I was recently involved in a small catering job at the arts café, community hub and garden for the community where I volunteer. My role was simple, sandwich fillings, jams, pickles, shopping, homemade weed pies (including the gluten free pastry) etc. Then there was the making of the sandwiches, plating of all the food, with the help of my fellow volunteer, Shirley, who had made the slices and scones for the event.
While the food was being served, I opted to stay in the kitchen and clean up. Of course, cleaning up means doing the dishes, and with only a half sized dishwasher on site, I opted to hand wash everything. As I mentioned above, this is also an arts café and one of the very talented artists, Peter Alan Cummings, wandered in for a chat. Seeing me doing the dishes, he asked for a tea towel and proceeded to dry the dishes as I washed. Peter and I often take time to chat in the café or garden at Segue, and on this occasion, the conversation turned to French artist Émile Gallé (8 May 1846 – 23 September 1904).
Gallé was a French artist who worked in glass, and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement. Inspired by nature and plants, much of his work has a heavy Japanese design influence. He also believed that his glassware should be more than functional containers, hence the beauty of his work. It is said that the French have been known to describe his work as “poetry in glass” – what a delightful reference. It was clear that Peter finds the work of Gallé to be a great source of inspiration for his own work and creativity, and he explained in great detail, not only about the style of Gallé, but also about the person himself.
Now Peter is no slouch himself when it comes to artistic ability and his sense of community. He has helped as a presenter in one of our garden workshops and, I was privileged to be able to view some of his work in the gallery space at Segue a little while ago. Fortunately he writes a blog where you will find details of how he has created various pieces – I think my absolute favourite is
I love the colour, the detail and the intricacy of this piece, as well as the story behind it.
Naturally as soon as I got home the first thing I did was hit the computer to discover who Gallé was and view some of his work. I was not disappointed. Thank you Peter for sharing your knowledge and introducing me to the stunning works of Gallé.
You would think, that after a couple of heavy days of cooking and food prep, the last place I would want to be is back in the kitchen!! But after my lesson in Glass Art, while cleaning the kitchen at Segue, I was feeling refreshed so created a new gluten free bread recipe – Gluten Free Bread with Seeds.
The result of wanting a healthier gluten free bread that wasn't heavy and stodgy.
- 420 g brown rice flour
- 165 g tapioca flour
- 1 tbsp xanthum gum
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp dry yeast
- 2 tbsp pepitas
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp quinoa seeds
- 1 tbsp linseeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 600 ml lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 egg whites lightly beaten
- 2 tsp vinegar
- Canola spray to grease the pans
- Olive oil to brush the top of the mixture
Using a stand mixer, blend the dry ingredients on low speed to combine.
Add the water, olive oil, egg whites and vinegar to the dry ingredients.
With the mixer on high, beat the mixture for 3 minutes.
Spoon the dough into two loaf pans that have been sprayed with canola oil. Smooth the top with a wet spatula.
Drizzle with olive oil and carefully brush to cover the top of the bread (you can then smooth any lines out with your spatula).
Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and lightly spray with canola oil. Place this lightly (oiled side down), over the dough, and set to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. (I have a container that is large enough to cover the pans as the bread rises, so do not use the plastic wrap, now.)
Preheat oven to 210˚C.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from the pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- The mixture is quite sticky (a friend likens it to whipped cream!), and I find that the best way to get it into your baking pans is to use a plastic spatula. I have a jug of warm water on the side and dip the spatula into the water each time, this stops the dough from sticking to the spatula. The dough rises quite fast and will at least double in size. Do not allow it to rise above the level of your pans.
- You could sprinkle the batter with seeds if you wish.
- I have recently discovered that brushing the top of the bread with oil gives a much smoother finish when baked. Without the olive oil, the loaf top is much more "rustic".
- Updated 1 January 2020.
Until next time…
Bon appétit! & happy gardening.