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I love hosting my loved ones at home. I know they like to have me over as well, but every time I go, I know it’s a bit of a headache for them to make my meal because of my gluten intolerance. I often tell them to find an inspiring recipe, and then we can check together if the ingredients are ok. You can often just switch out a few of the ingredients for the recipe to become gluten-free.
They are also all very aware of the cross-contamination risks, and that many basic ingredients sometimes also contain gluten.
We celebrated birthdays in restaurants for the longest time, but then some had babies and others became house owners so now birthdays are most often celebrated at home, we cook for everyone. But how do you get everyone’s preferences and food restrictions into one plate?
Ask the right questions.
Whether it’s for a birthday, or for a simple get together at home with a few friends, I always make sure there’s a little bit of everything for everybody’s preferences. Like for example, I know that a salmon tartare will make one’s night and ruin another’s! I always take good note of people’s allergies or intolerances, I grew up with a sister who is allergic to seafood and fish, so it’s definitely something I am used to considering.
I also think of people’s lifestyle choices as well, one of my friends is lactose intolerant, and while I do know she takes a Lactaid pill whenever needed if she goes out, I do ask her before incorporating it to my recipes. I always adapt my recipe whenever I can, or offer her a different option. When I have new people over, I always ask what allergies or preferences they have, it’s then easier to decide on the menu for the evening and make sure there are no ugly surprises during the night.
I often said I much rather we all eat the same meal. I have this thing where I don’t like to exclude a person who has an allergy. But this is the ideal scenario; I know that in real life it’s sometimes impossible to offer only one menu option for a big group. When many people have many different allergies, it can get a bit complicated pretty fast. At the end of the day, what truly matters is to respect any restriction there is and to cook with every needed precaution to eliminate the risk of contamination. I promise, your guest will all be quite thankful.
Kids birthday parties
It goes without saying that the traditional burgers and hot-dogs cookout is not the best way to go. Of course, there’s always the option of making this meal 100% gluten-free, but if you show up and the parents didn’t actually read up on your childs illness, you might as well forgo the meal for your little one. You could always bring your own hamburger buns and hot-dogs so that the child can get its own special one. But you’ll have to check the patties because sometimes there are some that contain gluten, as for the hot-dogs, most of them can easily be found without it, so that’s not as complicated. If the patties are made with fresh hamburger meat, you’ll have to check the spices and sauces that could’ve been added to it.
When it comes to party snacks, you’ll have to make sure the chips are all gluten-free as well, even chocolates and candy often have gluten in them. But why not find a fun way to make sure your kid can fully take advantage of the birthday party? Can you maybe bring the candy for the party? You’ll then be able to make sure everything is safe for your little one, and getting the bags ready will also turn into a fun activity to do with him/her. Anything can be fun to do in the right mindset!
Let’s talk about cake.
Of course, whoever says cake also (usually) says gluten. So almost everybody knows that a cake is problematic for a Coeliac person. But, what a lot of people don’t know, is that gluten-free doesn’t have to mean cake-free. I mean, in my own opinion, a birthday isn’t truly a birthday when there is no cake…let’s get baking! It’s pretty simple to bake a gluten-free cake nowadays, there are so many boxes of ready to bake mixes available.