Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A Gluten free family Christmas

So it's only 4 days until Christmas! This will be our second gluten free Christmas. Last year I was only just finding my feet, this year I feel much more confident and have done lots of preparation.

So far I have made gluten free mincemeat (using a regular Delia recipe but with gluten free suet by community foods (http://www.naturallygoodfood.co.uk/news/Gluten_Free_and_Vegetarian_Suet_In_Stock) and lots of mince pies (still searching for the elusive good gluten free pastry recipe - anyone?!) chocolate and hazelnut fudge:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

and about a thousand Christmas cupcakes (given as gifts to school teachers and sold at a local Christmas shopping evening on a charity stall for my daughter's preschool), I am particularly proud of my cupcakes as they have been eaten by so many non coeliacs who haven't even spotted they were gluten free - no mean feat! I'm due to make another batch tomorrow for my husband to give to work colleagues as gifts so will make sure I photograph some for you!

Marks and Spencer pigs in blankets sausage and bacon wraps
Mrs Crimbles gluten free stuffing mix
I'm also stocking up on Marks and Spencer pigs in blankets, I was overjoyed when I found out these were gluten free and my son's favourite stuffing mix by Mrs Crimbles. We use Bisto Best chicken gravy. For desert I'll be making a choice of two, a chocolate roulade yule log with fresh cream and raspberries and a sherry trifle. I'll post details once they're made - I'm going to be a busy girl over the next couple of days!, we're not fans of regular Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, though last year we had Tesco Free From Christmas pud that was surprisingly convincing!

For Christmas eve we're having an Indian takeaway and Seb will have his favourite chicken korma, basmati rice and poppadums, he may be a picky eater but I'm so grateful he loves spicy food, helps us out of all sorts of pickles! Boxing day we'll have leftovers with cheese and crackers, Seb's favourite are Trufree herb and onion ones that I buy from Holland and Barrett, they're pretty similar to Jacobs cream crackers in appearance and similar in taste, just with a little kick:

Lastly I've bought Seb's favourite breakfast cereal for the festive period, Dove's farm chocolate stars. We can't afford to buy this for him everyday (I have 3 other hungry - non coeliac - children who all eat it too!) but I do buy it every now and again as a treat. It is SO nice to find a gluten free food that has been made with children in mind, sometimes I could cry when I find a product like this, something that helps him to feel like a normal child. I tend to pick up boxes in Sainsburys and Waitrose, at nearly £3 for 375g they aren't cheap, but sometimes it's so worth it.

That's about all I have time for now, I'm off to experiment with my very first homemade gluten free fish and chips, chips are no problem, we bought a deep fat fryer shortly after Seb's diagnosis which has been money really well spent, we rarely use it (being health conscious!) but it makes such gorgeous chips! I've also successfully made onion rings and breaded mushrooms in it, but tonight will be my first attempt at frying cod - eeek, wish me luck! if the result isn't too embarrassing I will blog about it this evening.

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