Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Simple and the Sublime

Well, I dove into my newest shipment of goodies this weekend and what a pleasant experience it was!!

Olivia's Oven was started by a lovely woman named Carreen who has a daughter who was diagnosed at a very early age with celiac. She was not that impressed with the gluten-free options available (who could blame her) so she started her own gluten-free bakery. What she has created is a lovely selection of sans gluten products that you can order via the phone and she also supplies her products to HyVee stores in the Kansas City area. I have it on pretty good authority that the supplies to HyVee stores may expand to include our area some time this summer. Now that is some very good news! First I must talk about her incredible donut holes. Donut holes you say.........yes!! Once again we are in a territory that I no longer could visit. Now I never had a raging affinity for donuts in my old life, but I did occasionally enjoy a really good donut. But alas, as with so many things, donuts went on the "I will never have these again" list. But, that no longer seems to be the case. These donut holes are little nuggets of the most sublime, heavenly, enticing puffs of joy! Carreen gave me a tip and said to take a few out of the freezer and leave them in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them. Oh my, there might be some mystical powers to these donut holes, I can't say for sure. But what I can say is you cannot eat just one (or two) and you cannot possibly stop thinking about them when you are not indulging in them. Even non-celiacs would love these.....of that I am certain. They are simply wonderful!

Next up is Carreen's cinnamon raisin bread. When I was a child my favorite thing for breakfast was cinnamon raisin toast. It was always a special treat since my Mom did not often buy cinnamon raisin loaves of bread. But the aroma of warm cinnamon toast in the morning was enough to make me exceedingly happy and appreciate the simplicity of the toast. This bread does not disappoint. Nice texture, light flavor (not too sweet) and nice sized slices! It seems live gluten-free bread is always so puny and kind of inferior looking. But this bread is lovely and a very welcome addition to my gluten-free life..........and oh, the intoxicating aroma!

Now to the pizza crusts. I have had them at a delightful little pizza place in Kansas City called Waldos. It was the first time I ever went into a real live restaurant and ordered pizza off the menu. My excitement was palatable. What a pleasurable meal that was. And now I have them in my freezer where they await my own special creation of toppings to make them unique and tasty. Carreen does a nice job with these crusts and I am very grateful for that.

Last but not least,is the sour dough bread. I was intrigued by the fact that she made such an item and so naturally I had to try it. Again, it is not puny slices of bread. Nice size slices and they make splendid toast. And quite amazing grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I was very happy with this bread. Good texture and it stands up well when used in a sandwich. (Which some gluten-free bread does not do.) I have got to say that Carreen makes very good, simple quality products. And I can't wait until they are available in our neck of the woods!

Side note.......I ate at Charlestons the other night and had a nice gluten-free experience there. They have a gluten-free menu that they don't really advertise or have online, but it does exist. Our waitress was very well versed in celiac since her Mother had it and the chef seemed very well informed as well. I had ordered the salmon but he knew it was marinated in soy sauce which of course has wheat in it. Because he knew that he kept me from a misguided mistake that I would have sorely regretted. Yep, I am continually delighted to see how gluten-free eating is starting to main-stream in Omaha eateries. And the more we speak up the more we will see out there. Safe eating, Linda
Waldos Pizza

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