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December 2, 2008

I have a bunch of parties coming up, and I will admit I’m a little worried about them. The first two are this weekend, hosted by myself and my sister on Friday, and then by my brother and his fiance on Saturday.

My party is a pot luck, which is something I have always enjoyed. But now, pot luck means avoiding a bunch of good-looking food. And on top of that, I have to make a dish that’s substantial enough to qualify as dinner, since that’s exactly what it will be for me. You might be thinking that’s not a big deal, but I hate cooking… with a passion. So for me, it absolutely is a big deal. I’m definitely going to need to get over that particular sentiment. What am I going to do when I’m no longer living with my sister, who currently does all the cooking? Ugh.

But anyway, back to parties. At my brother’s party on Saturday, food is being provided. This, of course, means that I need to eat ahead of time. Fortunately, that won’t be a problem because the party doesn’t start until after my usual dinner time anyway. But I will still have to show restraint to avoid all the goodies when I get there.

The party I’m most worried about is the one being put on by my work on December 13. It’s being held at an upscale bar in downtown Austin, and a buffet is being provided. I sent an email to the HR representative organizing the party informing her that I would need to speak with the chef to ensure that my food is safe to eat, and she responded with the following: “Here is the menu. Please let me know what is on here that you can eat and if you have questions about any of it.” Obviously she doesn’t understand Celiac disease. (I can’t blame her for this, of course. The best I can do is try to inform her.) I had to write her a long email explaining that I would need to know the specific ingredients of each item in order to determine if it was gluten free, and on top of that, I would need to speak to the chef to ensure that no cross contamination occurred (and I detailed many of the ways this could be a problem). I also informed her that my food could not be from the buffet, as that type of setting can inherently lead to cross-contamination. I tried to make the email detailed enough that she would understand how important it was for me to speak to the chef directly, and fortunately, she got the message. This was the response I got: “Have contacted my event planner with your requirements and asked if you could speak to the chef directly.” Success! Now I’m hoping that the restaurant will be cooperative…

On a side note, someone showed me this website that sells shirts related to Celiac disease, and this shirt in particular seems appropriate right now.

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