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Christmas sPECIAL

December ‘12


During the CYE Conference 2012 in Helsinki a new Youth Committee has been elected. It is composed of (see photo) Mirjam Eiswirth from Germany (General Coordinator), Giacomo Filippo Porzio from Italy (Project Manager) and Lana Pavkov from Serbia (Financial Manager).

To get started we met in Florence already four weeks after the CYE conference and took the opportunity to meet young Italian coeliacs on Saturday evening. The adult’s organization there is quite strong and well-off, but they do not have a youth board or an official youth group yet. During the meeting we set our agenda for the next 12 months. One of our main tasks, of course, is the annual project “Gluten-free maps Europe”. Apart from that we will focus on improving the international visibility of CYE by sending press kits to the national coeliac media and increasing our facebook activity. We will try to improve our financial situation and get more funding, for the new annual project as well as for the next conference. “Finding missing countries” will continue like in the past years – we will combine our meetings with a networking event like the one in Italy to help young coeliacs start a youth group in their country and let them know about the wonderful network CYE offers. But CYE is not only the Youth Committee, CYE are all the delegates in all the European countries. We would like to involve as many hands as possible to really succeed in “Networking Young Coeliacs”. If you have any questions or suggestions take a look at our website or email us to:


2012 was not only the first year but also a very successful one for “Beat the Wheat“. Just with voluntary work three great issues plus this special Christmas edition have been created and published. The reward for the great commitment is the steady increase in the number of downloads from approximately 700 for the first issue to currently over 4,000 for the third issue published in late August. Due to the great success of the project the delegates at the annual CYE conference in Helsinki voted unanimously to carry on with the bulletin – maintaining a voice for coeliacs in Europe. With the election of a new CYE Youth Committee also came the election of a new editorial board. Now Christia Simillidou (Co-editor, Cyprus), Lana Pavkov (Layouter, Serbia) and Manuel Engelsthal (Editor in Chief, Austria) present you this wonderful first Christmas special. “In the name of the new editorial board I would like to give a special thanks to the old editorial board for their enormous work, for their passion for the project itself and for their help with creating this special edition.” – Manuel Engelsthal “I would like to thank all the authors, proofreaders, and especially the old and new editorial board for their commitment and their great work – after twelve months as an editor in chief I am very happy to know that “Beat the Wheat” is in good hands now and will continue reading it with great pleasure.“ – Mirjam Eiswirth We would also like to thank all our authors and proofreaders who have helped shape the bulletin from a vision to what it is today. We shall not rest on these laurels but keep improving Beat the Wheat. So let your imagination loose and send your ideas, articles and pictures to: editors.beat.the.wheat@gmail. com. The old and the new editorial board wish you – wherever and however you celebrate Christmas in the following days – a merry happy Christmas with your family and friends. And now enjoy reading this special Christmas edition with delicious recipes, interesting articles and a savory Christmas story…



New Youth Committee – Networking Young Celiacs

What does Christmas

Christmas time starts with Advent

– four weeks before the Christmas Day. Ev-

mean in Czech

ery Sunday we burn a candle on an Advent Although we , Czechs, are wreath and count down four Sundays till one of the most irreligious 24th Dec.The first Sunday we burn only one nations on Earth , we celcandle, the second Sunday there are two can-

ebrate Christmas a lot.

and fish soup. Gifts are brought by Jezisek - baby Jesus. He puts them under the Christmas tree after dinner is eaten. Every kid waits impatiently for the ringing of a bell.

dles that will be burned and so on. We bake

It is a sign that baby Jesus had just passed by

Christmas sweets and decorate our homes.

and placed the presents under the decorated

The most important day for us Czechs is the

Christmas tree.

24th December. We call it Stedry den, loose-

Another Christmas tradition is cutting an ap-

ly translated as Generous Day. That is the

ple before dinner. You cut it cross wide and if

day when presents are given.

a star appears in the core it means happiness.

