Picnic and backyard barbecue season is finally upon us – I was starting to get worried there with the crazy up and down weather. We had snow and ice pellets the last week of March and that kind of thing doesn’t usually happen in this part of Virginia after Spring starts.
Glad to see some sunshine for a change and we’re ready to fire up the grill, enjoy beautiful days, and we’re definitely ready to pack some picnics for days filled with soccer games and places to go.
If you’ve ever been on any kind of diet or had a food allergy, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it can be to attend simple events like family get-togethers, graduation parties, birthday parties, backyard picnics, and even holidays. The typical “bring a dish” potluck style meals are like playing Russian Roulette with your insides. It can be difficult to discern what’s in each dish and even if your friends and family are aware of your food intolerance they might not realize they’re using something you can’t have.
For example; a stir fry dish or casserole with a few splashes of soy sauce seems like a gluten-free choice to many cooks, but most soy sauces are not gluten-free. They may not realize that you avoid all grains or understand why you don’t eat things with thickened sauce on them. They might think you’re just being finicky or don’t want to eat their food. The first step in the process is, of course, explaining that you cannot eat XYZ and while it looks/smells wonderful, you’ll have to pass if you’re not sure about it.
This usually leads to the intolerant person bringing more than one dish to the event, hosting the event to make the bulk of the food, or making a main dish even if you’re not hosting the event. Honestly, my husband and I have taken over nearly all family-holiday-cooking in the past year. Other family members still make and bring side dishes and drinks, etc, but even if we’re not eating at our house we handle the main dish because we’re just a family full of food allergies and intolerances. The safest way to end up with a meal that everyone can enjoy without getting sick is to handle the food yourself – end of story.
This is the part where I’d like to introduce to my friend Mary Blackburn, author of Gluten Free Get-Togethers.
I’m not just saying “my friend” randomly here, I’ve actually met Mary in person, hung out, talked about food and Celiac Disease, and all sorts of other things.
When I realized I needed to go gluten free, Mary was the friend I went to for a bread recipe. She gave me far more than a bread recipe, she gave me loads of advice on things to look out for that I hadn’t considered in that first week of being gluten free. She was able to help me fast track by telling me more about her journey with Celiac Disease, mistakes she had made when reading labels, and also point me in the direction of her favorite gluten-free comfort foods. I can never thank her enough for that handful of emails back and forth, it was a key factor in my having quick success going gluten-free.
In Gluten Free Get-Togethers you’ll find all that love and care brought together to help you out when those picnics, family-get-togethers, birthday parties, and backyard barbecue invitations start coming along. You won’t have to say, “Oh, I just ate,” and you won’t have to explain your dish. The recipes in this cookbook are easy to make, popular dishes for gatherings that Mary has made gluten-free for her own family.
With Mary by your side you’ll be able to make and bring delicious dishes that are safe for you to eat when you attend any potluck style event or gathering. The recipes include breads, appetizers, casseroles, main dishes, desserts, and more. But it’s not just the recipes that you’ll find helpful. Mary includes her personal tips and tricks to help you along the way, streamline the process, and make sure that everything is truly gluten-free. Put simply, cooking with this recipe book is like having Mary in your kitchen helping you out each step of the way.
I know you’ll enjoy cooking with Mary as much as I do