Monday, December 8, 2014

Entertaining Gluten-Free Guests

Hosting people in your home can sometimes be a stressful undertaking; gluten-free guests can present challenges of their own. But with a handful of common-sense approaches to hosting, you can create seamless, enjoyable gatherings.

Here are a few sure-fire methods for being a good gluten-free host: 

Establish Expectations Through Communication
Honest lines of communication with your guest(s) right from the start are a must. Sensitivity to gluten-free guests’ dietary needs is critical; open communication about their concerns and how you plan to address them will put both sides at ease and make for smoother cohabitation. Be transparent about your methods and ability to accommodate them, and ask for the same honesty about their expectations of you.

Don’t Overdo the Menu
Cooking gluten-free spreads can be simpler than you think. When you add in fruits, vegetables, lettuce wrap-type dishes, suitably prepared meats and the like, filling in the gaps with one or two dedicated, gluten-free recipes is not as daunting as it seems.

If You Go Big, Get Help
If two separate menus – one normal, one gluten free – is your culinary choice, don’t shoulder the burden alone. Enlisting a second cook will greatly reduce the time needed to prepare the meal, and two chefs working separate tasks with different utensils in opposite corners of the kitchen will drastically reduce the risk of cross contamination.

Don’t Forget the Drinks
Beverages can sometimes be relegated to an afterthought when planning a meal, but they shouldn’t be, especially if going gluten free is a concern. Many sodas, pre-mixes, hot ciders, hot cocoa and grain alcohols are a no-no – they are laden with gluten. However, wine is always a winner!

Be Safe, Not Sorry
If you have any doubts whatsoever if something is completely gluten-free – from supplies to groceries – do not serve it to your guests. Err on the side of caution.

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