During the daytime we fast. It is said that people who fast and don´t cheat secretly will see a golden pig. We watch fairytale stories all day long, drink Christmas liqueur, listen to Christmas carols and sing along. Then around 6pm it’s dinner time. There are several courses that are served like a traditional Christmas dinner. We eat fried carp with homemade potato salad for the main course

It is a sign that the next year will be a good one. A distorted star means a bad year, illness or even death. Christmas is more of a family tradition rather than a religious tradition in Czech. It might sound weird but it is not associated with Christianity. Christmas is probably the most celebrated holiday in the Czech Republic. Tereza Lasek, Chech Republic

Christmas on the Philippines Snow as far as the eye can reach and hot wine to warm up those cold winter eves are just imaginations in the Philippines. But despite the fact that one can enjoy some lovely summer days at more than 30 degrees on one of the thousand small islands in December, they still celebrate Christmas in a very similar way we do around here in Europe. It was a clear December night when my friends and I arrived on Palawan last year and after a rough flight the first thing we saw when we left the airport was a huge installation of fairy lights looking like a traditional Christmas tree. Confused and tired we started our way which was illuminated by literally thousands of small handmade and colorful paper lanterns – called paroles – to the bus terminal. Finally we got the idea that Christmas seems to be something very important on that island due to the fact that Filipinos are quite religious. This particular thought was then confirmed by what felt like an eternity of a bus ride. Sitting in one of the very common jeepneys– which happened to have its own paroles – the radio played Christmas songs one after another. So while driving through a tropical jungle Shakin Stevens was singing to the amusement of the locals on the bus “snow is falling all around me”.

and were surprised by a big dinner afterwards at which the whole extended family gathered. The tables were covered with a great variety of dishes of which almost all were naturally gluten free – my favorite however was the special rice cake which is normally only served during Christmas time. However, the best part of the day was when we were handing over those little gifts we bought in the afternoon to the kids of the family. Despite the fact that the gifts were only candies and some small wooden toys, their eyes were shining so brightly, that I will most certainly never forget them I still do not know whether it was the exhaust fumes, which in my life. leaked in the inner of the bus, or we just started to inhale those positive feelings but after a while we all joined in singing with the locals. What I have learned during And as they seemed to pity us that we are so far away from our home these few days is that it does not matand families they invited us to their Christmas celebrations. Filipinos ter where you celebrate Christmas as are very hospitable and friendly people, thus we had no chance to say no. long as you have some good friends And that is exactly how we ended up the next evening in a small church around. In this sense a Merry Christwhere it seemed that the whole population of El Nido showed up. With- mas to all of you, no matter where out any chance to snap what is going on, we were following the service you are or how you celebrate them. Manuel Engelsthal, Austria

Gingerbread Men

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees Preparation: Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease 1. Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside. 2. Cream butter and sugar, beating on high speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. 3. Add molasses and vanilla and beat until combined. 4. Slowly add dry, sifted ingredients to butter mixture and beat just until a stiff dough forms. 5. Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap lightly dusted with sweet rice flour. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick. 6. Dip gingerbread cookie cutter in sweet rice flour and cut out gingerbread men. Use a flour-dusted spatula to transfer cookies to baking sheet. If the dough should get too soft while you are working with it, just place it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. 7. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven, or until cookies are firm to the touch. Cool and decorate with Royal Icing and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

This recipe for Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men is adapted from a recipe by Jacqueline Mallorca, “Rice Flour Gingerbread Cows”, featured in her fabulous cookbook, “The Wheat-Free Cook”. This version is corn free as well as gluten-free and is extra-extra gingery- so cut back on the ginger if you like. The gingerbread men are decorated with small amounts of Royal Icing and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting but use raisins and nuts for a charming au natural touch.

Pascal Ewert, Germany


• 1 cup superfine brown rice flour (source link below) • 1 cup arrowroot starch teaspoons : • 2 ground ginger • 1 cinnamon • 1/2 nutmeg • 1 vanilla extract • 1/2 salt • 1/2 baking soda • 1/2 guar gum • 1/2 cup dark, unsulfered molasses • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar • 1/4 cup softened butter (1/2 stick) • Extra rice flour for dusting when rolling and cutting out cookies • 1 recipe for Royal Icing • 1 recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting









Lebkuchenhaus Gingerbread house

Door 1x front with door 1x backside without door

2x sidepart

•400 g sugar beet syrup (or something similar, e.g., corn syrup) •250 g sugar •900 g gluten-free flour (preferably one that is well-suited for pasta and bread ) •1/2 tsp baking powder •50 g cocoa (unsweetened) •4 egg yolks •200 ml water •1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, lemon zest, clover (all in dried, powdered form) •4 egg whites •1 kg icing sugar (powdered sugar, confectioner’s) **and lots of material for decorating, such as gummy bears, candied cherries, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, food coloring, icing, Christmas cookies, chocolates - anything you like, and, of course, only if it is gluten-free (check all labels carefully!)

