Sunday, October 7, 2012


My mom always said that if you want to find out who your real friends are, either move or have twins. There aren't too many who will help you out through. I would add one to that, go gluten free.

Potlucks or even events where everyone signs up to bring something are hard on my kids. I usually try to sign up for a salad and a dessert so that my kids get a complete meal. They still only get to eat what mom brought while everyone else has their plate piled high with a variety of foods. It's hard. 

It is much easier on me because if I see something I really want, I just plan on making it later that week or the next. I do feel a little awkward just because it looks like I am a food snob since I only eat what I brought. It probably builds character or something like that. Luckily I am not as self-conscious as I was in high school or junior high.

 But back to my point.

We have some amazing friends who have gone out of their way to be sure that my kids (and I) have had something safe to eat at several events lately. I know that this hasn't been easy for them because they aren't gluten-free and it can be so difficult to know what is safe and what isn't.  Especially since gluten hides in unexpected places. Like in Chili Cheese Fritos or all Blue Bell chocolate ice creams.

We are members of a homeschool co-op, a group of homeschool moms and kids where the moms all teach 1 or 2 subjects giving the kids a chance to learn something that we (individually) wouldn't be willing or able to teach. For instance one of my son's classes is music but not music appreciation like I thought. No, they are learning to play the recorder. There is absolutely no way I would teach that class, whether it was just my child or a group of kids.

But I digress.

We always start off the year with a party, this year with the theme of the Olympics. There was pizza, cake, nachos, fruit, hot dogs and other treats - the only naturally gluten-free thing on the menu was fruit. The nachos could have been made gluten-free but I kept forgetting to call the mom in charge of nachos. Plus, I hate putting others out and Junior is the only one who likes nachos and I can easily do those at home. With the menu in mind, I brought my kids their own gluten-free pizza and made cupcakes. The mom planning the event was going to make candy sushi (with rice krispies) and while I offered to make it for my kids, she also made some gluten-free candy sushi for my kids. They also had goody bags with candy and she double checked which ones were gluten-free and made sure my kids got goody bags with candy they could eat. I don't know if Betty realizes how much that meant to my kids and I.

 Then at our September 4-H club meeting, two friends made sure that all the snacks were gluten-free. Heather brought these mini cheesecakes (and that is her blog) and Robin brought an amazing bean dip (and she doesn't have a blog so I can't link to it). That was the first meeting in 2 years that they could eat the snacks like the other kids. Heather and Robin have since made snacks for other potluck like things that were gluten-free so my kids would be included.

Heather also teaches an election class at our co-op and to make it fun for the kids, they are doing candy elections (complete with slogans and all that).  They are getting to sample candy each class so they can be more informed of the options and Heather always makes sure that some of them are gluten-free for my daughter to sample.

Most recently, Robin's son had a birthday and she brought cupcakes for our wildlife group to celebrate her son's birthday. My heart sank because I didn't know in advance and so couldn't make some for my kids. I should have known better than that because she also baked some special for my kids that were gluten-free.

Friends like that bring tears to my eyes.

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