If you ask me, the hardest part about having food restrictions isn't the shopping. It isn't the cooking. It isn't even the eating out. It's the eating IN but OUT. That is to say, eating in at a friend's or family member's house rather than my own.
Don't get me wrong -- I love these people, I love spending time with them, it's a treat to get out of my own four walls and I've been treated to some really spectacular cooking by my very own flesh and blood. Food that feels like a tremendously loving gift because I know it was carefully put together while they must have felt like they were standing on one foot with their hands tied behind their back, trying to stop themselves from putting pretty much anything they usually cook with into the pot.
That's just it: I love these people so much that I don't want them to go through all that for me and my kids! It doesn't help any (like, any at all!) that there are so many 'haters' out there on the web, crankily complaining that their enjoyment of all those lovely things I can't eat is somehow infringed upon by my need to avoid them. Where are the lines and the new social norms?
That's why it's such a breath of fresh air when I see a post like this one, with simple, actionable recommendations for hosts who would like to have someone over for dinner who has food restrictions.
Dos and Don’ts: Accommodating Dietary Needs at Dinner Parties
Surely, this is one of the touchiest topics on the food corner of the web. But I'm convinced that through compassion and a focus on doing what we can to make it comfortable for us all to eat together, we as a culture will be able to adapt and absorb our new reality.
As I see it, the first step is to start the conversation. So please, join in and tell me what you think.