It all started a few weeks ago. I told my oldest daughter (let’s call her H) that I was going to the BlogHer Food conference. She asked who would be there and when I told her Shauna from Gluten Free Girl would attend her jaw fell to the floor and she blurted, “You mean I could meet the Gluten Free Girl?” When I said “yes,” she began jumping up and down. You see, the book Gluten Free Girl and the Chef had just arrived at our house a few days earlier and H had spent a few hours on the couch thumbing through it. To her, authors are like movie stars.
Fast forward to the conference. H met Shauna and was shy, but thrilled. Then, out of the corner of her eye H spotted Dorie Greenspan. She pulled my arm and quietly said, “Mom, she’s the lady who wrote the Baking book.” I walked H to the front of the room where Shauna and Dorie were seated. H looked into Dorie’s eyes and said, “I love your cookbook.” Needless to say, Dorie melted. She pulled out her camera and snapped a few pictures of my girls.
A few days later, a group gathered at Dolores Park for a gluten-free picnic. Shauna asked H if she bakes. H said not yet. So Shauna told her to start baking and then send pictures of her creations. I didn’t realize the spark was ignited in H’s mind. As soon as we got home, she ran to find Dorie’s book, Baking, and spent over an hour making a list of what she wanted to bake first. When she decided, she proudly walked in the room and presented me her list. I smiled. She’s so much like me. She picked the Blackout Cake featured on the cover of the book. She never fails to aim high!
Through Twitter, I told Shauna H was baking the cake on Saturday. Shauna said she, Danny, and Lu would bake a gluten-free version simultaneously. Even though we were hundreds of miles apart, we baked a cake together on Saturday morning. You can read Shauna’s account here.
It was interesting for me to step back and let H have the reigns in the kitchen, trying to figure things out on her own. I know every new baker goes through this, but it’s been so long since I first learned I’d forgotten many of my initial struggles. The first sentence directed her to, “Adjust the rack to the middle position.” H started opening cabinets. I asked her what she was doing and she replied, “Looking for a rack.” I realized then that maybe I should stick a bit closer to the kitchen for the morning.
For the next few hours she cracked, mixed, sifted and whisked. We conversed with Shauna over Twitter periodically. Because Shauna was making a gluten-free adaptation, we compared the cakes as we went. Normally when I bake I modify as I go to incorporate whole wheat flours and other unprocessed ingredients, but this time I bought the ingredients listed so H could follow the exact recipe. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience and baked a beautiful, delicious cake!
I’ll be back in a day or two with new recipes to share. Until then, call someone you love and start cooking!