What does my sister-in-law want for Xmas?
December 12, 2005 11:31 AM   Subscribe

I need a gift for someone who suffers from Celiac (can't eat wheat gluten).

I searched the old AskMe's and found links to a few sites offering gluten free products but have no idea what she, or anyone with Celiac, might really enjoy or have trouble obtaining. Any suggestions?
posted by Carbolic to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
Did you want to buy or make him or her something?
posted by Rothko at 11:34 AM on December 12, 2005

If you're looking to make an unusual (but tasty, I promise!) food gift, potato candy has been a big hit in my family for generations, and my mom makes it for her neighbor (who can't eat wheat gluten) each Christmas.
posted by mewithoutyou at 11:41 AM on December 12, 2005

I have a friend that was recently diagnosed with this. I know it's pretty specific, but she's been obsessed with Farmer's Market tangerines lately. May be an idea? Perhaps some sort of Fruit Basket you put together for him/her.
My friend has a tough time these days with finding things she can eat. Amazing how many things have trace wheat elements. Quite the predicament.
posted by Radio7 at 11:49 AM on December 12, 2005

A cute sweater? An iPod? A spa day? Were I in her shoes (and I sort of am, but nowhere near that severely) I'd prefer my Christmas gifts to recognize that there's more to me than my chronic illness.
posted by mendel at 11:57 AM on December 12, 2005

A donation to this guy?
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:07 PM on December 12, 2005

The person in question is my sister-in-law. The disease doesn't seem to affect much other than her diet. So long as she watches what she eats she does very well. Other than the fact that I know she watches what she eats I wouldn't know she's has a problem - it definitely doesn't define her.

I'm looking for something that she can eat that she hasn't tried before or doesn't know about. She's been on a restricted diet for many years so finding something she doesn't know about might be a lost cause but I figured if I could find an idea anywhere it would be AskMe.
posted by Carbolic at 12:12 PM on December 12, 2005

You should try vegan essentials and search "gluten free." Four pages of products come up. The brownies look mighty tasty, I gotta say.
posted by nadawi at 1:13 PM on December 12, 2005

I'm sure your sis will appreciate a basket of sweet gluten-free treats and fruit.

Pamela's Bakery is a line of gluten-free cookies and mixes. You'll find them at Whole Foods and health food stores. Some Whole Foods stores carry other gluten-free items.

If you feel like rolling up your sleeves, flourless chocolate cake and chocolate mousse (see Joy of Cooking 2nd edition recipe) are two favorites in my home.
posted by Rothko at 1:49 PM on December 12, 2005

HappyHappyHappy.com has great cakes and cookies. Kind of pricey, but if she loves cake there aren't many good alternatives. Whole Foods also has a line of very good Breads, cookies and muffins. The Sundried garlic bread is the best wheat free bread I've ever had.
posted by renyoj at 1:53 PM on December 12, 2005

On the flourless cake idea: I've played with recipes that substitute ground almonds or walnuts for flour in cakes or tortes. Google around for bunches of examples. Rich, delicious, also expensive and about 30 zillion calories, but hey, it's the holidays.

Are you looking for something to make and mail, something to order online, or something to carry across town and deliver in person?
posted by gimonca at 2:42 PM on December 12, 2005

I agree with the previous people that have said "basket of gluten-free goodies". My aunt has celiac disease and although she knows where to get hold of the day-to-day stuff, she's always been very appreciative when we've given her yummy things.
posted by Lotto at 3:08 PM on December 12, 2005

Thanks to all for the suggestions so far.

I'm looking for something to purchase in a finished state and hand over in person (I only cook for people I dislike).

I was wondering about a cookbook. Anyone know of a really good one aimed at gluten-freeness?
posted by Carbolic at 4:07 PM on December 12, 2005

You said you don't cook, but pretty much anyone can bake, you just follow directions. And these brownies are delicious.
posted by knave at 5:28 PM on December 12, 2005

I have celiacs.

I really like the idea of a basket of gluten free foods. I think that would be just the thing. I mostly cook from scratch and just substitute brown rice flour for wheat flour. But once in a while I just want something packaged.

For a treat I buy a packaged rice noodle mac and cheese at the health food store. Safeway also carries it. It is in a dark blue box. I think the brand is deboles? It comes with powdered cheese. The "Annies" brand wheat free m&c was awful.

I also make my own waffles with brown rice flour. I think they are delicious and can be used as a kind of bread substitute for sandwiches. A waffle iron would be a great gift. It would need to be dedicated to wheat free waffles (no one else should use it for wheat waffles).

I wouldn't give cosmetics or lotions. Some have wheat germ oil in them. And other wheat derived ingrediants. Skin absorbs a lot. I don't want trouble, so I really stick to basics for grooming.
posted by 9000.68 at 6:35 PM on December 12, 2005

HappyHappyHappy is great. It makes one of my friends (who has celiac) very happy, and I (who don't) don't mind eating there with him at all. I'm talking about the actual physical location, but I can't imagine products purchased through the website would be really different.

Of course, it is expensive -- it's catering to a small niche market, and hey, it's in Manhattan. But I think you get a good dessert for the price, and I can't imagine how much more my gluten-free friend thinks it's worth.
posted by booksandlibretti at 6:53 PM on December 12, 2005

Get her one of these and tell her it's a T lymphocyte, the villain of celiac disease.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:56 PM on December 12, 2005

I'm checking out HappyHappyHappy but I've just been told by my brother that what she truely craves is a beer. I need someone in Milwaukee to go here , purchase some gluten free beer and ship it to me.
posted by Carbolic at 8:19 PM on December 12, 2005

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