The weather continues to be hot and humid, but even with diminished appetites, we still need to eat. All the cooking has been done on the stove top this week and all the baking has been done in the toaster/convection oven – heat or no heat there must be cake in some form!
What can we do about it? There’s only one thing we can do, roll with it.
A number of years ago, I had an annoying ache in the back of my knee. The diagnosis, after x-rays and scans, was osteoarthritis, but not in my knee, rather in my back. I underwent physiotherapy and traction to ease the symptoms at the time.
It was a new way of living from that diagnosis on. My son, a toddler at the time, learned to jump when being lifted to decrease the bending I
had to do. I began bending at my hips, not my waist, and kneeling to get to toddler level. Inside and out I always wear orthotics.
Our family used to travel, upwards of six hours in the car (there and back) to visit extended family. Now, I squirm after 45 minutes, as the discomfort starts to build…and we’ve had to stop the trips. I have learned to control and adjust, the arthritis is a part of who I am and what I do now. I continue to work with my hands, daily, sewing or knitting to keep the joints moving and schedule heavier tasks for earlier in the day.
After a year of taking iron supplements, my son’s iron levels were showing little sign of improvement. Our doctor started ordering tests to see if there could be a cause. (We were fortunate because I have read of other’s having years of problems before getting the appropriate tests.) The diagnosis for my son was Celiac disease.
So began another round of learning to adjust to the conditions. We began eating gluten-free in the house. All of my baking had a learning curve as I learned the differing qualities of gluten-free flours and binders. My first loaf of bread was heavy, gummy and unpalatable! We have experimented and found our favourite bread and bun recipes-our millet bread looks like egg bread and I prefer it to the gluten containing loaves I can still eat. Grocery shopping became more involved, as every label has to be read, every time. We never leave the house without food now. And we never ate as much produce as we now do. In fact, we are all probably healthier because of the Celiac disease diagnosis and we look at what can be eaten instead of what is off-limits!
So when life gives you lemons you can make lemonade or when your bananas are starting to spot and turn brown, roll with it.
Gluten Free Banana Roll with Maple Buttercream Filling
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch or potato starch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 eggs (large)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup mashed banana
- Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
- Whip eggs with whisk attachment until starting to grow in volume.
- While eggs whisk, mix flours, cinnamon and xanthan gum in bowl and whisk to combine.
- Once eggs have some volume, gradually add sugar.
- Once egg and sugar mixture has increased even more in volume, gradually add mashed banana.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to egg, sugar, banana mixture. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl (carefully you don’t want to lose the volume you’ve created)
- Pour batter onto prepared sheet, spread evenly and tap pan on counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes.
- Turn out onto rack, remove parchment paper. Allow to cool.
- Mix 2 tbsn and 2 tsp butter or margarine with 3 tbsn maple syrup and 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar. Mix until smooth and spreadable (if too thick add drops of water until right consistency)
- Once cake is cooled, spread buttercream over the top of cake. Roll the cake from the short end and place with seam down on platter. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.