This is a picture of Laura's newest recipe, one that yields lightly-herbed Gluten-Free Baguettes, Mini-Baguettes, Breadsticks, and/or French-Bread with a fantastic texture and taste. The recipe is highly adaptable, and can form any of a few varieties of bread just by altering the size and shape of each loaf or stick (even down to tiny little crispy breadsticks the size of straws; we also plan to try making both soft and crispy pretzels with a variation of this GF recipe).
I promised to get this new gluten-free baguette recipe published this week, and I definitely dragged my feet a bit, waiting until today - Friday! If anyone was waiting anxiously for it, I apologize for being distracted. I actually had the recipe online yesterday over at the book site, but only today wrote a corresponding blog entry.
I was caught up in the launch event for Microsoft Office 2007 here in Cleveland on Wednesday, and have been busy working with the latest MS Excel features and such ever since. If anyone reading is interested, I published my Microsoft Office 2007 Review here on my investing/technology blog. It seems like nearly everyone uses Microsoft office these days, so who knows, perhaps even the gluten-free readers will enjoy the review :)
If that wasn't enough, I also became consumed with finishing reading the January 2007 special issue of American Psychologist dealing with Leadership. I found it rather interesting, and also pulled this following quote from page 37 inside a segment called "A Systems Model of Leadership" by Robert J. Sternberg of Tufts University - discussing the concept of "Practical Intelligence":
Practical intelligence is the set of skills and dispositions used to solve
everyday problems by applying knowledge gained from experience to purposefully adapt to, shape, and select environments. It thus involves changing oneself to suit the environment (adaptation), changing the environment to suite oneself (shaping), or finding a new environment within which to work (selection).
This got me thinking about how the average gluten-free person is so directly implicated in this paragraph. We all go through at least one of these changes - adaptation - when we first learn that we can no longer consume gluten after being diagnosed as Celiac or discovering we are otherwise wheat or gluten intolerant. We have no choice (aside from causing our bodies harm) - we must adapt to our new glutenfree environment.
Next, quite a few of us have moved through the subsequent phase - shaping - as we shape our environment to better accommodate our condition. My personal approach to shaping was to tackle one of the first perceived obstacles to remaining gluten-free; that was, the lack of great tasting gluten-free foods from which to choose, and on which I could rely, to satisfy me and help me remain gluten-free for life. In particular, I needed some great desserts to lean on through my period of adaptation, and with the help of my wife and daughter, I achieved that goal and ultimately published a gluten-free cookbook to help others facing the same situation. I have shaped the gluten-free environment for the better, as have many others within the gluten-free community.
Finally, this leads to enabling selection and finding new environments within which to work. By definition, the only environments all of us gluten-free and coeliac types can live within are ones without gluten. But, this does not imply we must select environments that are lacking in fulfillment, flavor, and overall enjoyment. Sure, we have complications to consider, but who doesn't sooner or later in life? Many of our issues can be addressed through dietary concerns and related lifestyle changes. There are ups and downs along the way, but we generally have the ability to choose to lead rather normal lives.
We have all been forced to work on our practical intelligence skills in order to solve the everyday problems of Celiac Disease and gluten-intolerance. We apply apply our knowledge and experience to purposefully adapt to, shape, and select our environment. Given that "practical intelligence" is one of the criteria posited as essential for leadership, perhaps our gluten-free experience has given us all a dose of valuable leadership skills exercise.
I'm not sure if that argument will hold any weight if used to argue for a promotion at work, but one way or the other, you have faced, and worked through, the steps required to develop this quality of practical intelligence that is considered a valuable trait when it comes to leadership assessment.
Well, that's enough for the gluten-free blog today, and it should give you something to think about while you're baking our newest gluten-free bread recipe this blog posting started out with. Enjoy!