Being invited to a ‘Potluck’ can be a challenge, even for a simple and healthy eater like me. It’s safe to say, most foods will be untouchable for my diet and it’s important that my intention to attend include a commitment to staying true to my own dietary needs. Gluten intolerant friends have shared their ‘cheating’ stories, and so far, I’ve chosen to stay the course because the potential of moving through the symptoms I experience isn’t worth revisiting.
The spread of delightful dishes at the most recent potluck included: pasta dishes…most likely wheat based and may include cheese; salads with dairy in the dressings; and lots of familiar desserts: brownies, cobbler, cake… You get the picture. Temptation written all over this spread of food.
For me to feel comfortable at a potluck, I take food I can eat so I can at least fill up on what I brought and my temptations diminish to a minimum. But not everybody is as determined as I am.
After my arrival, a woman asks if the pasta dish had cheese in it and I immediately see a potential ‘food sensitive’ friend. As it turns out, her husband is allergic to dairy, so he comes to the table to partake of my offering. Long story short, the woman, her husband and I have a common place to strike up a conversation and we talk about commonalities the entire time. On their way out the door at the end of the gathering, though, he picks up a large brownie slice, knowing it has dairy in it, and par takes of its deliciousness. His comment, “I know, I’ll be sorry tonight”. For me, it’s not worth the fatigue and stomach upset I feel the entire next day.
Then, during a recent visit to the local grocery store, I notice there are a number of gluten free items on the shelves that weren’t there before that potluck. So, with the brownies still on my mind, I venture down the baked goods aisle. Guess what? Yep, you got it! There’s a couple of gluten free brownie mixes; one of them is dairy and egg free, meeting my dietary needs, and I don’t have to add egg or egg substitute. So, because my taste buds are really watering now, I take a big gulp and purchase the box mix for $6. I know…that’s outrageous!
It was easy to mix up and bake and tasted almost as good as brownies I’ve eaten in the past. I suppose the gluten protein is the reason why wheat based brownies don’t fall apart as easily as these did. I shared these with friends and got mixed reactions. Some wouldn’t try them, others made minimal comments afterwards and others were satisfied with them. Another gluten free friend suggested I top the brownies with a non-dairy based milk, which I did, then wanted more.
So now I need to come up with my own simple recipe for brownies. If I succeed, I’ll pass on the recipe.