Our Story

The challenge, as we call it, started when our son Zeb was diagnosed with eczema at 3 months old. The doctor prescribed a cortizone cream that miraculously rid him of a break-out within hours, the first time we applied it on his skin. A week later, he broke out again and the doctor prescribed a higher dose and informed us that he will be asthmatic and that there is no cure for eczema. This time around, it took days before his skin cleared up. By now, we knew the doctor would prescribe a higher dose again because he had said so at our last visit. Am paraphrasing here but he said something like this: ” If he breaks out again, I can prescribe an even higher dose.”

About this time, I had also started reading the fine print on the label, and boy! It was like sentencing your own child to a life of misery – his liver could give out, his lung could be irreparably compromised, internal bleeding, etc. Needless to say, my husband and I were shocked that we were not informed of the side effects of the cream. We decided then and there, to stop using the cream and  we embarked on a journey of finding out more about our son’s condition.  His skin condition, we eventually found out was related to food.  It was more than skin deep and even involved his immune system.

Years later and after many near visits to the ER, we came to the point of having eliminated everything he was allergic to from our diet. I prepared and cooked majority of the food we ate from scratch. By this time, I have a long list of names where  eggs,  potatoes, wheat and gluten disguised itself.  I have also learned to contact companies when in doubt about their ingredients list. A big deal for someone like me who is a bit on the reserved side.

About four years ago, we were blessed to have the resources to be able to experiment more on creating gluten free and eggless baked goods.  At first, like many on the gluten free diet, I used pre-packaged “flour” mixes that did not have potatoes in some form.  I found them a bit on the expensive side and since they all require eggs to bind and/or help them rise and keep them chewy and soft, I ended up with mostly weird looking, gritty and often hard to swallow results.

My breads were mostly flops: burnt on the outside, raw and gummy on the inside. My cookies were either hard as hockey pucks or a gooey mess you can’t lift from the cookie sheet without falling apart. And no, I am no expert at baking. Far from it, I would venture to say. I grew up without the luxury of owning or being able to use an oven. It was not until after I married my husband that I even learned to use such an appliance. Still, I am not daft when it comes to reading and/or following instructions. And, follow them I did until I wasted enough money, time, and ingredients with poor results.

Finally, I have had enough. From then on, it was all about creating a mix that works well without gluten, eggs, oats, barley, rye and potatoes. Yes, we also had to avoid potatoes until last quarter of 2010 when potatoes, no longer posed a threat and problem to our child. Meanwhile, oats, barley and rye are still not part of our kid’ s diet. We are still in working on clearing him of these food sensitivities.

These days, although I have recipes that work well without gluten and eggs, am still on the look out for the next, better and tastier recipe.   If I can be of help to others who are struggling with the same issues, then, that is incentive enough to keep doing what I can do well – cook and create something tasty and possibly, good for you.