“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”
― William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Ages ago, when I told my brother that I was going to start blogging about gluten-free cooking, he suggested I call the blog Things Fall Apart. Clever, and absolutely on point. That’s the reality of cooking and baking without gluten—gluten is amazing at helping things stick together. All of the gums or other tricks we use to coerce gluten-less flours to stick together only work so well.
Here is a sad little tale that illustrates how fragile gluten-free baked goods really are. I recently treated myself to a new pair of mitts (I decided that getting over 10 years out of my last pair was enough, given that they were wearing out). My new pair is lined and warm and still feels oh so soft.
I currently live a somewhat nomadic daytime lifestyle. That means that I am constantly patting myself down, checking my various pockets to make sure that I have my essentials—wallet, mitts, phone, stray money cards, keys, etc. I was doing this the other day while I was wearing a big comfy coat that has enormous front pockets. Without thinking, I quickly reached into one of them, grabbed what was in it and decided it must be my mitts because it was soft and squishable.
I then reached into the other side and found something else that felt like my new mitts. Confused, I pulled out the contents of both pockets. The second pocket had held the mitts. The first one had held a plastic-wrapped piece of gluten-free poppy seed loaf—a piece of poppy seed loaf that was much worse for wear than it had been before I squeezed it. This was what I got when I unwrapped it.
I think the lesson here might be that carrying gluten-free baked goods in one’s pocket is not such a great plan. Oh well…