Gluten Free Blog Event: In Honor of Bette Hagman

glutenfreefrenchbread1.jpgI would like to announce my very first blog event. I hope that many of you will be able to participate.

Many of us have heroes that have changed our lives for the better. One of my heroes has long been the Gluten Free baking pioneer, Bette Hagman. As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at the age of three, so most of my food memories are gluten free. I grew up on Ener-g Foods bread (toasted) and Ener-g foods cookies (yuck), due in part to being a Seattle girl living near the Ener-g foods factory. Let’s face it, food was pretty bland and boring back then. My favorite foods were Vanilla Ice Cream, Potato Salad, and pizza made with Ener-g Foods pizza crusts. Bleak, right? Then when I was in college, one of my dearest friends came to visit me- an artistic soul who baked me a beautiful gluten free pie and gave me a cookbook written by this “Gluten Free Gourmet,” Bette Hagman. Previously my idea of baking was gluten free Muffins from a Fearn brown rice mix or Ener-g Foods mix (don’t ask. Trust me, you don’t want any.) “More from the Gluten Free Gourmet” was a hardback cookbook (impressive in my college poverty) with recipes for all these things I had never imagined that I could make. Crumpets, Pizza, yeast bread- it was all in there, with clear, easy to follow directions. The most miraculous thing was that when I started making those recipes, they actually worked, and I found myself creating all these delicious things successfully- even yeast bread! I had never imagined that gluten free bread could taste so good, and my discovery was entirely thanks to Bette Hagman. I immediately felt a kinship with the kindly looking lady depicted in photographs of her books that lived in my home state of Washington. And every time I made something that turned out well from her books, I felt so proud and grateful to her for essentially teaching me how to bake gluten free gods. I stopped ordering prepared things from Ener-g foods, used my last sealed, antiseptic loaf of bread from Ener-g Foods for stuffing, and started baking my own gluten free bread on a weekly basis. As my cooking skills developed, so did Bette Hagman’s inventiveness. Each successive cookbook experimented with new and different flours that radically improved on the pure rice flour blends that I used to use. I developed my own versions of recipes like her “Rapid Rise French Bread” and incorporated them into my party menus, even daring to serve them to very appreciative gluten consuming guests. Thanks to Bette not only was I able to radically improve my own gluten free diet, but I was able to show people that the gluten free diet can be every bit as delicious as a gluten based diet, which made me feel wonderful. Sometimes you admire people for years (in my case, 11 years), but never find a way to express to them your gratitude or appreciation for those efforts.

Recently, I was saddened to read a note written by the executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group®, also known as GIG®, Cynthia Kupper, explaining that Bette Hagman was seriously ill and asking for our best wishes for her family and Bette herself. The Gluten Intolerance Group wanted Bette to know that her work on the behalf of the gluten free community had not been forgotten and to know that she has made a difference in pioneering Gluten Free baking. As soon as I read this, I immediately wanted to send flowers, or a fruit basket, or something, to this wonderful lady, Bette Hagman, who did so much to change all of our Gluten Free lives for the better. Suddenly these two ideas fused together, and I thought of how cool it would be if we, the blogging gluten free community, sent Bette a card with photos of her food that all of us had made. The next day, before I could act on my idea, I found out from the director of the GIG, Cynthia Kupper, that Bette Hagman had passed away quietly in her home. When I heard this sad news, I felt even more that I needed to do something at last to express my appreciation for Bette. So many of us in the Gluten free community have benefited from Bette Hagman’s cookbooks that taught us that Gluten free COULD really be Gourmet, and that we could ourselves become Gluten Free Gourmets. Even though we can no longer send Bette a card, I would still like to take this time to do something as a group in Bette’s honor, and let everyone know that Bette may be gone, but she will never be forgotten and her legacy will continue.

erinstagforbette.jpg

Here’s my idea.

Bette Hagman, a pioneer of Gluten Free baking and the author of the “Gluten Free Gourmet” cookbooks passed away around the 17th of August. Bette Hagman was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, a disease requiring a gluten free diet free of wheat, rye, oats and barley, more than twenty-five years ago. She wrote six cookbooks, each offering a multitude of delicious wheat- and gluten-free recipes—what she called a “prescription for living.” She was a writer, lecturer, and twenty-five-year member of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and lived in Seattle and transformed the diets of many of us who are gluten intolerant.

I would like to propose over the next two weeks from August 20th to September 3rd that we all bake something from one of Bette Hagman’s cookbooks, and take a really beautiful photo of the baked good that we produce. I would like to think of each photo as a flower bouquet honoring Bette Hagman, and so include at least one beautiful flower (and possibly a flower bouquet) in the background of your photo or placed on the baked good like the photo I posted here. Post your photo on your blog along with a short (one or two line) note on the impact Bette Hagman had on your life and comment here with the link or email it to me at mehere.jpg. Please download the “Baked in Honor” tag and post it along with your post. If you feel comfortable doing so, include a wallet sized photograph of yourself in the post or email. If you don’t have a blog, that’s ok, just send me the photo(s) and your message. Please size your photo to be about the same size as the photo posted here. I will personally take these photos to Kinkos, create a poster/card of some kind with the images and our personal messages, and mail them to the Gluten Intolerance Group, in care of Cynthia Kupper, so that she may deliver the card to Bette’s daughter. I will also do a roundup on this site with all the photos. I would really love for Bette Hagman’s family to know how many of our lives Bette touched with her cookbooks. Please help me make this event a wonderful success for a wonderful lady, Bette Hagman, the one and only true Gluten Free Gourmet.


