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>A Gluten-free Guide to Potlucking

Posted on December 9, 2009 by Glutenfreeda

>The holidays are traditionally a time for friends and family to get together for gift giving and meal sharing. This can pose a fair amount of stress and concern for those of us that are gluten-intolerant. As a guest, we worry that there may be nothing that we will be able to eat. And even if something looks are we are told that is gluten-free, is it really? Could it be contaminated by other gluten food or utensils? What about cross contamination from possible double-dipping in buffet lines? These are all genuine concerns, but there are ways to get through this time of food sharing with your health in tact and even to enjoy it.

What to do as a guest:

First of all, accept an invitation graciously and avoid complaining about your intolerance and your anxiety about your perception of the food you will not be able to eat. If your host or hostess is a friend or relative, they will probably already know about your intolerance, but there is practically no chance that they will be able to accommodate your needs when they are trying to prepare a traditional meal for many guests. Instead, that a positive approach. Offer to bring a main dish and as many dishes as you can as whatever you bring will likely be all that you will be eating. I usually bring a main dish, a salad or vegetable and a dessert. This way I know that I will have a complete meal without worry and I don’t feel left out, or worse hungry.

The next most important step is to get into the buffet line first or as close to first as possible. Even though each dish is likely to have its own serving utensil, double dipping does occur and it is safer to help yourself first rather than get to the gluten-free dish you prepared only to find the macaroni spoon plopped in the middle of it.

What to do as a host:

This is much easier, as you control the meal. Select the dishes that you want to prepare and ask your guests to fill in complimentary dishes. If your kitchen is completely gluten-free, be careful not to ask anyone to bring breads or rolls, in fact, it’s a good idea to let everyone know that your home is gluten-free so that they will not bring breads or beer into your home.

Contamination should not be an issue as your guests dishes will be contained. Be sure to send any leftovers home in the same dishes they came in. Wash all serving utensils and dishes in the dishwasher, as the water in the dishwasher will be hot enough to thoroughly clean them.

Make sure that you supply all gluten-free condiments.

Following a few simple and common sense tips will help you enjoy potlucking through the holidays, safely and worry-free.

Try these great gluten-free potluck type recipes for your next get-together!

Smoked Salmon Cheesecake
Chicken and Meatball Fricassee
Chicken with Lemons & Olives
Saffron Pilaf with Almonds
Fettuccini with Mushrooms & Roasted Peppers
Chicken Lasagne
Macaroni and Meatball Soup
Sherried Meatballs
Tamale Pie

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