2x roof

Very important: Since you make the frosting with egg whites, make sure your Eggs are very fresh!

Step 1:

Step 3:

Heat the sugar and syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Meanwhile, mix the flour, the baking powder, the cocoa, the spices and the egg yolk together. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, carefully add the water to the syrup/sugar mixture. Combine all ingredients either by hand or using a kitchen machine (food processor). Work the dough until it forms into one big ball, then let it rest wrapped in plastic, for 10 minutes. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of 0.5 to 1 cm. Rolling it between two pieces of plastic wrap, or wax paper, or two silicon baking mats will make the process much easier! Now cut out all the parts for your gingerbread house using your template (you can make your own template, or, even easier, print out the one shown here). For cutting out the windows, a cookie cutter will come in handy. You should have plenty of dough left to make a floor as well as some additional gingerbread cookies (use them for decorating the Christmas tree or as a little gift for friends). Bake the individual pieces for your gingerbread house in a preheated oven at 180 °C for 15-20 minutes. Let the pieces cool completely on the baking tray. Then, make your own food glue, the icing! Whip the egg whites until stiff spikes form, then add the powdered sugar and whip again until you have a pretty stiff and tick frosting. Now you can start building and gluing. Start with the floor plate and glue the sides of your house onto it. Until the “glue” dries, they won’t stay up by themselves, so stabilize them with an empty water glass or some toothpicks. Once the icing has almost finished drying, you can glue on the roof. You may have to stabilize that, too. Let the entire building dry again, for at least 1-2 hours. Now it’s time to decorate! Use the remaining icing to glue on your decorations and to form icicles.

Step 2:

Step 4:

Here are the pictures in a very small size with some explanations, if you need! The original pictures in bigger size are in the attachment. Svenja Nink, Germany

Homemade Christmas Liqueur with Eggs

Ingredients: •Brown Rum •Sweetened condensed milk a can of •Whipping cream •Eggs •Sugar •Vanilla sugar a packet

300 ml 250 ml 200 ml 6 yolks 250 g

A short version of this recipe is: Mix yolks, vanilla sugar and sugar. It takes some time till sugar solves. Mix for about 10 minutes. Add condensed milk and whipping cream. Drop by drop add rum. Bottle, and refrigerate. Drink within one month. It will naturally separate in the fridge. Do not worry - just shake it up before serving. 3.Add whipping cream and condensed milk. It is thick so it may take a minute or two for it to distribute completely. You want it to be uniform in color and consistency.


1.Mix yolks with sugar until it´s blended. Process until it is smooth. 2.Now you need a bigger pot half full of boiling water. You put another smaller pot in it so you can use the warmth produced by the first pot to slowly boil the liqueur. You need to stir it all the time while boiling. Boiling takes about 15 minutes. Eggs are no longer raw if you follow this procedure.

4.Pour in the rum and stir it well


1 2 5.Your liqueur is now prepared. Enjoy a glass of hot liqueur. Pour the rest into clean bottles by using a funnel and cool it down.


Tereza Lasek, Chech Republic


For the cookie dough * 400 gr. fresh orange juice * 530 gr. good olive oil or sunflower oil * 50 gr. butter * 30 gr. powdered sugar * 1 whole finely grated orange zest * 1200 gr. Of gluten free flour * 1/2 teaspoon baking soda * 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon For the syrup * 500 gr. water * 700 gr. sugar * one orange cut in two * 2 sticks of cinnamon * 100 gr. thyme honey For assembly * 1, 1/2 cups finely crushed walnuts * thyme honey

Melomakarona Honey cookies with walnuts

For the dough: In a bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, the oil, butter, orange juice and citrus zest. To this you add all the spices, baking soda and powdered sugar. With a wooden spoon or spatula we mix this and add all the flour. We continue to mix this with our hands from the center towards the outside. We don’t need to mix it too well so that the dough will not harden, just enough for the liquids and flour to be absorbed.

