First, I hope you will forgive my five month hiatus from blogging. A dear family member “passed.”
The other night, as I threw my three “must haves” in my purse running out the door in anticipation of grabbing a bite to eat somewhere in town, I realized how prepping for and anticipating potential problems when eating out had become second nature.
Usually on a spur of the moment decision to go out, my husband and I have no idea where we will end up. We decide what types of food we want as we drive; then, cruise our local haunts to see which is the least crowded. While I love this type of spontaneity, it can present challenges for a Gluten Intolerant diner.
Never fear, I have developed a simple three product survival kit:
1. A tiny container of GF salad dressing, because salad dressing can be a land mine of hidden glutens. I get these wonderful little containers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. www.bedbathandbeyond.comWith three filled at all times in the refrigerator, each with a different type of GF salad dressing, I can easily grab the one I want in a split second.
2. A small bottle of GF soy sauce…in case a sushi attack drives us into a sushi bar; (why eat sushi if you can’t dip it in the
soy sauce/wasabi mixture?) Just found out last night, that our local sushi bar carries GF soy sauce. Isn’t it wonderful how easy it is getting to eat out and how the new awareness of GF limitations and needs have infiltrated the restaurant industry? That said, I still bring my jar of GF sauce soy in my eating out kit in case we end up at the other sushi bar in town, which does not have GF soy sauce. Although I could put the soy sauce in one of the above plastic containers from BB &B, it can leak a bit if the liquid is as thin as soy sauce. To be safe, I stick with the regular, non leaking soy sauce jar. Don’t want to ruin another purse. www.san-j.com
3. A slightly toasted hunk of my favorite GF baguette…for slurping up that amazing pre-dinner olive oil in Italian restaurants. For some reason, watching everyone else at the table dip bread in olive oil and not being able to participate can make me nearly melt down. It is one of those trigger points where I can instantly flip into self pity over being gluten intolerant. But hey, I have solved it by pulling out my baggie filled with a piece of safe GF bread. Then, the only thing I am fanatical about is to make sure I have my “own” plate or little bowl of olive oil, so I can eliminate all cross contamination by the wheat-bread-dippers at the table. Who really likes sharing, anyway? The baguette is a must-have at Greek restaurants for hummus and baba ganoujs, too. www.againstthegraingourmet.com
My mottos are Do Not Get Left Out; Do Not Stay at Home; Get Prepared and Go!
Sure, non GF people do not have to think ahead, plan ahead, or pack ahead to simply grab a bite to eat, but accepting, developing, and incorporating these simple tasks into my life has allowed me to embrace a normal, rich, fun life, instead of shrinking into limitations.
So…go out and have fun (with a little preparation.)