Going Gluten Free
We hadn't originally thought we could provide gluten free meals, but then two things happened. Firstly I was encouraged by Stephen Gorton of Fraktul (who created our logo by the way) and gave me the link to Live Gluten Free which gives loads of great information on products, recipes, restaurants and places to stay across the UK.
I started researching what it meant and what I would need to do. Then a previous guest asked if we would provide it for a repeat visit with some other guests they wanted to bring along and as I had loads of notice I said "yes".
Since then I've sourced gluten free products to ensure that the breakfast has a good range of traditional fare and home baking. The website told me where to get flours, oats, puff pastry, bread (I won't bake my own just now), and granola. I found that Seriously Good Venison in Perth did gluten free sausages but I have yet to find a local, artisan supplier of gluten free oatcakes.
I also thought about "contamination" and how I would separate the kitchen and cooking so that the gluten free products wouldn't come into contact with other products. I heard that I shouldn't use wooden spoons.
Then the fun part. I started to practice gluten free baking. I searched more websites for recipes or ideas that would fit in with my home ingredients - like rhubarb and tayberry crumble slices - and what would work for dinner menus. Guests have given me tips, such as it's better to work gluten free pastry whereas the opposite is the case with standard pastry making.
My first priority is still to talk to guests who request gluten free to establish what they require exactly and to agree dinner menus in advance. In that way I expect to learn from them and deliver just what they want.
Have a great gluten free December