Posted by: Nancy | July 25, 2007

Potluck Peril

This idea came to me while I was reading a potluck cookbook.   I haven’t tried it, but I thought it was worth a mention if anyone wants to try it. 

If you are lucky enough to have a group of people at your school/church/etc. who also have gluten intolerance, get together and plan a potluck within a potluck.   Plan who will bring the main dishes, the side dishes and the desserts.   Even if there are just a few people and you have to make more than one dish, it’s always fun to try other people’s favorite dishes.   Even if it’s just your family, to eat safely at a potluck you have to cook your whole meal anyway.  Why not bring it all along to share?

Here are some of my ideas for how to navigate sharing in the main potluck with the regular people.  It’s always fun to watch non-GF people look so surprised when our food is actually good.   “Oh my gosh!  This pasta tastes like pasta!”  

First of all, ask the event coordinator if they will allow you to set up your area in a corner of the room.    If you can’t get a corner (or you have just a few dishes), you can create an area along a wall with a back table and a front table.  You’ll be setting up an area where along the wall(s) you’ll be making a main food area.   Then you’ll take a couple more tables as a front, presentation area where you can put the food out to share with the rest of the potluck.  You’ll also need some sort of indication of a Do Not Enter area.  Crepe paper streamers should work fine. 

 How do you do that and still keep the gluten-free food gluten-free?  Are we talking about everyone making two whole entire dishes of everything?  Nope.  Not at all. 

 My idea is – individual servings in paper bowls placed on the front tables, thereby keeping the main dish that someone brought still safely gluten-free.  Ta-Da!! 

 I would have the area manned by at least one person so that questions can be answered, ingredients confirmed, new bowls put out, etc.    You can also put a sign up saying if anyone is on the GF diet, you can serve from the main dish so that you can make sure they get a GF serving.   You’d just have to decide on some sort of labeling system so people know what you’re serving. 

 Recipes can be printed out to share too.  Just about every time celiac comes up in conversation nowadays I hear that someone’s friend, cousin, hairdresser, etc. is either on or trying the gluten-free diet.  Having recipes to share is always something that people appreciate.  

I think this would work really well.  Let me know if you try it.   I’ll let you know if I do too.  🙂



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