10 Jul 2008

Are you the celeriac?

I find approaching my condition with a sense of humour not only puts waitresses and fellow diners at ease, but ensures that I too remain lighthearted and the eternal optimist.

This philosophy serves its purpose dutifully at large events such as work do's and weddings, as I have come to expect a rather limited offering, usually plain and uncreative options, especially when it comes to dessert - an exotic fruit platter (whilst everyone else is devouring brownies and chocolate ice cream!).

After a summer of weddings last year, this season we only had one to attend and knowing the couple had planned in a trip to France to buy the champagne, we were looking forward to it.

A wonderful civil ceremony, a happy couple and the sun shining brightly down on the guests milling round the stunning walled gardens was followed by a call to dinner in a cosy dining room. Usually this is where the dread sets in and I am none the wiser as to what I will be eating until the plate arrives, but on this occasion there was a little menu for those with coeliac disease. Brilliant!

The main course was roast lamb which was beautifully cooked and accompanied by seasonal new potatoes, and the pudding was meringues with fruit. I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed at the pud, until it arrived... Homemade rose meringues that were chewy and sweet inside, topped with thick yellow double cream and fresh sweet strawberries. Divine.

But it was the delivery that blew more memorable. The waitress approached the table with the odd dessert in hand, and knowing my dessert to be the odd one out, I signalled to her to come my way.

"Are you the celeriac?"

I did a double take, and when I realised she meant coeliac I happily accepted my dessert - not heard that one before! I saved my fits of giggles till after she'd left... didn't want to embarrass the poor girl.

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