Lemonade by the Gallon

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One Year Later … And Play-Doh

Well, moving day came and went. 

And then a whole year came and went.

Woooooow.  A lot of life happens over the course of a whole year.  It seems like just yesterday I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning as we prepared to leave everything that was familiar and known and comfortable and loved for everything that was unfamiliar and unknown and uncomfortable and not yet loved.  I like the new place, but one can’t lose so much and expect the New Place to replace everything one holds dear, regardless of how well liked it is.  It is not possible to transfer all of the feelings to the new place and to just keep on going as though nothing happened, though I did try that briefly.  I sure miss my friends and family, but I am glad to be here. 

Anyway, that’s enough about that. 

I’ve been in search of a less crumbly alternative to Play-Doh for our Awana Cubbies’ book time.  While each child works on verses with the lead teacher, the rest of the kids need something to do, so Play-Doh it is.  Messy, carpet wrecking, gluteny Play-Doh is a bit of a pain to deal with in that setting. 

Play-Doh contains gluten, so I wanted to find something that I could make that wouldn’t involve bringing gluten-y flour into my house.  I remember making something with glue and borax that was supposed to be like Silly Putty when my kids were little, and I thought it would be a good starting point.  That is neither here nor there.  In my search for recipes for something fun yet less messy to play with, I’ve come across a few that were labeled gluten free.  The point here is that commenters wonder why in the world it matters if it is gluten free since it isn’t supposed to be eaten. 

Why does it matter whether something is gluten free which is intended for little people who are known for putting inedible stuff into their mouths and for not washing their hands before doing so?    Hmm … well, mainly it matters because little kids put edible and inedible stuff into their mouths and don’t necessarily wash their hands before they do it.   In other words, if a child with gluten issues plays with Play-Doh and then eats a snack, their natural inclination is to go from one activity to the other without de-glutening first. it’s very likely that they will ingest gluten. 

If there’s a possibility of ingestion, we care about gluten content.  Thankfully, none of our Cubbies have gluten issues, so we stuck with Play-Doh tonight, but I am interested in other alternatives.

I hope you have a blessed day, and if you’re in the path of winter storm Titan, a warm one in spite of it!



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Moving day is in sight!

I can’t believe it.  The day I have been impatiently awaiting for over a year, and in some ways, much, much longer, is almost here!  I am so excited!

And sad.

But mostly excited!

But definitely sad.

I’m going to miss my friends and family.  And while I’ll miss my family, I think I’ll miss my friends more.  You’re born into your family and they can’t forget you. They are obligated by blood to stay in touch with you.  Friends are under no such obligation, and though I would wish for my best girlfriends to deeply mourn my leaving, to become despondent even,  I know it would be unfair to them to expect that.   Besides, they are the type of ladies that people like and who can never be without friends, even if they wanted to.

Oh, and I would like to share a pet peeve.  I try not to gripe about things on here because griping just kinda stinks up the place, but I do want to share this one thing because I think ladies need to be aware of how our words and behavior impact others.

I can’t stand it when women gush all over Facebook or in real life about who their best friend(s) is(are), how great it is to spend time with them, and how many fun and wonderful things they do together.  I think that is incredibly rude.  It’s like telling every other woman in the world, and more importantly, in your circle of acquaintance, that she is not your best friend.  Women don’t have to be told that we’re not your best friend, but every woman should be treated as though it’s a blessing to be in her presence.   There’s so much isolation and loneliness in the world of women.  Why add to that?

I don’t have one best friend, I have a few.  They are each precious jewels and there’s no comparing them.  They are fantastic human beings in their own right.

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40 Bags in 40 Days – day 20

This is pathetic.  I have lost track of how much stuff I’ve gotten rid of!  I have dealt with what seems like 20 tons of stuff, but I don’t remember my bag total.  I’m just going to try to get rid of 20 bags in the remaining 20 days. 

I don’t remember how much stuff I’ve gotten rid of, but I’d like to mention that I’ve used 3 or 4 bags of shredded paper for packing material.  I’m not sure if that counts or not, but I’m thinking yes because we’ve gotten rid of all of those excess papers. A trailer load of stuff also left here for the storage place.  That seems like it counts because it’s out of the house, but in a few weeks, it’ll all be in the next house!

Some of the hardest things for me to get rid of were my craft things.  I bagged up some of my supplies for some kids I know who are into crafts.  I also pitched some things I made that probably no one else would want and which probably would not survive the move.  That was a real bummer, but I think it will be worth it when we finally get to the point where we’re unpacking.

January is almost over and winter has finally arrived at our house.  This picture pretty much sums it up:  http://media.mlive.com/grpress/news_impact/photo/lake-effect-mapjpg-faf4bbe3b4556ad2.jpg

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Decluttering – I am so doing this!

40 bags in 40 days

I am so glad for this challenge!  We are moving and I am so overwhelmed.  I have had no idea where to begin, so I’m just going to begin with a garbage bag in hand.  We have been taking some things to the dump, but most of it is outdoors or in the garage, which doesn’t count since I think the challenge is about decluttering the house. If you want to count garage and outdoor stuff, go for it, but my biggest clutter issues are in the house.

Day 1 – 1 bag of clutter and debris from basement.

