Some weeks ago in August, I learned the sad news that Bette Hagman, the pioneer of Gluten Free baking, had passed away. When I heard this, I felt that I needed to do something to express my appreciation for Bette. I have long been impressed with the generosity of spirit and heart of the gluten free community, whether it be on gluten free message boards like Melonie’s Yahoo SillyYaks group, VegetarianGF, or on numerous gluten free boards like the one at Gluten Free Mall.com. I’ve also loved the spirit of community I felt with my own local Celiac support group here in the Bay Area. The gluten free blogging community is a very special, close knit group all bound together by our passion for delicious, healthy gluten free eating. We share so much together, not just recipes but also encouragement and support of a dietary lifestyle that, while easier in the past decade, still has its trials and tribulations. We all have so many reasons to be grateful for Bette Hagman, who blazed a trail for all of us gluten free gourmets in training. I wanted to do something as a group in Betteâ€™s honor, and let everyone know that Bette may be gone, but she will never be forgotten and her legacy will continue.
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 Hagmanâ€™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.
I hoped to show Bette Hagmanâ€™s family how many of our lives Bette touched with her cookbooks. I was delighted when my mailbox was flooded with entries from bloggers and home chefs all over the world, from as far as Japan and even New Zealand, each of whom wanted to pay tribute to the one and only gluten free gourmet by putting a little bit of their heart and soul into a baked good dedicated to Bette. I would like to send special thanks to Kate of Gluten Free Gobsmacked and Erin of Gluten Free Fun for spreading the word about our event for Bette. Erin created a beautiful tag for our event that perfectly captured the spirit of our memorial, and I was very grateful for her initiative and creative vision. Also, I would like to thank Kathi for her generous donation of $15 towards printing and mailing fees, enabling the next step of this event to take place.
The next step will be for me to take these photos to Kinkos and 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 Betteâ€™s daughter. I will post a scan of the finished product before mailing it on Book of Yum so that you can all see the results of your labor. I will also report back any response we get from Bette’s daughter.
If somehow your entry did not make it into the roundup, please accept my apologies, and let me know immediately so I can find your entry and add it to the tribute. It will probably take me a few days to make it to kinkos, so you have a little time to check your work. Also, I hope you don’t mind my posting selections of your tribute to Bette. It was difficult to pick just one sentence from many entries. Just let me know if you have a preferred tributary sentence or selection, and I will update the roundup.
I hope that many of you will click on your fellow bloggers’ blog titles and explore the work of other Gluten Free Gourmets. Some posts have recipes, and most have additional comments on their personal experiences with Bette Hagman’s books and recipes. It would be wonderful if this event could not only introduce us to some of Bette’s work that we are not familiar with, but also help us get to know each other a little bit better.
To conclude, thank you so much for all your participation and hard work that resulted in the success of this event. I appreciate each and every one of your efforts and am as always impressed by the creativity and talent of gluten free chefs (both habitual and coincidental) in the blogosphere. Thank you, all… A heartfelt hug and thanks to each and every one of you.
Lucy at Hold the Bun, Please said
One of the first recipe books I picked up upon being re-diagnosed with celiac disease was Bette Hagman’s The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. Chock-a-block with recipes for bread, buns, muffins, waffles, crackers and many more, Bette’s book quickly became the essential guide I turn to more than any other. Bette was a pioneer in gluten free baking. Her endless research into various flour blends meant that we celiacs no longer had to bake with rice flour exclusively. Her recipes involve sorghum, millet and her fabulous four flour bean blend with garfava. Bette made it possible to create delicious, moist loaves that rivaled any wheat based bread that were nutritious as well as delectable. . . .I baked the yam and cranberry muffins (pictured above) as a tribute to Bette who recently died. Thanks to Bette, being diagnosed with celiac disease is not a dire sentence to a life time of limitation but can actually mean the start of an exciting culinary adventure.
