Saturday saw our Garden Party, held to raise money for Coeliac UK in memory of my Dad.
Coeliac UK had sent us a banner and balloons which ensured that our guests knew they had arrived at the right place!
Guests started arriving from 1pm. Fortunately most of them were inside before the thunderstorm broke overhead! Gusting winds took care of some of the balloons, the banner came down, and some guests had to shelter in their car waiting for it to ease before they risked the dash to the house!
After the storm the sun shone, we repaired the banner, and the children all took advantage of the garden to let off some steam.
That morning we'd made a fresh loaf of mixed seed bread using a mix from Foodamentalists. We also used Dietary Specials' pastry (from their frozen range) to prepare mini cream cheese and bacon bites.
Sarah from Especially Delicious brought some gorgeous cupcakes (not pictured) which manage to amaze the non-gluten free guests at the event who couldn't believe they were "free from"!
In fact several guests commented on the selection and taste of the food on offer and expressed surprise that it taste as good, if not better, than "normal" food! I think we may even have converted one person!
The companies sponsoring our prize draw had provided a wealth of information about their product ranges, and how to get items on prescription. This was very useful for those at the event who were gluten free - including some newly diagnosed coeliacs.
At 3pm we drew the names for our prize draw. The winning hamper (which was so heavy it took 2 people to move it!) was crammed full of hundreds of pounds worth of gluten free products from some of the top producers in the UK. Products had been donated by Livwell (a mixture of bakery products), Wellfoods (including amazing pizza bases), General Dietary Ltd - a selection from their Ener-G products, PGR Health Foods (items from their Rizopia Pasta - Lasagne, Spaghetti, Penne and Fusilli), Dietary Specials (a selection of products), Glutafin (a wide selection of products), TruFree (a selection of products), Juvela (a variety of products), Gluten Free Foods (a selection of their BARKAT products), Black Farmer (several of their excellent new cooking sauces),Foodamentalists (a selection of their dry mixes including yorkshire pudding mix!), Innovative Solutions (a generous selection from their excellent range including flours, gums and yeast), Taywell Ice Creams (6 x 500g tubs from their delicious gluten free ice creams), Freedom Deli (a selection of their gorgeous ready meals), Sugargrain (fresh loaf cakes), and Drink Marvel (a selection of their Bakery on Main products).
Many of the guests went home with doggy bags (well, plates!) stuffed with various savouries and desserts and they definitely all went home full.
As a result of the Party a cheque for £150 is being posted to Coeliac UK to add to the £195 raised online via Just Giving.
Annie would like to thank all the companies that supported her efforts - this was all done in memory of her Dad who died from cancer caused exclusively by coeliac disease that was not diagnosed until it was too late. The day was tinged with sadness but it was a fitting tribute to an amazing man.