Well, our GF cooking class at Whole Foods ended about one and a half hours ago, and here I am blogging about it, not for what went well, but for what didn't. More specifically, within twenty minutes of leaving the store and heading home, I got very sick (still am) with a gluten reaction. To the wonderful people that attended the class, I sincerely hope that you've been spared...that perhaps you're less sensitive than me, or that my source of gluten contamination had nothing to do with the class.
Kelli and I have replayed the evening over in our heads, trying to determine where gluten could have found its way into the food (assuming, of course, that the source of contamination did in fact come from the class). Here's what we can think of:
For one, we were in an unfamiliar kitchen. How well had the mixing bowls and measuring cups been washed from a previous demonstration that may have (or likely had) gluten?
For another, at least two ingredients were different from what we typically use at home. First, we use strictly Bob's Red Mill flours for our blend, which are all certified gluten-free. The store didn't have the brown rice flour, so we used the Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour instead. I double-checked their website, and they list the flour as gluten-free. Secondly, we used a different vanilla extract than usual. I don't recall the specific brand that we used tonight during the demo. This could have been a problem, though there's no way to know at this point. However, for your own reference, at home we use Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract, which is both superb and gluten-free.
On a positive note, we had a wonderful time at the class. Thank you to Janet at Whole Foods for inviting us, and thanks to everyone who attended. We truly enjoyed having you there, sharing our recipes with you, and chatting about all sorts of gluten-free topics, from the finer points of xanthan gum, to recipes and restaurants and much more. If you have any follow up questions, don't hesitate to let us know. And as promised, we'll be posting additional recipes in the near future.