People often ask me why I bake so many gluten-free recipes when I don’t follow gluten-free diet myself. It’s true- as an avid baker, I love my gluten! However, I have some dear friends and family members who are gluten-free, and it’s very important to me to develop and perfect treats they can enjoy.
I was struck by something my aunt said a few years ago about being gluten-free. We were at her daughter’s wedding and the bride (my cousin and best friend) and groom had carefully picked a menu they knew their guests would enjoy. Dinner was delicious- chicken with vegetables and mashed potatoes. We assumed my aunt would enjoy the same dish we did- except with grilled chicken instead of breaded, and without the thick gravy. Instead, servers brought her a gluten-free pasta dish. It was delicious, my aunt said, but it was different. When everyone else is eating chicken, you feel left out eating pasta. And no one likes being left out.
That story has stuck with me, and whenever I’m cooking or baking for someone with dietary restrictions, I do my best to make a comparable dish. I love to bake for family and friends, and I want everyone to be able to participate and enjoy, not pick around the things they can and cannot eat. Food is supposed to bring people together, not leave people out.