Food-allergy-recipes have now become the newest phase at the Smith household. As of last Thursday, John and I were put on a gluten-free, corn-free, refined sugar-free diet for at least the next six months! Alas, that means I'm in the market for new ketchup, soy sauce, baking powder, and some good bread recipes. Good thing we don't have to go meat-free or keeping up with the website would be torture for those very long six months. Fresh corn from the garden is "legal" so we'll be eying our garden patch as soon as the remaining two feet(I'm being optimistic) has melted. We grilled chicken last night so I can make Santa Fe Chicken Soup but I'll have to leave out the corn. I did find a recipe at for BBQ sauce that contains NO refined sugar or corn syrup! Hurray! I've been topping everything with salsa and John's been going heavy on the Adams's peanut butter and honey. Every alternative is very appreciated!

I'll keep you up to date on the new products and recipes we discover. I know Amy Dacyczyn's Tightwad Gazette books contain a recipe for Worcestershire sauce but I'll have to do my own research as I don't remember if it contains corn syrup or not :(

Blest wishes to all,Vickie

Latest Update: We finally broke down and bought a Vita-mix. For those of you who are familiar with Vita-mix, it's a very high quality "blender". In fact it's so powerful you can make your own peanut or other nut butters and lots of other amazing things. This will help us to use the sunflowers we grow and make our own sunflower spread and make fruit/vegetable drinks that disguise all kinds of healthy stuff for our picky eater. We were buying Mr. Picky V-8 Fusions and Juice Plus vitamins but I couldn't afford for the whole family to eat that way.

Our one major kitchen appliance, a Bosch Mixer that was previously owned by my grandmother, finally bit the dust-totally so I've been making all our bread from scratch and trying to buy a decent blender has been a joke- I can't believe how wimpy they are!!! I also burn up a hand mixer about once a year. Hopefully this Vita-Mix, the Cadillac of blenders will meet all our expectations. The one that arrived in the mail hasn't- it didn't even turn on so it's headed back to the factory. They were really sweet about it and it was great to actually talk to real Americans on the phone, even though I had to wait until business hours.

I did splurge since it was my Mother's Day present and buy the red one. Twenty bucks more but these machines really last so I'll be looking at it for ever- my folks still have their Vita-mix they bought when we were kids- sometime before 1980? maybe 1975? It's fun to go to their website and see all the changes. I was a little disappointed I couldn't buy the kind with a spigot on the front for dispensing liquids but it probably would be to tempting for the kids to try squirting stuff out at inappropriate times.

Also we found a local spelt grower so we can just drive by and pick up what we want. Very convenient and they also ship if anyone else is in need of spelt and can't find it in their area.

If you are interested in purchasing a vita-mix, drop me a line and I'll let you know the best way to do that.

Have a great day!vs