First the numbers: 18 girls, 2 celiacs and 1 dairy intolerance!
Throwing a party these days is very different than the parties my parents threw for me. On Friday night I had my daughter’s sweet 16 party at one of our favorite BBQ restaurants. I was a little bit relieved that none of her friends are vegetarians as this was not the menu for vegetarians. I knew this would be a hungry bunch of high school athletes all coming from either soccer, field hockey, tennis, volleyball and swim practices or games.
Two of my daughter’s friends are celiacs and I have known that fact about each girl long before either became friends with my daughter. Many years ago I had received a phone call from each girl’s mother with the question, “do you think I should test my daughter for celiac disease?” In both cases my advice was simple; this test might be the answer to what is making her sick, why not test for it?
I went in to the restaurant a week before the party and found out the ingredients of the things we had chosen and made sure that we had enough entrées and sides that would work for the gluten intolerant gals. The dairy allergy was covered too, although not as easily as gluten intolerance.
For the desserts, I ordered a gorgeous cake, two bowls of vanilla ice cream and a dish of baked apples…all bases covered there too!
Restaurant management and chefs have come a long way, not one person batted an eyelash when I launched into the number of food issues I needed to work around at this dinner party.
With knowledge of the food issues ahead of time and pre-planning with the restaurant manager, the girls had a wonderful evening. They sat in the restaurant loft and I sat downstairs listening to the ebullient chatter and loud laughter that spilled over the balcony. Best part about it was a happy teenager, but the doggy bag of gluten-free goodies that I had for lunch on Saturday was also pretty sweet!