It is Christmas/Holiday party time, which is normally a fun time, but really makes me a little panicky. By following just a couple of guidelines you can enjoy yourself and eat a safe meal whether you are attending a catered event, or a meal in a restaurant.
Just this weekend I attended a function at the Athens Country Club in Athens, GA. We called early and spoke to the chef who was more than accommodating. After going through the menu the chef decided to create me a separate plate to ensure there was no cross contamination. When we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find a large bowl full of lobster that hadn't be previously discussed. The guests were having lobster fritters, so he wanted me to feel included. It turns out I was the only one enjoying dessert of a flourless chocolate cake that was served warm and topped with berries. Had we not contacted the chef before arriving, I would have been dining on humus and vegetables and salad.
Here is my advice for enjoying a Christmas/Holiday party gluten-free style:
- Plan ahead by contacting the event facility/restaurant and ask to speak to the caterer/chef. They should be able to identify safe dishes. This should work for events being thrown in a private and public residence.
- Eat a snack before you attend the event. Having a snack should keep you full during the event, on the off chance that you are unable to determine if there is any gluten-free fare.
- Stick to those foods that are naturally gluten-free, like vegetables, cheese, unmarinated/unbreaded meat, and fruit. Bring some gluten-free crackers with you to enjoy cheese and crackers.
- Stay away from the dessert options, as there will not likely be a gluten-free one available. We like to bring a snack bar or some cookies with us as I really love sweets.
- Be polite. Remember this is not only a time to eat too much rich food, it is also a time to spend with family and friends.
Have a drink and strike up a conversation with someone new. This is a great opportunity to make a new friend, so enjoy yourself and be merry!
Article Courtesy: Jennifer Harris
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