Holiday cooking can be stressful, especially when the cook has to cope with special dietary needs. That was the case this Thanksgiving when one of our guests was gluten intolerant. As our company was arriving the day before Thanksgiving, the meal I had planned for that night included a rice dish made with beef broth. After checking labels in the major stores, I purchased a package of beef broth that did not include wheat gluten in its listed ingredients. Being on the careful side, I called the company when I got home to double check and sure enough, though not listed, the broth did contain gluten.
Two local merchants turned into angels to help me out — one was BJ Bollier of Vita-Mart in the Twin Pines Shopping Center. He not only found a can of beef broth, but also spent 15 minutes on the phone to verify it did not contain any gluten. They also offer a nice selection of gluten-free bakery goods from a Phoenix bakery that bakes and freezes the items and delivers them to the store twice a week. Bingo — there was a loaf of date nut bread just perfect for Thanksgiving morning breakfast.
The second angel was Leonie Dobbins of the Red Elephant Bakery on South Beeline Highway, who, at the last minute, took time from her busy holiday schedule to bake a delicious gluten-free pumpkin pie for us.
Both businesses carry foods for other dietary needs also, such as lactose intolerant, diabetic and other food sensitivities. And both were so pleasant and accommodating that I certainly will be doing business with them again.
Another good resource for those dealing with special diets is our public library, which has an excellent selection of cookbooks geared to dietary needs. For those with gluten intolerance, I especially recommend Bette Hagman’s series such as “The Gluten-Free Gourmet.”
Senior Center and Thrift Store
Michael Plante will speak on Alzheimer’s Basics at 11:40 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3 in the Center Dining Room, 514 W. Main St., and on Alzheimer’s Information Wednesday, Dec. 10. The programs are open to the public and no reservations are needed.
Market America Health Products will be the topic of an address by Lee Matson at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Dec. 8. Lee is a distributor for MAHP, which has products that use all natural ingredients to alleviate the pain of arthritis, swelling and joint inflammation, cosmetic use, cleaning agents and more. She also is a former volunteer at the Senior Thrift Store.
In Home Care by Comfort Keepers will be discussed by Terri Taylor and Cindy Harris at 11:40 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9.
There will be a holiday bake sale from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Dec. 10 in the dining room. Proceeds benefit the center.
For a break in holiday entertaining, plan to play a game or two of Bingo at the center at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 15. There is no charge to play and fun prizes will be awarded.
The Senior Center and Thrift Store will be closed Dec. 24 and 25, but will reopen Friday, Dec. 26.
Looking ahead, there will be a formal New Year’s Eve party at the center Dec. 31. For information, call (928) 474-4876.
The Thrift Store at 512 W. Main St. will have a sale on men’s and women’s clothing beginning Dec. 1. Clothing marked with yellow tags is 50 percent off the marked price; green tags indicate 25 percent off. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Visit The Christmas Shoppe in the back yard of the thrift store for a large selection of Christmas merchandise at bargain prices. New merchandise is available daily.
Looking for last-minute gift ideas? The Thrift Store has gift certificates in denominations from $5 to $20 in attractive Christmas cards.
Payson Regional Senior Circle
The Senior Circle will have a bake sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 5 in the Circle building at 215 N. Beeline Highway.
Betty Pontious, R.N., of Pampered Feet, will be available on Thursdays at the Circle to do foot care for seniors. A half-hour session pedicure includes soak, cut, file, trim and massage. Cost of the treatment is $20. For reservations, call (928) 595-0183.
Tai Chi classes also are held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Thursdays at the Circle. For information, call (928) 472-9200.
The Senior Circle will be closed from Dec. 22 through Dec. 31 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Check out the new schedule of activities soon to be available at the Circle office.
Congratulations to the Payson High School Longhorns for a thrilling season and state championship title.