Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Gluten Free Survival Kit

The festive season is once again upon us and many of us will be preparing to spend time partying and dining with our family and friends.  
If you are dreading the prospect of eating out or you you don't want to be a burden on your party host, then here are a few suggestions to make life a little easier.

  1. Print out a copy of Coeliac UK's handy guide - Organising a gluten-free dinner party, or direct your host to the webpage for some excellent advice on cooking gluten free and avoiding cross-contamination.
  2. Bring your own emergency supplies - I often turn up to dinner parties with a packet of Trufree pretzels and some Nairns gluten free oatcakes stashed away in my handbag!  If your host hasn't provided any gluten free nibbles, or you're still peckish on the way home, you're well prepared!
  3. Offer to bring dessert.  It's quite stressful planning a menu for someone with any kind of restricted diet, especially if you're not used to doing it.  It it always much appreciated when the restricted dietee offers to carry some of the burden - even if they don't take up the offer.
  4.  If you are an overnight guest supply your own gluten free breakfast (a box of Doves Farm cereal, or some Warburtons free from fruity tea cakes, for example), just in case your host hasn't thought of that.
  5. Remember to thank your host for all they have done for you, a wee gift goes a long way towards your invite back!  Why not whip up some white chocolate rocky road?

If the worst happens and you accidentally eat gluten, I am of the opinion that it's best not to tell the cook until you're back to normal - you'll feel more level-headed then and they won't have to see quite how ill they have made you - then direct them to that Coeliac UK guide for the next time you eat at their house!

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