Christmas is creeping that bit closer and to be truthful I love the build up just as much (if not more) than the big day itself! It’s the excuse to eat out more, get together with friends and family at a drop of a hat and go bonkers with lots of home baking, I love my gluten free mince pies with a cup of tea!
One of the best things about a traditional Christmas dinner is you can make the whole thing naturally gluten free, even gluten free sausages are now widely available in supermarkets, (better still if your local butcher can provide them), making the perfect pigs in blankets! Bisto Best Gravy is fabulous as a quick tasty gravy, however simply by reducing the meat juices, thickening with Juvela Gluten Free Mix and adding a splash of red wine and seasoning feels a little more luxurious! Here is an easy Gravy recipe.
I haven’t had a chance this year to make a Christmas Pudding, however here is a great recipe to pop together should you have a little spare time!
It’s now 12 years since I have been diagnosed with Coeliac and I simply refuse for it to get in the way of me and my enjoyment for food!! I feel that you have to always be open to new ideas and ways of rustling up different treats.
I’m a northern girl, so my apologies that the places I share tend to be in my region, however they are fabulous places and it would be wrong not to share their delights, the following is a corker!…
I recently went on a Christmas shopping trip to Chester with my cousin. We went for afternoon tea at the Grosvenor Hotel, oh my word it was amazing! The waiter was extremely helpful and explained everything would be gluten free, but when he put the cake stands down I really thought he had got it the wrong way round – it was too good to be true! There were open sandwiches of beef with horseradish, smoked salmon and cream cheese, ham and tomato and delicious cheese and onion. I was so intent on eating all my sandwiches that I only just managed my miniature Eaton mess and one scone with jam and clotted cream. The kind waiter packed up my remaining scone and chocolate cake for me to take home to enjoy. I cannot wait to pay the Grosvenor another visit as there is a sense of magic and calm, which is the perfect thing needed to punctuate any shopping trip. I have to say though after experiencing how good their afternoon tea is I may be booking myself in for Dinner!
So with the advent calendar countdown well under way I thought I would share my top tips and reminders to ensure the festive season is a happy one;
– Get my fresh bread order in with the pharmacy on time, to ensure I don’t miss out on my Juvela fresh white rolls, they really make a perfect festive sandwich filled with left-over turkey, *stuffing and cranberry sauce or to enjoy a delicious bacon buttie on Christmas morning. Here is a link to the Christmas Deadlines for ordering Fresh Bread & Rolls
– Contact “Christmas do” venues to give them prior notice that I require a gluten free diet and ensure all OK to prevent crossed contamination. Eating out used to be tricky, but so many places have now thrown open their doors to embrace people requiring a gluten free diet. Not only do they offer fab gluten free offerings, there also seems to be a better understanding about cross contamination. If you’re heading out for a work Christmas night out, just give the venue a quick call before hand and ask whatever questions you need to make sure that on the night you can relax and enjoy your gluten-free meal!
– Contact friends and family to check if there is anything I can make and bring along to make their lives easier for our Christmas get togethers. Things can always be prepared in advance and just pop them in the freezer, then when you’re going somewhere simply defrost and take it along! So many things taste even better once frozen, and it’s far easier to make a larger portion or double up on gluten free pastry and make extra mince pies or whatever takes you fancy than start from scratch when time is precious!
– Stock up on lots of gluten free goodies, so many of these will be naturally gluten free for the whole family to enjoy. Always make sure you know which chocolates etc are gluten free, I find the link to Coeliac UKs website for their Christmas list so useful as it means I can have piece of mind when enjoying the odd treat! (Just double check the website for deletions, as they regularly update it if a product is no longer suitable)
Christmas is to be celebrated in your own unique way and more often than not is centralised around food, I know I’m fortunate enough to have full cupboards and delicious things to enjoy. So may you enjoy a happy healthy Christmas filled with many splendid gluten free delights and special times!