Surviving Holiday Parties

Dinner parties are one thing, party-parties are another. You know the type of event I mean: foods are laid out all over the place, and sussing out the ingredient list for each item is a challenge. These types of situations are gluten-free nightmares.

I’m going to offer up the first of many silver linings here: contributing a dish of your own to the smorgasbord of items. Potlucks are both dangerous and a secret weapon. It’s easy enough to arrive with a bottle of wine and something for the table (again, as always, when bringing food to someone’s home, give them the courtesy of advance notice…if only to allow them input into what is needed; it doesn’t help if every guest brings chips and dip when maybe something more along the lines of dessert is needed). Continue reading “Surviving Holiday Parties”

Surviving Dinner Parties

This Thanksgiving, we had an unexpected additional guest at the table, someone we didn’t know. No problem. I generally cook enough to feed a small army, and one more person at the table is always welcome.

During the last-minute rush to get everything prepared to put on the table, this particular guest walked up to me and quietly mentioned he had an allergy to nuts, so if I could point out what he couldn’t eat, it was appreciated.

Granted, his timing could have been better — racing through the ingredients list of every dish while I fried fritters and stirred gravy and wondered where I’d hidden the last of the butter was a challenge. But I managed, noting only the green been casserole had any type of nut in it. And I cursed my last-second decision to add a bit of hazelnut to that dish, because, frankly, the gluten-free mushroom soup/sauce I made was absolutely delicious! Continue reading “Surviving Dinner Parties”

Surviving Family

I love my family. I do. But by the time the holiday season is over, I am relieved to be back to my boring, family-light existence. The compressed time we spend together means everything that happens is intensified. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, but it can be challenging. I generally have at least three Christmas celebrations: one at my mother’s, one at the in-laws, and one at home with my husband. There is a lot of travel involved with these three events, including a couple of plane flights.

Oh, and sometimes, there’s a fourth celebration with old friends who are family in every way but blood.

So, okay, if you’re gluten-free, take all that and multiply by a factor unique to your own family. Or families, as the case may be. My sister is also gluten-free, so I get lots of support there. I am pretty sure my brothers will cheerfully eat anything they’re fed. My mom doesn’t eat red meat or fish or chicken with bones or, sigh, vegetables. We work it out. Continue reading “Surviving Family”