Eat and be Merry!

The holidays. Get togethers. It’s the time of year where love and laughter are shared in droves, via cards, phone calls, parties and food, most deliciously food. What some don’t realize is that food that you’ve slaved over and poured your love and appreciation into can be taken one step further.

You see, if you are like me and many of my friends food isn’t always our friend. There are evenings I dread having to attend a function as I know there will be troves of delicious plates laid out, plates that all I can do is look at wistfully and watch others devour while I stand hungry. Even when a dish looks fairly safe there’s no way I dare try it as I simply can’t know what may be hiding under its delicious folds.

I’m gluten intolerant, not just a little but a lot. I can’t eat anything with gluten in it (long story and if you’d like more details have a read here,) It makes me more than a little ill. I have many friends that can’t have gluten, some not as extreme a case as myself, some more so. Gluten isn’t the only thing out there making my friends sick though; dairy, eggs, corn, soy, citrus, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers both sweet and hot, eggplant, fresh and powdered seasonings forms.) These are just a few of the many things that will make people I know and love very sick when eating them.

As a courtesy to my friends and maybe a little wishful thinking while trying to spread awareness on my part when I attend a pot luck or group dinner where guests provide the meals I do something a little considerate. I bring a “recipe card.” I write down every ingredient I used in my dish and set it next to it for others to see. I don’t write amounts like a traditional recipe I simply write down what’s in there, so nothing’s hidden. I share everything from the main ingredients down to the pinch or dash of salt and pepper. No ingredient is to small when somebody with a food allergy/intolerance is hoping to taste your delicious looking contribution to the table.

Cold Quinoa Salad - Recipe Card

While this doesn’t make something 100% safe to be eaten necessarily as there are issues of cross contamination that can make the most sensitive of us sick (if you’re not careful,) it has the potential to make a big difference in anybody’s night.

This is such a quick and simple thing to do and carries more than the benefit of allergen information. Food is a great conversation starter… how many times do you get asked, “Just what’s in this, I LOVE it?” Now you’ll have your very own reminder right there on the table next to the topic of conversation.

Make the most of the season, enjoy your friends and family and most of all stay safe!

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Rachel Baldwin

Rachel Baldwin

Hi. I'm Rachel. I grew up in the Tri-Cities. Been here most of my life, tried to leave for a few years claiming Eugene, OR as a temporary stopping point, but inevitably came back. Something always seems to bring people back here! Go ahead, try it yourself someday, it's uncanny.I'm a backyard chicken farmer, supporter of keeping it local, allergic to gluten, mother to a shining star and wife to a nerd.

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  • Babyfro

    As a side note, I usually put my name on the ingredient card too, that way people know I made the dish and can ask me if they have questions.

  • Becca Lingley

    Great idea! I’m going to start doing this. Thanks for sharing 🙂