Father’s Day was an intimate holiday gathering of our blended family. I love to take advantage of holidays to bring our families closer together. Married children, step children, daughter and son-in-laws, and in-laws’ parents, all appreciate being invited for dinner. They develop stronger feelings for you for making the effort to entertain them. Anyone can use these opportunities to create special moments, share awesome food, and build closer bonds. And everyone wants to pitch in to help you, too.

Being in our house for Father’s Day dinner, our son, Brad, and his 2 year old son, Faris, got to go downstairs into our studio and play drums. Faris is getting old enough to understand what it means to be in our house. This dinner gave him a great experience by playing in our studio, playing with our dogs, and running about in our surroundings. And can you believe how cute this picture is! A future star drummer, like his dad used to be.

Father and son on gradaddy's drums on Father's Day

Father and son on gradaddy’s drums on Father’s Day

What was also fun, was learning to cook gluten free. Our daughter in law’s father cannot eat gluten. I have never cooked gluten free. I decided to use this opportunity to make a gluten free dinner in honor of him. This one act changed my life. I can tell you that cooking gluten free was easier than I imagined. It tasted great and will expand my repertoire as a healthy chef. Saima’s father was deeply moved by my gesture to honor him. It brought a joyful expression to his face and he told me how much he deeply appreciated my efforts to cook gluten free for him.

I made my now famous cold cucumber soup (no dairy or gluten) and home made chicken pot pie (with gluten free flour), and a chocolate souffle served with strawberries dipped in chocolate that Saima’s sister brought.

Chicken Pot Pie filling before the crust

Chicken Pot Pie filling before the crust

The difference I found in gluten free flour was elasticity. It does not stick together or have elasticity like regular wheat flour. But all I had to do was patch it, handle it with care, and brush it with some butter to make sure it didn’t dry out when baking. I decided to cook the pie filling in my Le Cruset red iron skillet with my gluten free dough pieced as lattice on top. This way each serving has savory meat, vegetables, sauce, and a nice crust that doesn’t get soggy.

So have family or someone special over for dinner. If they are gluten intolerant, substitute ingredients with gluten free. They will be deeply moved that you cared enough to make the effort. And the effort is not that difficult. Just try it. And remember, if it isn’t perfect, it’s alright. People are just glad you made it for them.