Thursday, December 27, 2012

A New Dilemma: Good GF Party Food and Tight Jeans!

This year I followed my usual advice of eating a little something before going out to a holiday party.  Whether it was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or some rice with a little stir fried vegetables or some noodle soup, I ate before I went out this entire month.   Now, squeezing into my jeans is nearly impossible.

Everyone in my circle of family and friends seems to be serving up gluten-free hors d’ouvres, side dishes, main courses and desserts.
Two Saturdays ago, I went to an annual party that is a collective December birthday party.  My husband is one of those December birthdays.  The appetizers were all laid out on the table with little signs that said “gluten-free,” “nut-free” and in some cases “dairy-free.”  I had serious choices and everything was fabulous.  Then the entrée and sides were laid out…beautiful tenderloins of beef, one rare and one medium to well,  potatoes roasted simply with olive oil and garlic, a green salad and a quinoa–kale salad, green beans and maybe one other vegetable.  Then the hostess laid out the desserts…a Pavlova, labeled “gluten-free,” fruit and berries and an assortment of GF cookies from a local bakery. 

I have never been so stuffed at a dinner party and was very grateful when the Christmas music went off and the dance music went on because I needed a work out!
At my cookie exchange last week, which I wrote about earlier this month, the hostess had made gluten-free crostinis for me. She had found gluten-free baguettes and toasted them up and topped them with a variety of GF garnishes.  There was a basket of rice crackers for the dips and cheeses as well.   I was in heaven and other people who snacked from the gluten-free crostini platter never realized they were eating a gluten-free baguette with savory toppings!

At the family Christmas celebration, my dishes were gluten-free but so was my brother-in-law’s cornbread stuffing and my sister-in-law’s butternut squash with gluten-free panko.  My other sister-in-law tried a gluten-free corn bread mix for her corn bread pudding and declared the gluten-free version better than the original. 
I thanked each and every person for the extra effort to make the entire dish gluten-free, or to provide gluten-free starters or desserts, and one good friend looked at me and said “the gluten-free stuff is right there on the store shelves, I didn’t really go to any extra effort.”

I think that was the best thing anyone has said to me all year.  Have we finally reached the point where enough people are aware of gluten-free and are there enough readily available products that a gluten-free option isn’t any extra effort?  I REALLY hope that is a movement that continues into 2013 and beyond.
Happy New Year!

Kendall Egan

1 comment:

Rochelle said...

That is great that you had so many options at holiday parties! Where I live, most grocery stores have gluten free options available on the shelves but I don't think that's the case in every city in the United States. Also, many of the gluten free options for packaged foods like crackers are quite a bit more expensive than the non-gluten free products. I think progress has been made but we're not quite there yet!