You've just been invited to dinner. If you are going to the home of someone else for the first time, you know there is a conversation ahead of you. If you are lucky, the host is already well versed in the language of gluten-free... and those two little words will suffice.
Ideally it is you accepting the invite, giving you the opportunity to clear your throat and drop the bomb. But how about when you're partner comes home to tell you that the boss has invited you both over to dinner?
The call will need to be made. Once the conversation has been had around ingredients, I will typically ask if I can bring something. I assure them that it needn't be complicated.
Of course, at this point I find myself wondering if they are already wishing that they hadn't invited me. Then it occurs to me that if it's too much for them, I don't want a second invite anyway.
Moving along... when I arrive I usually make for the kitchen and have a chat/review of what's cooking (more of a "how can I help" interaction). The goal being to assist both the host and myself and alleviating the stress that comes with wondering if they put worcestershire sauce (malt vinegar) in the dressing or bouillon cubes in the soup. Hanging in the kitchen also gives me the opportunity to show my appreciation for their special consideration of my particular needs.
Good news: future invites are a sign that all went well - and each visit becomes more natural and enjoyable for everyone.
When we invite others over, my first question is usually whether there is something our guest doesn't eat. I'm setting precedent for when they reciprocate :)
Thanks to our amazing friends for the many delicious dinners we enjoy in your homes - one of my greatest joys (if you'll pardon the expression) is breaking bread with others.