Sunday, 27 April 2014

Are Pirates gluten-free? Yes they ARRR!!

Since about Christmas time Alexandra has been telling us 'I've invited <insert random name> to my party'. We have been repeatedly reminding Alex that said party has not been discussed or agreed and inviting everybody in her class and telling them the date of her birthday does not mean that it will happen.  Ha! We were wrong. It turns out you can grind your parents down (well these parents anyway) and make your wish come true if you talk about it long enough and hard enough and with enough conviction.

And so it was that I found myself in Pirates Play Centre enquiring about kids parties. I'd always said I would never have a party in a play centre- only home organised traditional fun for my children. That was in my idealistic pre-actuallyhavingkids days. Now the idea of letting someone else do all the organising and cleaning up is somewhat appealing. (Although I do love doing home-made too- depending on other demands and time allowances).

When I informed the organiser at Pirates that the birthday girl has Coeliac's and would need gluten-free food, without missing a beat he said, no problem, would you like the whole party to be gluten-free in that case? 'Yee-ess', I said hesitantly, expecting a surcharge of a ridiculous amount per child. However, fabulously, there was no extra cost at all.  On the day, the party host discussed all of the food and preparation methods with me. The kids had sandwiches, breadsticks and veg sticks (with dip), crisps, fruit, smiley potato faces, pink wafers, and jelly and ice cream. All gluten-free. With no hassle. Or drama. Big smile!
For anyone in the Nottingham area, I would definitely recommend Pirates Play Centre for a gluten-free party.

I did do the cake myself, and I have to say, it was one of the best tasting cakes I've done in a while. I found the recipe on the 'all recipes' website  here and just added some Xanthan gum when my first attempt fell apart. The icing was ready roll from Sainsbury's with the top bit bought from 'caketoppersbynikki2012' on ebay, after her immediate response to my email, confirming that all the ingredients and her production methods were gluten-free. Again, an easier than expected transaction with someone who is obviously used to dealing with dietary requirements. Pleasingly, nearly everyone who ate the cake expressed surprise that it was gluten-free. I did freeze some, and it defrosted well, although I don't know why I bothered freezing it as I took it out again pretty much straight away as it was so morish!

In any case, a very different gluten-free party to last years, but a very happy 5 year old and Mummy.

(And seeing as Alex is starting to read- if you ever read this sweetheart, the statement in the first paragraph about grinding your parents down and having your wish come true does NOT apply to Disneyland Paris. For now!)

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