Last night I went to my friend's place for our book club gathering. I love book club for a few reasons. I love to read, so getting together with other people who love to read for the sole purpose of discussing books is a little slice of heaven for me. I also love that due to our diverse tastes, I find that often the choice of book is not one that I would otherwise have picked up on my own; this has helped me expand my interests and as a result I've discovered some new authors that I now love. I get to see former colleagues that I otherwise probably wouldn't have kept in regular touch with. The book club has been going strong for ten years, with members coming and going, but the club has never disbanded and never taken a hiatus, something that I find amazing. We've been together through marriages, babies, moves (two members are currently out of country and one spent a year abroad but jumped right back in upon his return), retirement, family triumphs and tragedies, and much, much more. We share good food, good wine, good books (usually), and good conversation.
And last night, we shared an unintentionally gluten free main course. My friend Linda created an almost entirely gluten free meal without even trying. Besides the pita bread and the coffee cake (which I brought), here's the GF menu:
Veggie sticks and hummus
Shrimp and vegetable paella
Strawberry salad on a bed of mixed greens and almonds (the dressing was even GF, I checked)
Wine, Water and coffee
A few months ago, I wouldn't have even noticed. And that's what makes me the happiest about the whole evening; that someone put together a GF meal without it being an obvious Gf meal to those who are not gluten-free. So often the mention of my son being gluten free elicits such sympathetic reactions that its as though he can't eat anything but mush for the rest of his life. Thoughts automatically go to what he can't eat, rather than the huge assortment of everyday, regular foods that he can. And last night's meal was just another example of how gluten free food can be healthy, delicious, and a first choice go to, not a second place substitute.
Yet another reason why I love my book club friends.