Other blogs commenting on this sad event:

Gluten Free Gobsmaked part one and part two
Gluten Free Fun
A touching tribute to Bette at So here’s what I think

*Thanks to Erin of Gluten-Free Fun for creating the lovely ‘Baked in Honor of Bette Hagman’ tag. I am absolutely thrilled at the response from those in the gluten free community and all the offers of help. Thank you, all! Now, let’s get baking!*

Our tribute was completed, posted, and mailed to Bette’s daughter. You can view the Tribute Online, here.


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32 Responses to “Gluten Free Blog Event: In Honor of Bette Hagman”

  1. Sea –
    What a GREAT idea! You’re on!

    I’ve been thinking of how much Bette has impacted and made life enjoyable for those of us who love baking. I’ve got a list of Hagman recipes that I haven’t used in a while (like that French Bread!) and I think now is the perfect time to get moving on them.

    If there is *anything* I can do to help with this poster/card idea, let me know =). The help is there for the asking.

    -Kate

  2. [...] Here are the details (Sea.. I hope you don’t mind the cut/paste): [...]

  3. Thank you for the support, Kate! I hope that we can get lots of GF bloggers (and non bloggers) involved… I have no idea what kind of response we’ll get but I’ll have my fingers crossed. :) I can’t wait to see what you (and everyone) creates.

    -Sea

  4. Sea, what a lovely idea. I am sure that the GIG and Bette’s family will find this quite thoughtful. Thank you for mentioning my blog. I have posted the information about this blogger event at my site, Gluten-Free Fun.

    I am also the moderator of Gluten-Free Goodness on Flickr and I encourage all of the participants to join the group and post their photos of their Bette Hagman gluten-free creations. You can visit the Flickr group at: http://flickr.com/groups/glutenfreegoodness/

  5. Oh SS, this is really sad. I’ll be sure to make something soon and send the link to you. How nice as a tribute; it will probably mean a lot to her daughter.

    Thanks!

  6. What a beautiful idea! Your story about your childhood and Bette’s impact touched me. My 5 year old is kind of like you. He’s been gf (and also cf–dairy-free) since about 2 1/2. I’m a totally newbie blogger, but count me in. I’ll email you my tribute soon.

    Katherine

  7. What a lovely idea.

  8. oh my dear, what a wonderful idea. I wrote a little something about Bette last night on my blog, and a commenter told me about your plan. Count me in!

  9. Hi Erin,
    Thanks for the lovely tag. It’s perfect and exactly right for the event. Your flickr group is very cool, I’ll have to spend more time over there.

    VegJ- How cool is the internet, that it allows us to bring gluten free folk that live all over the world together in an event like this! I’m so happy you plan on participating. -SS ;)

    Hi Katherine,
    Thank you for joining us! I think us GF people diagnosed at such a young age have it easier in some ways than the recently diagnosed because we haven’t known another way of life, so it seems natural to us. But your son is lucky- boy, back in the day when I was diagnosed (and had to walk to school each way in the snow barefoot), GF food was super icky. It’s actually good now- who would have thought! Best wishes and hugs to you and your son.

    Hi Karina,
    Always lovely to see you. *hugs*

    Shauna!
    You made it over my way, yay! I’ll be looking forward to one of your beautiful photos.

    *hugs and thanks to all*
    -Sea

  10. I’m jealous you have a hardcover of her book!

    I just want you to know I changed the wording about where to send condolences on my post.

  11. [...] Aug 21st, 2007 by Kate This note was received from Cynthia Kupper (GIG) from Bette Hagman’s daughter.  I wanted to pass on her note as well as remind all of you to take part in Seamaiden’s Blog Event in Bette’s honor. [...]

  12. Thank you for doing this. I posted about it today at a wrung sponge. I linked you as well and posted pictures at the flickr group. Ms. Hagman’s books are a great blessing to me.

  13. Thank you, Sea. I’m on the learning curve with the blogging thing. Hope I did it right. If you need me to do it differently, let me know. The cookies in the picture are Pecan Bites from the book I photographed. What a lovely way for me to jump into all this — in honor of Bette.
    Melissa

  14. Hi Sea:

    This was a fantastic idea to honor the woman at the beginning of the whole gluten-free cooking wave, Bette Hagman. I just blogged about her Mini Sponge Cakes with Lemon Cream. Thanks for all the work in organizing this.

    -Rachel

  15. Hi Sea,
    I hope you got my emails. I have my tribute to Bette, from me and in a way from my little boy too, up on my site now. Again, you are wonderful to do this. I know her family will so appreciate it.