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The Quest for a Successful GF/DF/SF Pumpkin Roll – Part 2

This is what I ended up doing.  It was okay.  Not great.  It needs work, but it did meet a need in a pinch.  I’m not sure if it was blah due to being frozen ahead of time or what.

Pumpkin Roll
Free of gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs when made as written

Preheat oven to 325.  (I meant to preheat it to 300 but was standing at an odd angle to the dial while setting the temp. It ended up being 325.  It worked anyway!)


1 Cherrybrook Kitchen GF yellow cake mix
1/3 C melted Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
3/4 C Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
EnerG Egg Replacer for the equivalent of 1 egg

Creamy Pumpkin Filling

*Baking time ended up being about 36-38 minutes in the manner in which I did it.  If you use a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, it will probably take less time since the batter will be thinner, so keep an eye on it.  I used a 9 x 13 glass baking dish because I didn’t have any foil to cover my gluten infested cookie sheet.

When the roll was finished baking, I let it cool for about 15 minutes and then I flipped it out onto wax paper and let it cool until it was just barely warm.  I


Creamy pumpkin roll filling (vegan) – 2nd attempt
If made as written, this filling is free of gluten, dairy, and soy. 


¼ C shortening – I used Spectrum organic palm shortening
2 Tbsp butter substitute – I used Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread
2 Tbsp lemon concentrate into ¼ C measure.
Fill the ¼ C measure the rest of the way with milk of your choice.  I used almond milk – original flavor, not vanilla.
¼ C tapioca flour (this helps it to thicken with less powdered sugar, which can make it sickeningly sweet)
4 C powdered sugar, it may take more


Cream the fats.

Stir in the tapioca flour into the creamed fats until the mixture is smooth.

Stir in powdered sugar and milk mixture alternately until milk is gone.

Filling is ready when it is just thick enough that it doesn’t fall off the beaters but not so thick that it shreds the roll while spreading.  Use your own judgment.

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The Quest for a Successful GF/DF/SF Pumpkin Roll

… using Cherrybrook Kitchen’s GF yellow cake mix.

Thursday evening, I finally got a minute to establish a baseline for my CBK-GF yellow-cake-mix-based pumpkin roll adventure, and I am encouraged!  Because Cherrybrook Kitchen has successfully created a cake mix that is both gluten free and egg free which bakes well and actually tastes good (more on that in a later post), starting with that mix seemed like the obvious place to start.
For my first experiment, this is what I did:

  • CBK’s instructions call for
    1/3 C melted butter
    3/4 C water
    the cake mix.
    Preheat oven to 350*.  Baking time for a 9″ round layer is 28-30 minutes.

My adjustments:

  • 1/3 C melted Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread
    3/4 C Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
    EnerG Egg Replacer for the equivalent of 1 egg
    1 CBK GF yellow cake mix
    Preheat oven to 325.  (I meant to preheat it to 300 but was standing at an odd angle to the dial while setting the temp. It ended up being 325.  It worked anyway!)  Baking time ended up being about 36-38 minutes.

I know.  It’s pretty risky to replace something as runny and loose as water with something as dense and comparatively thick and unyielding as pumpkin, but I had to start somewhere.

Because of the density of the batter, I was concerned that the cake wouldn’t bake all the way through with the mix’s baking time and temp.  Baking without eggs has taught me that when a recipe calls for eggs, nothing works like eggs!!  And when replacing eggs, it’s important to bake  low and slow. I reduced the temp and increased the time so that the inside would have more time to bake without the outside drying out and/or burning.

I was ultimately aiming for the sliced roll look with all of its layers of roll and creamy filling,  if at all possible, since I wasn’t planning on being able to actually roll it up.   I decided to try baking the batter in thin layers in loaf pans.  The amount of batter that I ended up with after I made the above adjustments was adequate to divide three ways.  While the batter did bake quite nicely, it did not move much from the position it was in when I poured it into the bread pans, so it wasn’t nice and smooth looking like ordinary cake.

After baking, the look of the batter was pretty much unchanged from when I first poured it.

It was, however, baked through and through.  That was a huge victory in gluten free, egg free baking!  Thank You, God!

The baked batter was also flexible and held together well.  I am still amazed!!  I hadn’t expected that at all!!  I was pretty sure that, if anything, it was going to break apart and/or crumble at the slightest movement.

It came out of the pans cleanly, and it’s not as visible here as the full size version, but the bottom is covered with little tiny bubbles from the leavening. The roll was that way throughout.

As you can see, there were no cracks or tears or giant chunks missing from sticking to the pan. I was very pleased!  I am betting that I will actually be able to roll this baby up if I am careful. Yippee!!

Because Cherrybrook Kitchen has done a great job of figuring out the leavening situation, the person baking it at home doesn’t have to worry about it.  It is a load off, let me tell you! This is why I thought CBK-ycm would be a great base for this endeavor and it has really paid off so far!

I attempted to make a filling for it that would be just as good as the cream cheese filling but I put it on too soon and it melted all over the place.  It tasted good, but it wasn’t pretty.  Sticky, but not pretty.

It’s not beautiful, but if you look closely, you can see that it is baked all the way through. 🙂

I’m so excited!  I’m hoping that this pumpkin roll/thingy will give me Favorite Aunt status for at least five minutes on Thanksgiving Day.  We’ll see!  🙂 I definitely need to get working on the filling.  I’ll probably post about that tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting!  God bless you!

– Esther