My name is Aiysha, I was born and bred in England and I am currently living in Norway with my lovely Norwegian boyfriend. I have grown up always surrounded by great food, from both my English and Indian heritage. My wonderful Mum is an incredible chef who has been my teacher and my inspiration. I have learnt to experiment with many different cuisines and techniques, and to be open to tasting everything, after all, you never know if you like it until you try it!
From one passionate home baker to another, I would like to share with you 'friendly baking'. I use the term friendly, because I have several food intolerances and whenever there is food that I can eat, we call it 'Aiysha-friendly food'.
I am new to the blogging scene, so bare with me whilst I develop my creative writing and photography skills. Your comments are very welcome and appreciated, they will help me learn and progress!
At age 13 I began having tummy troubles. This was later diagnosed as Ulcerative Colitis. After trying a myriad of different medications and alternative therapies to try and control the symptoms there was no other option than to operate. At 18, I had my large intestine removed and a small internal pouch (j-pouch) made, to become the replacement to my large intestine. I now live Colitis free, not entirely symptom free, but much better than before. I am more than happy to talk to others about Ulcerative Colitis, I understand how helpful it can be to talk to someone who has been through the same, so please feel free to contact me.
Along with my tummy troubles I started having reactions to certain foods. After many food diaries, using the trial and error approach we were able to combine a list of foods that I could no longer tolerate. This was quite a challenge to begin with, as we had to remove staple food groups that we had not been used to cooking without. I am lucky to have a Mum that is so knowledgeable about food and embraced these changes in my diet, as we discovered a whole new world of food. I have now been living wheat-, gluten- and dairy free (and several other things free - see list below) for 14 years and I have to say, I do not miss out on anything.
My intolerances rule out most wheat-, gluten- and dairy free off-the-shelf products, which means I cook and bake a lot, I absolutely love being in the kitchen, so I don’t mind! It also has its health benefits, as everything is made from scratch and I rarely use processed foods, seeing as they usually contain ingredients that I am intolerant to.
*This includes products from cow, goat and buffalo however luckily I can eat Sheep’s Milk Products!
Influenced by my new Norwegian culture, directly translated, 'Fri Deig' means 'Free Dough'. It is pronounced exactly the same as the words 'Fri Deg' which translates into 'Free You'. With the combinations of these two meanings I want to express that even with foods that are free of many things, you are not restricted. In fact, you have plenty of ingredients available to you that you never knew existed. Anything you want, you can make.
(I am working on compiling a reference list of substitutes for common ingredients.)
I can get lost for hours reading recipes. However, I am not one for following recipes, usually because I can't have the ingredients or I don't have all the ingredients in my cupboard! I like to experiment and find new combinations, making my own recipes as I go along. If I do follow recipes the source will always be labelled.
I recommend that patience becomes your friend, as it can often take some time before you master a 'friendly' recipe – but remember, practice makes perfect and the end result is always worth it.
I am eternally grateful to those who integrate my food journey into their own lives. My family, especially my Mum, the Boyfriend, my Norwegian family and my good friends who have learnt to cook for me the Aiysha-friendly way.