    My blog program won’t let me use two photos in one post, so I did two in order to use the pretty bouquet logo also. But that’s ok, gave me the chance to write more! I linked you too. Hope I did it all right!

    Katherine
    http://www.gfcfmommy.blogspot.com

  16. [...]     This post is in Honor of Bette Hagman and all of her pioneering with gluten free cooking.   Please feel free to join in and Bake for Bette too.  Seamaiden (www.BookOfYum.com) is the Blog Event Sponsor.  Please link back to her in your post or send you pictures to her (if you don’t blog).  Thank you. [...]

  17. Here’s a link to my post, Sea. I’ve never participated in a Blog Event so do tell if I’m doing this wrong. LOL

    http://glutenfree.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/gf-breadsticks-baking-for-bette/

  18. [...] In her honor, I’m going to participate in Book of Yum’s blog event. Sometime before September 3rd, I’m going to bake Frank and myself something delicious from her desserts cookbook. It’s the least I can do. [...]

  19. [...] Bette Hagman August 25, 2007 Filed under: Gluten Free — glutenfreekathy @ 8:20 am I referred to one of Bette Hagman’s cookbooks yesterday.  I remember when I was first diagnosed and bought her cookbook “The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread”.  I was impressed with all of the research she had done.  All of her cookbooks also contain a Foreward which is written by a doctor.  They are all very encouraging and informative.  It is really worth your time to read her story in the cookbook.  Book of Yum is having a blog event in honor of Bette Hagman.  I will definitely be honoring this wonderful baker and forerunner of gluten free cooking.   [...]

  20. I have been a fan of Bette Hagman since her first book came out. Strangely, I have not made many of her recipes but the absolutely best thing I learned from her was how to make my own gluten free flour mix. That has given me the freedon to easily convert almost any recipe that calls for wheat flour to a gluten free version. I continue to experiment and enjoy the adventure of testing new recipes. All thanks to Bette Hagman sharing her experiences on the gluten free trail. I even put up a video on Google that shows how I do it.

  21. This is a lovely idea! Thank you! I’ve been meaning to try something new, and actually, just recently made a bunch of individually frozen servings of her baked macaroni & cheese (a favorite of mine, and I was going skint from buying the Amy’s all the time). I’ll be sure to put a note about her in the post. Also, thank you for all of your lovely comments and suggestions recently!

  22. You can click on my name for Bette Hagman’s Pumpkin Soup….

  23. [...]   A “web event” is occuring as a memorial to Bette Hagman. The idea is that each of us is to bake something from one of her books, photograph it, and post it on our website. Click here for a more detailed explanation. It suddenly occurred to after I started writing this article that I have never baked anything “from scratch” before. (I have used mixes.) But I will learn! Celiac do that. Wish me luck! [...]

  24. Toll House Cookies using Featherlight Flour Mix. I’ve so much success in baking using this mix. Bette will be sadly missed, but her work will definitely be praised for generations. Be in peace, Bette, knowing that whereve you are, you can eat whatever you want now, and be safely able to!

  25. Find my tribute recipe to Bette here:

    http://holdthebunplease.blogspot.com/

  26. [...] Therefore on August 18th I sent out a call to the gluten free community, suggesting that Over the next two weeks from August 20th to September 3rd we all bake something from one of Bette Hagman’s cookbooks, and take a really beautiful photo of the baked good that we produce. I would like to think of each photo as a flower bouquet honoring Bette Hagman, and so include at least one beautiful flower (and possibly a flower bouquet) in the background of your photo or placed on the baked good like the photo I posted here. Post your photo on your blog along with a short (one or two line) note on the impact Bette Hagman had on your life and comment here with the link or email it to me. [...]

  27. Just stopped to say hello. I like your blog and it came from your heart. Beautiful!…

  28. I was unaware of Bette’s death!! Hers was the first cookbook and only cookbook I used for years, still recommend her cookbooks to newly diagnosed persons. My children 5 of them and I all were diagnosed in the 80’s, so have been using her cookbooks a long time. Have bought several for my children as they started their own kitchens. Send our sympathy to her family. The Beams

  29. I just discovered this event, and wonder if there’s a link to all of the tributes that I somehow didn’t see.

    My first gf book was Bette’s GF Gourmet Bakes Bread, and I don’t know what I would have done without it. I would have lived without bread, is what I would have done. A few bits of the commercially available stuff was enough for me! And her bean waffle recipe is a favorite in our family. I’ve served them to many friends and family, and it’s my 16-year old step-son’s favorite waffles. And he doesn’t even have sprue! He wants the recipe for when he’s out on his own and cooking for himself. If that’s not a tribute……!

    This was a lovely idea, and a lovely tribute, and I wish I had known about it so I could have contributed to the event.

  30. Dear Mary and Beams Family,
    Thanks so much for coming by!
    You can view the final tribute here:
    http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/gluten-free-bloggers-unite-to-honor-bette-hagman-a-tribute-to-bette-the-gluten-free-gourmet-800.html
    I also added a link to the tribute in the above post. Hope this helps and I appreciated your kind comments.

    Best,
    Sea

  31. A lot of people think that when you go ona gluten free diet you have to give up bread but that really isn’t true!

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