Born on the south coast of New South Wales in the tiny hamlet of Pericoe, I was introduced to cookery was at an early age by my paternal German grandparents. Grandfather George Arnold a pastry cook, made a tiny stool so that I could reach the table to help him cook, I was four years old.!. Early newspapers, c1900, of the district record George’s mother as a renowned caterer, a career I was destined to follow.
Bush fires of 1939 destroyed our home and the family moved to North Rocks in Sydney’s North West where my primary school education commenced. Planning to be a teacher, I was to sit for a scholarship examination to enter high school, when a savage dog attack interrupted my career. Many months in hospital with complications followed. After almost a year of absence I returned to school, then to be sent to a Home Science school instead of the high school I had hoped for. Excelling in Cookery and Food Study, the pattern for my career was apparent.
Leaving school I tried office work, but found quickly that the only work I enjoyed was working with food. Delicatessens were new to Sydney in 1950 and I had the opportunity to enter the trade of cooking smallgoods, and to learn to bone bacon and carve hams from old masters. From delicatessens I began training as a chef with the railways and worked on the new air conditioned trains from Armidale to Sydney.
My husband and I opened a Delicatessen in Gosford in 1955, where we sold freshly cooked hams, brawns and baked rabbits. At this time it was the only shop in Gosford to sell this type of food. When other shops in town were quiet, our little shop was full!. Soon Woolworths opened their Deli’ section and it was time for us to sell.
We returned to Sydney in 1959 where I found joy in motherhood and my husband built a business in plant hire and excavation work. Following open heart surgery in 1962, I began to get restless again although involved with work for the school, church and formation of the first Girl Guide Company for West Pennant Hills. Soon I was back at work part time and then full time with Woolworths as a Delicatessen Manager. This continued until I went back to full time cookery under a European Chef to learn the finer points of a’la carte in a Sydney Restaurant.
My ultimate aim had always been to open my own function centre. Now our children were growing up I decided to get as much training as possible toward this end. I took a position as assistant chef in one of Sydney’s leading golf clubs, a venue for fashionable weddings. I continued working here until we opened our function centre, Springfield Receptions at Dural in 1974.
Our daughter was diagnosed with a gluten and wheat intolerance after a long illness, so it was necessary for me to learn to cook foods that she could eat. Even for me a trained commercial cook this was difficult. I found that products were incorrectly labelled and ingredients very hard to buy. I started experimenting and finally formulated an all purpose flour that was to simplify the recipes. After the sale of our business in 1989, I commenced teaching and finally writing the first Wheat Free World Cookbook for sufferers of gluten and wheat intolerance.
Letter from Lola
This Recipe Collection is for those undergoing desensitising treatments or with multiple allergy and intolerance conditions. The selected recipes should only be followed on medical advice. They are free of dairy products, wheat, gluten, oats, barley, rye, triticale or spelt, corn, soy, nuts, xanthan or guar gum. Sulphites and salicylates are generally avoided or alternatives are given, food colours are not used.
Many of the recipes are free of fresh eggs although some use egg-replacer
There are three flour blends, my superfine flour that can be used for all recipes, one free of potato, another is grain free. In most recipes they can be inter changed with the exception of the yeasted breads. I have developed and tested each recipe using my Superfine flour blend I have not tested every recipe with every blend as this would take another three years. Many yeast free recipes are included and there are some yeasted bread recipes that are free of eggs in the collection; my basic pastry is free of sugar, as well there are low sugar recipes in every chapter.
The egg-free yeasted loaf requires heavier flour such as the Grain Free Blend or Superfine Flour, flat breads, pan breads and wraps can be made using either flour with or without yeast and eggs.
Three years of research and consultation with Specialist Allergy Medical Practitioners prompted this collection to provide recipes for patients undergoing treatment for multiple food allergy or intolerance.
Some of these recipes were made up to a dozen times before a reasonable result was achieved. They are still not perfect but to the person on a multiple allergy diet they are a great improvement on rice cakes.