Tag Archives: mince pies

A Gluten Free Christmas

13 Dec

This will be my second gluten free Christmas, and it can be a difficult time for us coeliacs.  There seem to be mince pies and Christmas Cake everywhere you look, and you’re constantly having to say no to treats that are on offer.  In addition to this there are those awkward Christmas meals, with very few (if any) gluten free options to try and navigate.  I’ve looked on in horror over the past few weeks at some of the poor Christmas meal offerings that have been tweeted about.  Carly Talbot’s #FruitIsNotAPudding hash tag has been particularly prevalent!


But Christmas doesn’t have to be a bad time, and there are plenty of options out there for us gluten free folk.  Last year for my first gluten free Christmas Marks & Spencer turned out to be the big hero for me.  For Christmas dinner the turkey was stuffed with gluten free sausage meat, there were stuffing balls, pigs in blankets and a pot of delicious pre-made gravy.  All gluten free and all from M&S.

This year I’ve managed to find a local gluten free sausage meat at Plymouth Greengrocer, and they are also stocking a range of Christmas Cake and mince pies.  If you are Plymouth based, it’s well worth a trip out to stock up for Christmas.  You can of course grab all your Christmas fruit and veg while you are there too.  Annoyingly for me I don’t like mince pies or fruit cake, but I have ordered a Chocolate Yule Log from Annie’s Larder, and I’m really looking forward to tucking in to this one!

I am also a big fan of the Mrs Crimble’s Stuffing Mix if you want an alternative to the M&S version.  For an alternative gravy I usually use the Antony Worrall Thompson gravy, though I’ve heard a few people say they find this too salty.  Personally I like it.  Cadbury’s have been my advent calendar and tree chocolate of choice this year and last, though shock horror I’ve got no advent calendar this year.  That’s the first time ever, I must be getting old!  There’s also a great list of suitable Christmas products from Coeliac UK which will give you some further tips.

Good news is that Quality Street and Cadbury’s Roses are both gluten free.  I am not a fan of giving Christmas cards to work colleagues, and for the last few years I’ve taken in a tin of Quality Street instead.  My colleagues seem to enjoy this more than a card, I help save some trees and there are always some gluten free treats on hand.  Everyone is a winner!  Lucky for me I’ve managed to convince my work colleagues that a curry is a good choice for a Christmas meal this year, so hopefully no awkward choices for me.  My pudding may well be a fruit, well cider is made from apples anyway.  On the subject of cider I’m trying to track down some Rekorderlig winter cider, I managed to try some in London and it’s lovely.

Some of my blogging friends have been busy at work providing their gluten free tips, so I will leave you with some pointers to  more great info from them.  If you have tips of your own please leave a comment!

Have a Gluten Free Christmas (Part One) – Wuthering Bites
Have a Gluten Free Christmas (Part two) – Wuthering Bites
My gluten free Christmas – Gluten free cake lover
Bread to Bread: Mince Pies – gluten free b
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! – Coeliac.me.uk
Festive post #1 – gluten free mince pies – Gluten Free Blogger
Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Annie’s Larder Christmas Hampers

18 Nov

Those who have been following Gluten Free by the Sea since the beginning may remember me visiting Annie’s Supperclub during a trip to London in August.  Such fantastic food and Annie has recently branched out to form Annie’s Larder, providing lunch deliveries in London, supplying gluten free pizza bases to some London pubs and cakes to local cafes.  I have seen great reviews about the gluten free lunch service from my London based coeliac friends.

Those of us outside of London can now have a chance to sample Annie’s great food as she is currently taking orders for gluten free Christmas Hampers, and offering UK delivery.  See here for more information.  Choose between such goodies as Christmas Cake, Christmas Pud, Mince Pies, shortbread and an array of local produce such as cheeses and chutneys.  I particularly have my eye on a gluten free Yule Log!

This week I was lucky enough to be asked to do some taste testing for Annie.  A hard job but someone has got to do it!  I received a generous sample of brownie, shortbread and fruit cake.  I am annoyingly fussy and don’t like fruit cake as I don’t like currants or raisins, so I roped my parents in to assist with the sampling.

The brownie was amazingly light and moist, with beautiful chocolate flavour.  I really loved this as did my mum.  Despite dad not liking brownie he still gave this a “very nice” verdict.  The shortbread came out as the real winner though.  All three of us thought these were brilliant.  Best summed up with a quote by dad; “The shortbreads were amazing, light, good texture very tasty.  To die for!!!!”.  I couldn’t disagree with that, and I quickly packed away the leftover shortbread to take home before my parents could get their hands on the rest!  I left my parents to taste the fruit cake, and they both agreed this was “very tasty” and had great flavour.

Finally I asked my gluten eating parents the all important question; “would you know it was gluten free?” and in stereo they both answered a resounding “no”.  So there we have it, good enough for everyone to eat which I know is Annie’s mission.  I am sure if you get a chance to sample Annie’s food you will be equally impressed.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

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