So, around these parts, there is a distinct sense of community. If a neighbor has a baby, illness, endures a life changing crisis or just has a crappy week, someone else magically, and mercifully, shows up on the doorstep with dinner or treats. A generous token of friendship and charity. I know, because I’ve been the recipient of such kindness a time or two or 16. A little network of angels banding together to take care of one another. It takes a village, you know. Maybe your neighborhood is the same?
I like to return the favor whenever I can, but, what to do for someone with special diet concerns? Such a dilemma! Changing my own diet drastically has made me more sensitive to others’ eating habits, like being gluten-free.
If you aren’t sure, just ask. Most people, me included, are happy to explain what is and isn’t safe for their family to eat and will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Allergies? Special diets? I want to take something they will be able to enjoy, after all. Many moons ago I once was asked, with 2 hours notice, to prepare a dinner for a family of 6 that did not eat meat, poultry, fish, dairy, sugar or white carbs. Yikes. My standby crowd-pleasing recipes (lasagne? chicken soup?) were utterly useless. How could I fill their tummies on just frozen broccoli and homemade applesauce? I scrapped together something presentable and hoped it was edible. They were gracious. I hope it worked.
I’ve learned my lesson. And, now I have a little arsenal of recipes I once thought restrictive. My own family loves them, too, and I don’t often have to ask anyone if it complies with their diet. So, these days, if I’m helping a neighbor with dinner, I just double one of these allergy-friendly recipes. A pan for them, a pan for us. Good deeds all around. A couple of good recipes to start your own diet-friendly arsenal here, here and here, each easily adapted to nearly any allergy or sensitivity. And totally tasty.