A Visit with Friends - Celiac Disease
Jun 29 2010

A Visit with Friends

The other night my husband and I were invited over to a friend’s house for hor d’ourves and cocktails. We don’t get out much with the kids, so I lined up a sitter and we made plans.

The hostess told us to come hungry, so I immediately began to get nervous about the food situation. I was sure that I would be able to drink wine, but wasn’t sure what she had on the menu. For some reason I felt a little uncomfortable asking what she was planning on serving. I am not sure what that was all about, because normally I have no problem practically barging right into someone’s refrigerator to read a label. Perhaps it was due to the fact that we don’t know them all that well, I don’t know. I sent the hostess a text message asking if we could bring anything and she sent me back a message letting me know that we could bring beer if we wanted. I felt this was a good opportunity to remind her that I have to eat gluten-free and sent back a message saying that we could bring beer for my husband, but I can’t drink it because it is not gluten-free.

On the night of the get together, I made sure to have a substantial snack in my purse in case I was unable to eat what was served. I packed some almonds (protein) and a Larabar and knew that would be enough to old me over. Upon arriving, I discovered a beautiful fresh fruit & veggies trays and dip that was gluten-free. The hostess made chicken & shrimp kabobs with red peppers & pineapple. They were marinated in T. Marzetti’s Light Berry Balsamic, which is indeed, gluten-free. She made sure to check the labels for gluten and I double checked. I can credit my husband with “breaking the ice” about the food. Our hostess put Goldfish crackers out and my husband made a comment to make sure to put those right in front of me because I can’t eat them – LOL! That opened the door for me to ask about the marinade for the chicken & shrimp.

We had a wonderful meal & visit with our friends. While I normally strive to write posts with steps about how to go about verifying in advance that all the food will be safe, I wanted to write about this to show you that even a veteran gluten-free eater can still experience “the butterflies” when it comes to the gluten-free diet. I also hope that I was able to show you how I was able to overcome that and not compromise my health by eating food that I was not sure was safe for me to eat. My favorite phrase that I preach to Jon and he now preaches is “when in doubt, go without”. And, when I say “go without”, I don’t mean to go hungry, I mean to forgo the suspect food and fall back on the food you have packed for an “emergency”.

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. Tiffany Janes says:

    Thanks for sharing this story Kim. It is so odd when you have to explain your gf needs to someone who doesn’t know you well. You don’t want to come off as being a high maintenance guest, yet you can’t eat something with gluten in it just to be polite. We were once invited to an event and I think the people that were responsible for getting us invited were shocked when I asked the host about the food. We had to fly out of town for the event so yeah, I had to know if there was something safe for me to eat or if I’d need to eat before we arrived (and take snacks in my purse to tide me over). Duh.

    It was so great that you could not only enjoy the evening, but some great food as well!

    • I think people that don’t have to deal with this on a daily basis are shocked when we have to ask those questions – I know that my husband sometimes doesn’t get it, but is much better now than he used to be. I don’t think he likes the attention it draws.


  2. REnee says:

    I hear ya, both of you! I have been celiac for 15 years and sometimes I still feel awkward asking about food. But usually in a situation like you described above, Kim.

    We were invited last week to a cookout and I had never met either of the hosts. My husband knew the guy through work and it was a last minute invitation. My husband is vegetarian and I am GF, so for that evening, we decided to go a little bit late (okay in this situation but not yours) and eat before we went. We wanted to go a little later because we wanted to try and avoid the main meal time. It worked out. And when we were offered food, we just said no thanks and then briefly mentioned that my husband was veggie and I have “food allergies” so they weren’t offended. And they weren’t. They rarely are. Normally they ask more questions and he did. And then he mentioned that his fiance’s father also has “food issues” and so he understood. It was all good.
    Now we need to invite them out or over so they can see that we aren’t (too) high maintenance.

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