Olive Murphy’s “Definitely-Not-Trying-To-Make-Stella-Fall-in-Love-with-Her” Homecooked Gluten-Free Dinner
Olive offers to cook Stella dinner the night Stella’s coming over to discuss their potential fake dating arrangement, but Stella says no at first because she has celiac disease. Stella isn’t used to people fully understanding her dietary needs, and her experiences with celiac are inspired by my mother’s experiences with the complexities of needing a very strict no-gluten diet in professional, social, and family contexts. There are so many people who treat celiac like a fad diet or preference, either unaware or unaccepting that the health ramifications of eating gluten when you have celiac can be very serious. Since Olive’s brother also has celiac, she’s well-practiced at and enjoys gluten-free cooking. And so, Olive creates this mouth-watering menu of gluten-free food. But it’s definitely just to be a nice person, and it’s completely and absolutely not because she’s trying to charm Stella into falling madly in love by hypnotizing her with copious amounts of gluten-free buttery goodness. Obviously.
First Course (Dessert-First): Gluten-Free Pound Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream: When Stella arrives at dinner and sees the beautiful Bundt-shaped golden pound cake, she doesn’t believe it could possibly be gluten-free. This dessert was inspired by the gluten-free pound cake my mom makes which is the absolute best pound cake I’ve ever eaten—though it can also be made with regular flour.
When Olive offers a small piece as an appetizer, Stella joyfully accepts. Olive makes her a small plate, joking that all the major food groups are represented—butter for fats, gluten-free flour for grains, whipped cream for dairy, eggs for protein, and a garnish of mint leaf as the requisite ‘vegetable.’
The Main Course: Perfectly Platonic Parmesan-Crusted Dijon Chicken served with Au Jus(t friends) Buttered Green Beans with Shallots, and Why(can’t we just be real girlfriends)-ild Rice
The Beverages: Olive’s ‘I need a bourbon’-based cocktail response to receiving Stella’s comically-comprehensive, tabbed, and color-coordinated 3-ring binder guide to fake-dating…or Stella’s gluten-free beer.