BARRHEAD - There is a proverb that says necessity is the mother of invention.
And perhaps there is no better example of that than the example of son and mother duo Chance and Pascha Hansen.
That is how they described how they changed careers from bakers to self-publishing children's books and now a cookbook, during the launch and signing event at De Herdt Gardens on July 13 of their latest book, Allergies Bite But Taste Good — Eat At Your Own Risk.
The pair were a regular fixture on the farmer's market circuit surrounding their Cherhill farm selling baked goods from their certified kitchen.
However, that changed when Pascha and then Chance learned they suffered from food allergies, specifically a sensitivity to gluten.
"People would say I always looked cranky and upset. I would reply that I am actually in a good mood, but I just feel so bad all the time, and it turned out the cause was a food allergy and because more and more foods that I loved kept getting sucked out of my diet." Pascha said.
About a year later, Chance started to get "crazy nose bleeds" that would come on at any time, regardless of the activity.
He, too, was tested for food sensitivities and learned he suffered from the same gluten allergy as his mother, along with several other food allergies or intolerances. There were 59 in total, including dairy, eggs, and almost all varieties of nuts.
Chance was 17 at the time.
As a result, the Hansens had to revise their diet, and while doing so, the put all their efforts into writing and publishing their own series of children's books.
Chance wrote the stories, and Pascha illustrated them.
"From the age of 10, I knew I wanted to be a baker, but when I couldn't do that anymore, I decided to put my efforts into my writing," he said. "I started writing when I was 13, and I knew I had an affinity for it."
He completed his first book of stories and poetry, Silent Reality, when he was 17, but he waited until he was 18 years old to publish it due to legalities.
Since then, he and his mother have collaborated on 20, mostly children's books.
As for how the cookbook came about, Pascha said that because of all of Chance's food sensitivities and that she missed the items she used to create, she started experimenting.
"I learned how to create (a milk substitute) from pumpkin seeds," she said.
Pascha then explained how she used pumpkin milk and the pulp of the seeds to create flour to make buns. As time passed, she continued experimenting and learned how to create substitutes for other items people commonly have food allergies to.
"It is heartbreaking when everyday staples they love are taken out of people's diets because they can no longer have them," Pascha said. "What I did was to try to come up with tastes that other people with food sensitivities and I miss."
One of the recipes she came up with was a replacement for chocolate pudding, but in her version, one of the ingredients is the daikon.
"A daikon is a big, white radish, and they are hot," she said.
To take some of the heat away, Pascha added a little bit of sea salt to the recipe.
"It is my favourite pudding recipe," she said, adding it also has a unique chameleon ability. "(If you have leftovers) the next day, the heat comes back. It is really kind of cool."
Currently, the Hansens are working on their next cookbook with a carnivore theme featuring meat, dairy and eggs.
"But it is not going to show you how to make a steak or a roast," Pascha said. "We will show you how to make flour from meat and how to use meat in a different manner to create things like cookies, carnivore cheese and jelly rolls."
For those interested in purchasing Allergies Bite But Taste Good — Eat At Your Own Risk, it will be available on their website, www.authorsquared.com in the futre and can also be bought on several online bookseller sites.