hunger and the celiac diner

gluten-free feasting at our house
so you want to have us over for dinner? how nice!

if we come to your place, we always want to bring something to share though. Celiacs do that as a self-defense mechanism in case of dietary misunderstandings.

Gluten intolerance is a funny thing that has us reading labels and interpreting ingredients. Even a little gluten can hurt celiacs. "Gluten is found in all grains. The gluten in rice and corn is safe for celiac patients, but the gluten in wheat, barley, and rye is not." (quote from

It's hard enough for us to eat at home and maintain a gluten-free kitchen with sons and daughters bringing their own bread to put in our toaster or leaving crumbs all over the cutting boards. Going to someone else's house or eating out in a restaurant can be extremely challenging.

Recently at a little pot-luck dinner, the only thing that wasn't accidentally contaminated by gluten were the two dishes brought by the celiacs.  Even the cheese and the pickles were on the same plates as crackers, and the hummus was being spread on buns and the knife returned to the hummus bowl contaminating the rest of the dip.

Last fall I went to a fabulous seafood feast where practically the only thing I was fed all night was rice. All the seafood dishes that passed my table were spectacular to look at and smelled amazing. Prawns, octopus, fish, squid, scallops with fresh vegetables and arranged beautifully on platters. All were cooked in soy sauce made with wheat, malt vinegar, or with other sauces that had MSG (made from wheat).  When they made me a small pan of sauteed prawns at the end of the incredible meal, I felt like a poor cousin, even though I had paid my money just like everyone else. If I had known, I would have sponsored the sauces,  and purchased gluten-free alternatives so we all could eat.

Restaurant dining can be very good or very bad. We are very confident eating at many of the Powell River restaurants: at Minato Sushi (who have a list of gluten free dishes and provide soy sauce we can eat) and at the Vietnam Cuisine, and we have been well looked after at Coastal Cookery, Costa del Sol and by Tova who makes Mexican food at local festivals. Eat elsewhere and take your chances with waitresses who think potatoes contain gluten, or chefs who think croutons do not.

so please, don't mind us if we bring a dish to your dinner party and insist on taking our servings first before someone has shared the spoon from the macaroni salad with our baked quinoa.


  1. I so understand, being extremely lactose intolerant, yet I can't even imagine having to deal with contamination. You should submit this to a larger audience, as there are so many out there that just don't get it, saying "oh, it just has a little butter, " or worse, " it came from a box mix" (cringe). Your garden and cooking looks very enticing. My niece was just recently diagnosed with celiac disease, and she is starting college this year. I am sure that will be a challenge to her. Thanks- j Zenel

  2. thank you so much!
    I am glad that you get it. Even a little contamination can make some people extremely ill, so it is important that those people be extremely aware of their own health and work to keep it. Even if it means being very picky about reading labels in someone else's kitchen. My friends are used to it now, but not everyone is trained yet. :)