When my then 3 year old daughter, Mary was diagnosed with celiac in 2001, I didn’t know where to begin. I bought Bette Hagman’s book, The Gluten-Free Gourmet at my local health food store and started the journey of becoming a gluten free baker. Because of [Bette Hagman's] research and development of the ever popular “GF Mix” I was able to make the foods my daughter loved gluten free, such as pizza, ravioli and bagels. Her mix also gave me the ability to convert old family recipes to gf recipes. I now make the family holiday favorites that I grew up with gluten free (and I think that they are better now!) I have only bought a few gf cookbooks in these 6 years; I now look to the internet for many recipes. However, The Gluten-Free Gourmet remains in my kitchen as a “go to” book when I need to make a sauce or pie crust, similar to my mother’s old Betty Crocker book when I was a girl. Recently, we went peach picking at a local farm. I knew I would make a non gf pie for my husband. Because of gluten free cooking’s pioneer, Bette Hagman, I also knew that my daughter would have a gf option to enjoy the peaches. [This is] a photo of gf peach tarts made with Bette’s vinegar pastry pie crust recipe on page 146.
Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy said:
My first few months gluten-free were pretty typical. A few months after I went gluten-free, I got pregnant for the first time. A new diet and a new pregnancy were not a good mix for me. I was starving! I had not figured out the gluten-free thing yet at all. My husband and I bought the Bette Hagman cookbooks, but were too scared to embark on the adventure of gluten-free cooking yet. My mom, sensing my despair, came and stayed with me for a few weeks. She began to cook with the â€œexoticâ€ flours and slowly I began to feel good again. Eating those comforting foods eased my morning sickness-thank goodness. One of our favorite recipes, Swedish Apple Torte, was from Bette Hagmanâ€™s More From the Gluten Free Gourmet. I would like to thank Bette Hagman for giving me the confidence to learn to cook gluten-free.
BytheBay at Gluten Free By the Bay said
Bette, thank you for the contributions you made to the gluten-free world. Even though this is my first time preparing one of your recipes, I can feel the impact you have made on my life indirectly. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have become gluten-free at a time when there were so many fabulous recipes available on the internet and in a plethora of cookbooks. If it weren’t for you, I might not have had people to reassure me that I could still eat the foods I love. [Bette,] you were truly a pioneer, and every gluten-intolerant person’s life is better for it. Rest in peace.
Debi Bussell at So Here’s What I Think said
Bette, I wish I could’ve met you, hugged your neck & told you how much I appreciate you. You have made it possible for me to feed and nurture my special family & I just pray I do your recipes justice. Again, thanks Bette, you will be missed.
Sheltie Girl at Gluten A Go Go said
Bette’s books guided me through my journey in learning how to cook gluten free. I made many of her bread recipes from The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread and other recipes from her books The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Food and Living Well Without Wheat. It felt like Bette was there guiding and teaching me. Bette’s books built my confidence and knowledge so that I was able to begin experimenting with my own recipes. Bette Hagman gave me the knowledge that enabled me to be the adventurous cook I had been prior to my diagnosis. . . Thank you Bette for all your hard work in making these cookbooks. They are a gift that will keep giving not only to me, but to the gluten free community for years to come.
Cloudscome at A Wrung Sponge said
The two cookbooks that I rely on and take great delight in are Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Comfort Food and The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, both by Bette Hagman. When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease three years ago I was devastated to learn that because of my genetically-inherited gluten intolerance I would have to change my diet immediately to remove all wheat, rye and barley products. My favorite foods were pasta, bread, cakes and cookies. I thought I would never enjoy a meal again. Bette Hagman’s cookbooks gave me hope. She patiently taught me about alternate flours from rice, corn, potato, tapioca and beans. She tutored me in the importance of egg whites, xanthan gum and precise mixing techniques that make it possible for me to make all of my old favorite foods and discover many new ones. Without those cookbooks I would be much hungrier and drearier. . . .One of the foods that I miss the most is bread. I love, love, love a good ham and cheese sandwich. I could weep over a roll with mustard, mayo, cracked pepper deli ham, provolone, garden fresh basil and just picked tomatoes. This is what I had for lunch today, with just-out-of-the-oven Bette Hagman gluten free French bread rolls. Ms. Hagman I can not tell you the joy you bring me. Thank you for your life’s work. God Bless you and may the Spirit comfort your family.
