Planning for holiday dinners

Holidays are stressful.  Being on gluten patrol makes things even more interesting.

When my husband and I started dating, we went to about 6+ stops on December 25th alone.  One of the many perks of having most of your family in the area.  Over the years we have come to our senses and visit about 3 houses.  Christmas Eve is dinner at our house. It’s the one time that both sides of our family are able to come together.  Our house is obviously the easiest place to make sure no gluten crashes the party.  Last year was our first gluten free Christmas.  Whenever we  had people over that year, we would do about half gluten, half GF.  I was determined to go all the way and be 100% GF for Christmas Eve!  I spent many, many hours prepping.

I had casually mentioned to some family members and told them we would be all gluten free at dinner.  Some were intrigued.  Some were scared.  Some jokingly threatened not to come.  I kept on planning.  Fast forward to dinner.  Things went perfect! One of my brothers (who went to culinary school) didn’t even believe that my baked ziti was gluten free.  If that wasn’t a successful dinner, I don’t know what was!

The bar is set high this year.  In addition to cooking our whole meal, I will be helping make gluten free dishes for my parents (lunch on the 25th) and my in-laws (dinner on the 25th).  The most difficult thing about their houses is obviously cross contamination.  Luckily for us, the youngest dinner guest is in high school.  My husband’s dishes are for sharing and have special colored spoons.  People are informed to not let it touch other foods on their plates.  To play it even safer, I usually make sure he serves himself first and takes seconds from the back half of the dishes.

How do you deal with gluten free holidays?  Do you go all in or have to deal with some gluten dancing around the table?  Anyone have strategies to share?  Who has started their menu planning?

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One thought on “Planning for holiday dinners

  1. Your first GF Christmas sounded like it was great! Congrats! I’m sure this one will also be wonderful. Smart idea about the different colored spoons, too.

    I think having any GF holiday in your own home makes issues like cross contamination and accidental g-ing much easier to control. So far we have only gone to other people’s homes and had some issues. This Christmas we are staying at our house and maybe having a few relatives come to us. I’m looking forward to a much more low key and G free holiday. Good luck to you and everyone!
    -Dana

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