been having a conversation with a mum to a newly diagnosed boy with hemophilia. She's also of the Judaic persuasion, also orthodox. We've been baffling the rest of the online support groups with our jargon, speaking in the short hand used by insiders. It's really a bit rude, and yet it's been a tremendous boost to, well, us both.

There's a specific challenge posed by the laws of the sabbath and religious holidays to the parent of a child with special needs - particularly one whose diagnosis involves runs to the ER. You aren't allowed to drive on the sabbath, but you can where someone's well being is concerned. A human life trumps the sabbatical legalities, so hop in your car and off you go.

But, can you drive home again? There's no life at risk where going home is concerned, just a question as to whether you can rescue the shreds of your shabbat, post-ER. If a doctor or nurse calls to check in with you, can you answer the telephone on shabbat? I'd say yes, since the purpose of the call is to reevaluate the patient and make sure they are doing well on the prescribed regimen. But what if the call is from a home care nurse, who is calling (on shabbat) to doublecheck the time of her arrival in your home (on shabbat)? You've made the arrangement, pre-shabbat, for her visit. Do you need to answer the phone or not to confirm?

And on and on. Parenting in such a moment is a slippery slope, balancing child against religious gray areas, picking your way through choice after choice. I think that the message here is a proud one: a person is more important than religion. And the challenge is a beautiful one: pulling person order, a sense of peace and sabbatical rest out of the beeping, whirring adrenaline of the medical world.
As the bread machine, newly arrived in our home (courtesy of the Grandmere), whirred:

Mama has a minion!

You betcha, babe. And it does good work.
Minion's Bread
Updated 8/9/07
makes 1 loaf, 1.5 lb size in bread machines

dry ingredients
1.5 cups rice flour
1 cup potato starch
.5 cup tapioca starch
.5 cup teff flour
.5 tsp salt
.25 cup sugar
2.5 tsp guar gum (non-corn allergy folks can use the same quantity xanthan gum)
1.75 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer (check for nut warnings on label! One batch of Egg Replacer is at risk for nut contamination)
1 Tb yeast

wet ingredients
2 flaxgel egg subs (2 Tb flaxmeal mixed with 4 Tb water and let stand)
2 Tb honey
3/4 tsp vinegar
4 Tb margarine/butter
9 oz club soda
Optional: zest of a few oranges/lemons

For a bread machine, put wet ingredients into the pan first, mix dry ingredients in a bowl and let both come to room temperature. Layer dry ingredients on top of wet, and use a gluten-free cycle on the machine. Chuckle evilly, rubbing your hands in satisfaction as you anticipate the beautifully crusted bread to come. Pull the bread out as quickly as you can once the cycle is done, and sit on anyone who is too impatient to let it cool for 20 minutes, at least.

No electronic minion? Right, then:
Make sure all ingredients are room temperature. Prime your yeast in the flaxmeal/water mix and honey. Leave it alone for 5 minutes - no stirring!

Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mash the butter into the flaxgel, then stir it into the rest of the wet ingredients. Pause to turn the oven to 300-350F. Combine all three: yeast, dry, wet ingredients, and set a cake mixer/hand beater to mix fiercely for about 3-5 minutes. Grease an oven-safe bowl, and pour the mixture in.

Turn the oven off and stick the bowl inside. Ignore it for 30-40 minutes while it rises. Leisurely grease a loaf tin, make yourself a cup of coffee, consider the newspaper. Then, yank the dough out of the oven and drop it into the loaf pan. Turn the oven back on, and set it to 375F, when it actually hits this temperature, bake the loaf for 45 minutes.

Yank the loaf out and cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes. See above comment about impatient bread-eaters.

Tip: combine your dry ingredients, excepting the yeast, the night before. Put into a ziploc to keep them from absorbing moisture (gluten-free flours are the very dickens for absorbing moisture and then offering up squodgy bread with the most innocent of looks).

Whole Foods is having a recipe contest - winner gets $100 in WHole Foods groceries! That's...maybe a bag full of stuff, actually. But the bag probably holds a heck of a lot of expensive gluten-free flours and fresh fish, so it's pretty cool beans. I'm tempted, and yet drawing a blank. I need to pick a recipe that I've adapted enough to call mine, that's delicious enough to tempt the non-allergic, but I do have me pride: I want to pick one that's allergy friendly, and note that in big writing somewhere on my entry.


Anyone care to vote for a recipe on this blog? I'm at a complete loss. But then again, I'm going through a menu dry spell these days.


mother in israel said...

Submit to KCC, please!

Zina said...

I subscribe to Google Reader so I read many of your posts via reader without going to your Blogger site. Does that mean that I may be skewing your counter in the other direction? Your counter may not be counting when I am reading your blog.

Or perhaps when my RSS reader updates its view it pings your page thereby adding visits when it is just one person?

I will have to look into the technology.

I wish I had gotten DMIL's bread machine to work for me, but I messed up the two times I tried. *sigh*

Maybe you can do a stew or an allergen-free pizza recipe? Or perhaps an adaptation of that chocolate cake?

dykewife said...

good gracious woman! pick a recipe! they're all wonderful :) how about a chicken recipe? it's always popular, or one of your lucious sounding salads?

about the keeping the sabbath thing...after driving to the hospital to get medical attention, i can't think of anything that's better for a person than to get away and be home from the hospital to heal. the phone call to confirm a time for a nurse, is again, for the health of another person. it's not like she's calling to get your recipe for chicken soup, right?

then again, i'm not jewish, let alone orthodox, so my opinion is the old grain of salt thing.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your new breadmaker! And sending winner vibes for the Whole Foods contest.

Auntie A said...

I'm a big fan of the lemon chicken salad (sorry, don't remember what blog it was...) so that gets my vote! It's yummy and easy to prepare.

Good luck!

mama o' the matrices said...

Oooh - I do like the lemon fennel chicken salad. Done!

Thanks for the good vibes, I'm handing in the recipe this week.

And, dw, damn right. Best place to heal is at home. And sad to say, I have no chicken soup recipe. Never make the stuff, if only because what's a chicken soup without matzo balls?

ByTheBay said...

This recipe looks great!
I do have two gluten-free matzo ball recipes up on my site, btw:

Gluten-Free Matzo Balls Recipe #1

I also have a potato kneidlach recipe that some people at my seder prefer to actual matzo balls, and a bunch of other recipes can be found under on my blog: Here. If you click that link you'll see all the recipes I labeled as "Passover"

I have also had great luck just following the family recipe, using gluten-free matzo meal that's available during the Pesach season from a company in the UK and also and other distributors here in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

theres a support list specialfrummoms people might be intersted in