Amy Adams of Seattle, Washington said
These are Sarah’s Bagels from The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. I was so excited to finally find a bagel recipe that tastes like a real bagel and involves boiling! I make them every few weeks and [I] will be forever thankful to Bette for this [bagel recipe] and so many other recipes. We will miss you.
Kate at Gluten Free Gobsmacked said
Thank you, Bette, for making my life easier. Thank you encouraging all of us to get in the kitchen and try things. Thank you for all of your experiments, recipes, and teachings. You built a great foundation. Now, letâ€™s raise the stakes, people! Letâ€™s really get Gourmet with our Gluten-Free.
GFCF Mommy at GFCF Mommy said
When I heard the news recently that Bette Hagman (aka â€œThe Gluten-Free Gourmetâ€) had died, I looked over at my cookbook shelf and sighed. I have a shelf in my kitchen which has become my daily resource library for The Prince. On it are GFCF cookbooks, autism parent guides, books about sensory diets, better known as OT. The three most prominent authors on that shelf are Bette Hagman, Bernie Rimland, and Elaine Gottschall. And in the past year or two, all three have passed away, but I like to think of them, [including Bette Hagman,] as guardian angels of our ASD kids. . . .To honor Bette, I baked New ‘Oatmeal’ Cookies (the chocolate chip variation) from her book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Food. In this recipe, quinoa flakes replace the oatmeal. To me, these cookies symbolize so much. I came to gluten-free cooking due to my son’s autism and GI troubles. Thanks to my food heroes like Bette, I can bake cookies for him to enjoy after-school, and he is thriving now that his tummy feels better. I also included a “bouquet” he drew and his Mother’s Day artwork. In this way at least, we are just like a regular mom and a regular kid. Since nothing about autism is “regular” this is such a gift. My family and I wish Bette Hagman’s family peace at this difficult time. She helped many mothers like me wondering how to create sweets for little ones with tummy troubles. The Prince and I toast her with two glasses of rice milk and some of her tasty cookies!
(Tribute taken from two posts, the above link and GFCF Mommy’s post on Angels for Autism)
Vegetablejapan at Vegetable Japan said
Because [eating gluten free] made me feel better, I tried to eliminate gluten from my life. [The bread made with a recipe from The Gluten-Free Gourmet, Bette Hagman,] was the first gluten-free bread I ever truly enjoyed. Recently I have been able to get a gluten-free flour mix from Kinnikinnik foods that works wonderfully in the recipes. This past month I have baked three batches of different breads from Bette’s recipes. I enjoy this bread so much and I’m very thankful to Bette for her work in developing good breads with a bite and texture that is enjoyable. And they are great toasted. I was sad to hear of her passing. I am very thankful to her for making bread possible for me again and for millions of others who are using her recipes or adapting her methods to improve life for the gluten-free community. For we who love bread and are nourished by it, Bette is The Staff of Life. A good legacy, I think.
Sea at the Book of Yum said
One of my heroes has long been the Gluten Free baking pioneer, Bette Hagman. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at the age of three, so most of my food memories are gluten free [and fairly bleak]. When I was in college, one of my dearest friends came to visit me . . .and gave me a cookbook written by this â€œGluten Free Gourmet,â€ Bette Hagman. â€œMore from the Gluten Free Gourmetâ€ was a hardback cookbook . . . with recipes for all these things I had never imagined that I could make. . . . 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. 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. Bette Hagman truly changed my life for the better.
Kathy at Gluten Free Kathy said
This delicious carrot cake is my favorite. It is full of carrots, coconut, nuts and cranberries, soooo moist that it doesnâ€™t need frosting. It is a special recipe that I always make for important occasions. This post is important to me because it is in honor of a very special chef, Bette Hagman. All celiacs owe her a debt of gratitude for the research she pioneered as she wrote her series of cookbooks. [Bette Hagman wrote] the first cookbooks I read after my celiac diagnosis 3 years ago and [she] helped make everything so clear to me.
