I have blogged recently about my struggle with IBS and going gluten and sugar free, it doesn’t make for an easy life and although I manage the gluten free diet well, I fall down on the sugar aspect unless I’m completely cold turkey ruthless. I’ll admit it is also not always easy for my work colleagues.
This year our SLT (there are 7 of us) decided that we would each take it in turns to bring in a cake to help keep our brains active through the long afternoon meeting. Some baked, some got their other half to bake, some popped to the local supermarket, some got the Heads PA to pop to the local supermarket. It seemed to work ok. But what was I going to bring?
Cooking and I have always been on friendly terms. We have a pact, I won’t follow a recipe too religiously if it won’t let me produce something that is completely inedible. My family are all healthy and I don’t think I have ever produced something that no one can eat.
So Cheese Scones seemed to be the answer when it was first my turn. Gluten Free flour would work fine, scones were pretty simple, handy to transport and good finger food. Solution.
I should add here that 2 of our team are vegetarian so it has to be the ‘right’ cheese. I forgot about this until I came to start baking (late on the evening before the meeting – scones don’t keep for long) and I realised that I didn’t have vegetarian cheddar in the fridge, but I did have vegetarian Stilton…
So I maintained a healthy disregard for the recipe and I baked them with the Stilton. They smelled like freshly made bread, warm and doughy, they looked ok – nicely browned, they rose well (I had already got to grips with the challenges of cooking with GF flour) they had a bit of a weird green tinge but, hey, they looked edible.
By the time they came out of the oven it was late and my stomach wasn’t going to handle tasting a scone at that time of night, so I just popped them into an airtight container all ready for work.
At 2.30 the following afternoon, I remembered the scones and presented them to the SLT. “Are they vegetarian?” An AHT asked as he peered into the container. I know I disappointed him by happily affirming that they were.
Knowing the difficulties I was going through, they all had no choice but to try them. “Why are they green?” The Deputy Head asked. I explained the unusual ingredient but assured them that I hadn’t put much of it in.
Unfortunately, you will recall that recipes and I nod with a passing acquaintance at the beginning of the process and then part company. I had, in fact, put the whole pack in to make 7, rather chunky, scones.
They were dry (that would be the GF flour) they were crumbly (ditto – and therefore not the ‘finger food’ I had hoped) and worst of all, they were beyond overpowered by the strong taste and smell of a particularly ripe Stilton cheese.
I’ve got to hand it to my colleagues, everyone of them ate their scone (albeit slowly). We drank a lot of tea that afternoon (I think GF flour must continue to absorb moisture in the stomach) and once we had all survived the experience, the SLT meeting took some time deciding to what better use my scones could be put. Here are their top 6;
1. As foundation stones for our new classroom block (the Head is keen to future proof it for more than single storey potential he said).
2. Crumbled on the windowsill to act as a dehumidifier in the old single glazed Victorian building.
3. As weights to keep the temporary goalposts securely in place on windy days.
4. Placed in the far corner of the field to keep all the rodents in a 5mile radius fed and busy (and away from our glue sticks – rats love glue sticks, who knew?)
5. Kept as a ‘be warned’ cooking disaster in Food Technology
6. As bollards to ensure no one parks on the field on open evening.
Needless to say, I was made to promise not to go to so much trouble again and so I have just bought cake for the rest of the year…that is…until this week!!!!
Happy summer everyone.