Hi there! I’m Jeanne. I live in Seattle. You might remember my blog as Four Chickens (fourchickens.blogspot.com)–the title when I first started it in May 2005 (the name referred to the chickens that we have in our urban back yard). Eventually, in 2010, I decided that since my passion is gluten-free baking it was time to re-name my blog so people didn’t think it was a farming blog. Um, yeah. Originally, years ago, it was more of a knitting and gardening blog–so there was all-kinds of confusion. Just so you know, for now I’m keeping @fourchickens as my Twitter name, so I haven’t completely abandoned the chickens thing. We do have chickens in our urban backyard.
In case you’re wondering, our chickens are: Peep (Silver-Laced Wyandotte); Billina (Welsummer); and Clover (Partridge Rock). Lulu our beloved Golden-Laced Wyandotte, whom you might read about on the blog, died in December from a raccoon attack. We refer to the them collectively as “The Girls.”
I’ve been baking gluten-free since the birth of my daughter in 2000 triggered my gluten-intolerance. Ever since, I’ve been experimenting with how to bake gluten-free goods that taste just like their wheat counterparts. There has been a lot of research and trial and error during this journey, but I am happy to share with you my successes! I also share my disasters when I think it will help folks. In addition, I like to share various baking tips to help my readers bake the best they can! I love to bake and I want my readers to have the best experience possible. I often tackle hard stuff (like puff pastry), but I try to make it as accessible to everyone.
My second baking cookbook, Gluten-Free Wish List: Sweet and Savory Treats You’ve Missed the Most again with Chronicle Books, came out October 2015.
If you want to see what I really look and sound like, as well as how I approach gluten-free baking, check out my Google talk!
As an author, I am represented by Sally Ekus at The Lisa Ekus Group.
I have 1 daughter I refer to as Girlfriend; 1 husband I refer to as dAhub* (it’s a reference to Moby Dick and the hunt for the mouse-bats in our house–search “mouse-bat” on the site for more info); three chickens; 1 organic garden in a constant state of disrepair; 10 million books; 5 million cookbooks; a zillion unfinished projects rolling around the house; more knitting yarn that I can use in my lifetime; and 1 Ph.D. in an interdiciplinary, experimental theatre field. I teach gluten-free baking at various venues around Seattle, which is fun and allows me to help people know that gluten-free baking can be easy and delicious!
Not only am I gluten-intolerant, I have a life-threatening allergy to wheat (apparently I am the only one my allergist has ever seen with an actual wheat allergy). I also react to oats themselves (even gluten-free oats). Read about this common intolerance that gluten-free folks often have at Oats and Gluten Intolerance: It’s Complicated. And I have have Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), which means that I cannot eat most fruits, vegetables, and nuts in their raw state (I can eat most of them well-cooked except for broccoli, avocado, and eggplant). My daughter has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and is sensitive to soy. Add to this a husband who reacts to almonds and lemons–and you can imagine how this combo platter keeps life interesting, to say the least!
I’m also the website editor for the site Canning Across America–which is mainly an information site these days (i.e., we’re not doing much work on it at the moment). Canning Across America is an ad-hoc collective of folks all over the US who want to keep the traditions of food preserving alive. Canning is very fun and I love to do it with my family and with my pals. I then use my canned goods (mostly jam) in my baked goods. Win-win!
* in relation to the whole mouse-bat thing, you may call me Ishmael.