Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

gluten-free cookie mix

A lot of gluten-free baked goods do not taste good to me. I can’t say I’m at 100% with my gluten-free diet but I’m really working at it.

Yesterday I made snickerdoodles from a mix and I’d make them again. The day before I had a regular cookie from a local coffee shop. It was sweeter and the inside was chewier. But it had gluten in it.

The ones I made are good enough and taste better to me than the gluten-free cookies I buy in a bag. They’re probably more economical too, but I’m not sure—I got the mix awhile ago. Yes, I checked the expiration date and it was still good to go. 

These could be simple sugar cookies instead but I had cinnamon and sugar. The recipe called for eggs, margarine and vegetable shortening. I happened to have the shortening around for seasoning some cast iron skillets. I much prefer butter to margarine but when I asked about it, the person doing the food demo told me they’d found that margarine worked a lot better. When it comes to food I’ve learned that I often have to compromise a bit.

The mix comes from Sunflower Mills. The company is in my neck of the woods which was why they were at my local co-op awhile back with samples and answering questions. When I looked at the products on their website a little while ago I saw that the sugar cookie mix had been changed—improved, I’m sure. It looked like some of the mixes called for oil, instead of margarine and shortening. I’ll try more of them although many of my baking utensils are long gone and the healthy new things are very expensive. Le sigh.

I’m mostly disappointed in the gluten-free loaves of bread that are ready made, usually found  in the freezer. Some I’ve tried have been gag-awful. Sunflower Mills makes bread mixes and I may check them out if it looks like I can manage the recipe. I hadn’t used a mixer in years and it was a bit awkward at first but I’m so pleased to have been able to make cookies during this time of the year.


Victorian vs Smithfield Farms

Yesterday evening I watched the last segments of the British documentary, Victorian Farm. Alex did some beekeeping and collected the honey. Peter made ginger beer and Ruth got into straw plaiting.  When they advertised for harvest help, I learned that there was junk mail in Victorian England after the printing system made it possible to print flyers.

The hay crop was ruined and they barely got their wheat harvested in time. Ruth made cheese and got the necessary rennet for it from a calf’s stomach.  This way of life was going on in rural England around the time my grandmothers were born here in America.  Maybe I should write historical fiction about this time period—I’m so fascinated with it.

The baby farm animals were so cute. One of the archeologist’s, Peter, said he would miss the pigs the most. Princess, the mama, had given birth to nine piglets and eight of them made it. They were funny, especially when they were eating and had their heads in a bucket.

When I got online this morning, the first thing I saw was a video about an investigation that the humane society had secretly done at Smithfield Farms, the largest pork producer in the world. The pregnant sows were placed in gestation cages where they could barely move. They had sores from chewing on the metal bars and slowly went insane. It was horrible and sad to see the video footage.

I’m not a vegetarian. I eat meat for health reasons, almost all free-range, organic meat and pork is one of my least favorite meats. I certainly won’t be eating any for a long time now.

Sure we have lots of improvements over how things were done over one hundred years ago. There are more people to feed. Factory farms have gone to far though. Many of our systems need to change, of course, but food is so very basic.  Paula Deen is the face and spokesperson of this Virginia company.

The contrast between how Princess was raised and the sows in the cramped wire cages is shocking.