Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Just Before the Drop....

I love The Montu at Busch Gardens.  They've never paid me to say that, in fact, I pay them so I can say that. I ride the Montu as many times as my kids and the line will allow.  I once met Vanilla Ice in line at the Montu and his lovely wife.  They were very awesome and put up with the crowd's torture of chanting "Ice, Ice, Baby" before boarding and wishing they had all had some kind of face transplants.   That being said, I've ridden it at dark, with the lights on, in the daytime, in the scorching heat and in the long lines of spring vacation.  That ride does not disappoint.   Everyone knows that moment as you come to the front of the line after waiting minutes, hours or days and weeks for a ride.  They open the gate.  You claim your seat with heart racing and excitement pulsing through your chest.  The bars click down.... the ride starts to roll.  Some rides are instantly fantastic.  Instant shoot-you-out-of-a-cannon rides, and drops and speed bursts.   Others, like the Montu, start a little slow.   You cruise out of the bay, around the corner, and start clicking to the top of the first drop.  You know that moment?  The moment when you can feel every click reverberate in your ears, and your heart starts jumping faster and you almost wish you could get out and push the darn thing to get it going?  Then, you get to the top.... and you can see the WHOOOOLE WORLD!  or... the whole park.   And next thing you know {  0   gravity  }  AAAAND YOU'RE FALLING!

Well, today I have some just before the drop excitement.  I'm taking on a pretty hefty project and no matter if it ends up worthy of a Pulitzer or sad mention on CakeWrecks, I'm going to do this.   My autistic son is having a birthday next week and I'm not a crafty mama.  I can't do theme parties.  I'm not one to get everyone together and play some awesome team laser tag game with matching cake and party gifts.  I like to put a store bought cake on the table (what a confession coming from a food blogger huh?) and set out the presents and take pictures and enjoy the moments.   "Wait, wait, wait... you BUY a cake?" you're thinking.  I know.  I know.  You see, my son is not allergic or sensitive to gluten.  In fact, removing it would be like starving him to death and I realize that is sometimes a symptom of gluten issues, the addiction.  However, I've found HUGE success with removing artificial colorings, flavorings and refined or processed sugars from his diet.  Removing high fructose corn syrup was the best thing I ever did for this family - food wise.   Birthdays give all that a bit of a boot though.  I'm not a food nazi with my kids because honestly, they are pretty good about humoring my gluten free sugar free diet the rest of the year.  I buy them organic cinnamon toast crunch (non GMO, unrefined cane juice sweetener, and no BHT - I can live with that, I'm not eating it) and they in turn taste my failure thumbprint cookies that looked like the jelly jar exploded all over my beautiful cookies.    So on their birthday, they get to choose their cake and meal for the day and everyone's happy.  The next day we go back to non chemical eating and everyone doesn't miss the day of what a friend of mine calls "chemical cakes"  (ie: store bought or boxed mixes.)   This year was about to be no different, until....

I talked to A this morning after having a gloriously amazing inspiration last night (from him of course, but he may never really know it.)  I asked him if it would be ok if I made him a gluten free cake.  His face immediately fell.  Let's just say, that no matter how GREAT my white bean cake is, he is autistic.  His taste buds work like a blood hound's nose.  He does like the white bean cake.  But he misses a good old birthday cake, especially being that his diet and body do not require wheat free.  There is no difference for him.  Except missing his old flavors and textures.  So, I sweetened the deal.  I told him I'd feature his cake, NO MATTER HOW BADLY IT TURNS OUT, on my blog.  AND I would use real sugar (I'm using minimally processed, organic cane sugar, unbleached - however, the fondant is store bought, has a disclaimer that it could have possibly come in contact with wheat contaminants in the facility... I'm unable to change this at this time due to the cake's theme, however, I have some links if you want to see gluten free fondant.  It's fairly easy to make at home with marshmallow fondant, or there is a company that makes it.)  As for frosting, I have no idea yet.  I'm wishing someone will rain down organic frosting but so far, no luck.  I'll keep updating.

That's what's going to happen next week.  I'm spending this week, playing with fondant (ugh) and testing gluten free cake recipes made with starches (ugh) and then I'm going to use food coloring (ugh) and make a nice little design and prove that YES, really, you can make really great tasting food and still be gluten free (but not necessarily HEALTHY!)   Hahahaha!

This is a special I'm doing for my little boy and it's going to be a combination of gluten free and geekery at it's finest (no health guarantees.)  We love games around here and I cannot WAIT to show you what I have up my sleeve.

Besides my elbow.

Pictures this week are courtesy of Costa Rica.  Beautiful place, remember sunscreen even in the Cloud Forest if you have a complexion like mine (ie- ghost color.)

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