For the syrup: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, 2 half of orange and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, without stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 2 minutes and take off the heat. The syrup will thicken slightly and deepen in colour. Add honey and leave to cool, preferably in another saucepan to cool down quickly. Preheat oven to 200°C and Line two cookie sheets with parchment. We take pinches of dough around 35 gr. each and roll it into oval balls with a fork press the tines of a large fork in a crosshatch pattern in the center of each cookie. A wire mesh will do this beautiful by just rolling them! Place the cookies on baking sheets. Bake them for 22-28 minutes until lightly browned. When they come out of the oven, we place the hot cookies into the cold syrup for about 1 minute and place them on a wire mesh to drip dry. Place one layer of cookies on a large platter and drip some honey on them followed by some crushed walnuts. We continue to do this until all the dough is used up. Traditionally, these honey-bathed cookies, with walnuts and cinnamon, are made during the holiday season of Christmas and New Year in Cyprus and Greece. This is an oil-based cookie recipe that produces moist cake-like cookies flavored with orange and brandy that are bathed in sweet honey syrup and topped with chopped walnuts Christia Simillidou, Cyprus

Bubo, the Gluten-Free Hamster There once was a hamster named Bubo. He had celiac disease and, therefore, could not eat much. Whenever he ate gluten, he got a bad stomach ache. The other hamsters always laughed at him, because they did not believe in celiac disease. One day, Bubo heard that somewhere far away, a group of hamsters lived who also had celiac disease. Bubo decided to go and find them in time for Christmas. That meant, he had only five days for the journey! It turned out to be a very exhausting trip. Bubo first had to pass through a wheat field - where, of course, he found nothing he could eat. But even after he got through it, his food situation did not improve because all the fields were already very snowy. For a whole day he found nothing but snow and ice to satisfy his hunger with. When he finally left the wheat field behind him, he came across a squirrel’s nest and asked if he could maybe have a few nuts. The squirrel would not give him any. Hungry Bubo ran on to a mouse’s burrow and once again asked for nuts. The mice, however, were afraid they would not survive the winter themselves. Bubo then asked everyone he met - a young crow (who almost ate him in turn), another squirrel, and even another field hamster, but nobody wanted to give him anything. Starving and very sad he kept on walking and finally slept hungry in a small snow cave. The next day, Bubo came to a frozen river he had to cross. His paws almost froze, but the prospect of getting to know other hamsters who can’t eat wheat, kept him going. When he finally got to other side, he met a young mouse who wanted to be nice and offered him a few grains of wheat from its stocks. Bubo had become so hungry that he would have loved to gobble up those wheat grains - but he had to tell the helpful mouse that, unfortunately, he would not be able to tolerate this food. It turned out the mouse was not that nice, after all - he walked away laughing at the stupid, hungry hamster who wouldn’t eat. Bubo, now extremely hungry and very sad, marched on. After many seemingly endless hours, finally a squirrel had pity on him and gave him a few nuts. With a full belly, Bubo now rested a bit - but it was only a few days until Christmas, and he finally wanted to celebrate with others who would not exclude him from their feast. He soon got back on his poor, sore paws. Well rested and fed, he made good progress and eventually reached a hamster burrow on which hung a sign: The Celiac Hamster Club! He went inside was greeted with great jubilation after he had introduced himself and told the others about his long, lonely, cold and hungry journey. The Cecliac Hamsters , as they called themselves, offered him a cozy place to sleep and showed him their gluten-free supplies. Bubo could hardly believe his eyes - there were little grains of amaranth, very pretty quinoa flakes, bright golden corn kernels and wonderful white, brown, and black rice. Amidst cheerful conversations, Bubo for the first time in his life ate to his heart’s content. Soon after, all the hamsters were tired and went to sleep. The next day was the big day: The Christmas Hamster came and gave all Celiac Hamsters wonderful gifts. Bubo received a little woolen suit that would warm him always, even when other hamsters made fun of his gluten-free diet. After all presents had been given out and opened, there was, of course, another gluten-free feast. This time, there were also roasted nuts and dried fruits ranging from apples to plums to mangoes! Bubo thought he would burst (even though he had stuffed his big hamster cheeks very efficiently, his tummy now was more than full, too). But he was happy, as happy as never before in his life. Because Bubo got along so well with the Celiac Hamsters, he just stayed with them. He lived with the others at the Celiac Club House where no one laughed at him. Often, the hamsters would venture out in pairs and threes, educating other hamsters in the ways of eating healthy, yummy, gluten-free foods and telling them that they were not alone. Hannah Beth Lipow, Germany

Christmas Special  

As Beat the wheat had great success, we wanted to finish this year with Christmas Special edition, with kind regards to our readers! Enjoy i...