Saturday, 8 March 2014

Welcome - to you and me!

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Especially when there are a bazillion quadrillion blogs in the blogsphere already, and yet you picked up this little one! 

The 'about me' section is the first I read on any new blog that passes under my nose. Maybe I'm nosy. I don't think I'm alone though... So while I figure out how to make an 'about me' section separate to the regular (ahem) blog posts that I'll (hopefully) be posting, here's the story...

I'm Claire, a kiwi (see the 'location settings' for where New Zealand is if you don't know), Bible-believing Christian, married to Nathan (September 2013), with IBS x 2. What kind of dreadful disease could 'IBS x 2' be, you might ask. Well, I might be taking artistic licence a bit far, but I am stylising this blog after the first of the 'x 2' IBSes (esses?)... Irrepressible Baking Syndrome. Since I first learnt my way around a kitchen (much later than I should have...) I have been fascinated by the art and science of baked goods. I dream about cakes. Google decorating techniques in my 'spare' time. Fantasize about how to use unusual ingredients in as many sweet dishes as Edmonds has designed. And I've found lately that my dreaming has become doing, and that doing *must* be documented to evidence that it has been done. So this blog is the result.

IBS Number Two of the 'x 2' is the IBS that many people will probably link first with the acronym: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For the past two or so years I have exhibited symptoms of IBS. I say symptoms - rather than a diagnosis - because doctors I've spoken to are reluctant to diagnose IBS, because, according to them, it comes down to symptoms. In my case, it's been a process of elimination (blood tests and the like have confirmed that I do not have any sort of dairy or gluten intolerance) to determine why I get bloaty, queasy, etc, etc - probably best to Google the symptoms for further delightful details. The main ways that IBS affect me are that apples and coffee can no longer be part of my diet in quantities of more than a teaspoon at a time. I don't mean a teaspoon of coffee powder...I mean, a teaspoon of the liquid as a dilution. 

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you may have quite different (and probably more severe) dietary restrictions to myself. I've found that some of the FODMAP dietary advice works, some not so much (perhaps that warrants another blog post all together?!). I cannot promise that any of the recipes I post will be ok for you to eat - you'll have to look at the ingredients and make that call for yourself. I'll try and give warning if I'm posting a recipe that didn't bode well for me in particular, but was just too delicious to keep off the screen of this blog (Whisky Truffles are among them). Otherwise, it's up to you to look out for your own needs. 

If you have any recommendations for recipes that I should try for IBS, PLEASE let me know! In the comments below is probably a good place to start, so everyone (whoever everyone is...) can benefit. 

Happy baking, to the bakers that won't be reigned in!