Jill Elise at Hey That Tastes Good! said
My story of becoming gluten-free is like everyone else’s. I thought I couldn’t eat anything, I gave up baking, I was sad. . . .Eventually I bought myself The Gluten-free Gourmet, Living Well Without Wheat. Suddenly, I was able to make cakes again. And pasta (I still stand strong by her pasta recipe, and even bought a pasta dough roller for Christmas last year). And a lot of other things I didn’t think I could eat again. I started experimenting. It was so exciting. I read her book cover to cover. I dogeared a lot of the pages. Many of the recipes are still untried, and the popover recipe was one of them. I baked these tonight and they’re delicious. Bette Hagman did so much for the gluten-free community. So many of us have the same story. She made life easier. Thank you Bette, for making all of our lives better.
Rachel at Wheat-Free, Meat Free said
Bette’s cookbooks were the first we consulted when faced with Dan’s celiac diagnosis and we own three of her cookbooks. I was delighted to try my hand at making something sweet to show her family my appreciation for all of her hard work and inventiveness in the kitchen. I made the Mini-Sponge Cakes with Lemon Cream from her book “The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Desserts” which I bought as a Christmas present to myself this past year. Thank you Bette. You made the Jagareski family’s life a little sweeter.
Melissa at Gluten Free For Good said
Many years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. We had no idea what to do, so we bought one of Bette’s books and learned the fine art of mixing up a batch of “alternative” flour. We continued to buy her books. Then my dad got sick and I bought my parent’s one of Bette’s books. And on it went. My daughter has since been officially diagnosed with celiac disease. I have celiac disease and I suspect that celiac disease contributed to my dad’s death two years ago. That’s why I’m [starting my own blog] to increase awareness of celiac disease and help people live a healthy gluten-free lifestyle.(ed.) Thank you, Bette, for jump-starting my gluten-free journey in more ways than youâ€™ll ever know.Namaste, Melissa
Linda from the Non-GF blog Make Life Sweeter said
While I was baking these cookies (Weesper moppen) I realized that they were gluten-free. This in turn made me think about the Gluten Free blog event Seamaiden of Book of Yum is organizing in memory of Bette Hagman. Even though I don’t have Celiac Disease and none of my friends or family has, I do have a formal training as a dietician so I know about the condition and what impact it has on a persons diet and therefor life. This cookie recipe is not from one of Bette Hagman cookbooks but I would still like to dedicate [this cookie recipe] to Bette Hagman for all the work she has done for people with a gluten intolerance.
Arfi of the New Zealand Gluten Free blog Homemades said
This is . . . in Honour of Bette Hagman. And Bette, my cinerarias are flowering and they are for you, for your great works. Rest in Peace.
Arfi submitted a photo of her own creation of gluten free muffins in honor of Bette.
Molly Williams of Santa Monica, Ca said
Thanks to Bette Hagman for writing some amazing cookbooks. It must have been very challenging to be diagnosed with Celiac disease at a time when there were very little resources for information and few gluten free products. My first gluten free cookbook was ‘The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy’, and my favorite recipe is ‘Bean Flour Pizza Crust’ because it is so crisp and thin and easy to make. -GF since Oct. 2002
Nena at Eating Possibly said
This [recipe] is baked in Honor of Bette Hagman. Let me take this moment to send my thoughts to the family of Bette Hagman, The Gluten-Free Gourmet herself, who passed away recently. [Bette] has given us all a great deal, and will truly be missed.
David of Gluten-Free NYC said
So as part of my effort to . . . honor . . . Bette Hagman, I was happy to try out the Gluten-Free Gourmet recipe for Pumpkin Soup. It’s one of her simpler early recipesâ€”basically calling for pumpkin, yam, and peanut butter(!)â€”so that helped, too. I made it even easier by (uncustomarily) taking some short cuts like using canned vegetables…and I think it still came out fine. . . .[Although] I didn’t bake the soup, and I didn’t take a picture of it with one or more flowers in the background . . . I did dress it with a smile and googly eyes a la Amy Sedaris, which I hope is also in the spirit of the event. So here’s to Bette Hagman, with comforting thoughts for her loved ones.
It’s pioneers like Bette who developed and shared so many GF recipes that has made life easier for all of us who have these medical problems. Bette made a significant impact on the world by writing her cookbooks and promoting the GF lifestyle.
Steve at Gluten Free Steve said
She was truly a leader in helping so many of us in gf cooking and baking.
Steve used Bette’s featherlight flour mix in a regular recipe for GF Tollhouse Bar Cookies.