Recently I went down to Florida to visit family and friends. After landing I shopped at the local grocery store; leaving with food for cooking at my daughter’s place as well as some cinnamon chex for breakfast and Kind bars for snacking. My hotel had a full breakfast but the only things I ate from there was milk, juice and yogurt. Hence the box of cinnamon chex….
I baked a birthday cake for my daughter using a box of Pillsbury GF Funfetti cake. Not too pricy and it made two layers *some gf cake mixes only make one layer. No mixer so I used a floppy big old plastic spoon to beat the cake batter. No cooling racks; placed each layer on a plate. I frosted it with chocolate chocolate chip canned icing. Turned out amazingly delicious and my humble gf offering was well received by a hungry-for-cake public! Flying 1350 miles to sing happy birthday to my dear child: pricy. The joyous look on Kasey’s face as we sung: priceless.
I cooked two suppers and two lunches for them in a very not gluten free kitchen (bread, bread crumbs, all purpose flour and cereal everywhere) My efforts were complete with lots of pan washing and counter wiping and a host of praying for safe gluten free eating. Prayers answered. I did not get glutened at her apartment. I did get a twinge on the plane back after passing a packet of pretzels to my return flight seatmate since I couldn’t eat them and he could. Take away: don’t even touch those small snack packets; pretzel dust on the outside makes them a hazard!
I went on to The Villages for a couple of days. My friends there have been known to bake cake but I was knocked out by two things Claire made for me; thin little cloud breads for my lunch sandwiches which I stuffed with Boar’s Head deli meat and cheese and she baked a from scratch gluten free pineapple spice cake with cream cheese icing! The cloud bread has very few ingredients and is baked on a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. She made the recipe a few days before I got there: froze several of the pieces for my sandwich enjoyment and said she was surprised to find how tasty it was.
As to the cake, Claire bought a 9×14 throw away pan and washed all her cooking stuff carefully before hand. The cake was excellent, a substantial fruity and nutty treat! The cloud bread was just like mine if smaller. She had no trouble in making either item. I was so impressed that someone would go to this level of effort to make my visit wonderful. I didn’t ask nor would I expect anyone to bake like that for me but she did. What a friend!
They also took me out to The Outback where I enjoyed a lovely gluten free meal of grilled salmon, sautéed veggies and a baked yam. This was a real treat for sure for someone who rarely eats out. Outback is known for its great steaks but I was in the mood for salmon and I was well rewarded with my tasty entree. They both had steaks and I was a tad envious but my entree choice was no sacrifice; it was delish indeed.
I then traveled north to another family member’s home up in Gainesville, she eats gluten free for wheat intolerance; no worries there for me and very good eating indeed. I left with a sandwich supper for my long drive plus a blueberry muffin for a snack and a tummy full of safe food!
Moral of this little story: if you have celiac don’t just stay home this summer. Advise and educate others on how to feed and care for your celiac needs. If your family and friends are educated they can make your visit safe and very yummy. Oh and a little bit of luck is necessary because gluten is just all over this country!