You (and Your Food Allergies) Are Invited
Hosting a dinner party can be a struggle. Deciding what dishes to serve, what drinks to pair them with, how much food to make for your hungry friends, what should be prepared first/last, etc., can be overwhelming. Having food allergies or serving someone with food allergies makes it all the more challenging. I recently hosted an allergy-friendly dinner party for a couple of my friends, and here are a few things that I learned along the way: TIP #1: ALWAYS ask your guests what foods they are allergic to before planning your menu. It is so important to know what everyone’s sensitivities are so that you can prepare a meal suitable for each guest. There’s nothing worse than going to a party and not being able to partake. Trust me, I know.
TIP #2: Check (and double-check) the labels on the ingredients that you purchase. As I was rushing through the grocery store in preparation for this dinner party, I forgot to read the label on the last item I picked up. It contained citric acid, but I didn’t realize it until it was almost time for me to start cooking. I was forced to adjust my menu at the last moment, and this is never ideal or fun.
TIP #3: BYOB. One of the hardest aspects of planning my dinner party was that I struggled to find an alcoholic beverage (that wasn't hard liquor), which did not have some form of citrus, so I asked my guests to bring whatever alcoholic beverage they desired. I supplied the soft drinks, sweet tea, and water.
TIP #4: Fruit is a great dessert substitute. Because my dinner party landed on a 95-degree day, I wanted to provide something cool for my guests. Ice cream wouldn’t work because one guest tries to avoid dairy. Most boxed cakes have citric acid or are processed in a factory that processes nuts, and I didn’t want to bake one from scratch. So, I landed on fruit — it’s easy, refreshing, and not super heavy after a filling meal.
TIP #5: Make extra. Nope, this is not for your hungry guests. This is so that you have leftovers of your yummy allergy-friendly eats.