let’s gather together at the table

come to the table_

We have been spending the last week in the familiar red villa in the hills above Tuscany, teaching another wonderful group of people how to cook, bake, and live gluten-free, joyfully. (These Jovial culinary getaways are some of the best days of our lives.) I’m listening to birds outside the window as I type and watching the blue skies arch against the clouds. And yet, my mind has been on other places as well, specifically New York, Pennsylvania, and New England.

Tomorrow, we climb on a plane to New York. After a couple of days of recovery with friends, we’re hitting the road to meet as many people as we can, to hear your food stories, and share laughter and food. This adventure is crazy, of course. 10 potlucks in 12 days, the three of us in a rented minivan, farms to visit, people to meet, and a schedule that demands we keep driving down that road.

We cannot wait.

It’s time for the American potluck road trip to begin.

light in the living room_

So many of you wrote after I put up that post, offering suggestions of where to stop and stay. Some of you were incredibly generous, scouting locations for us while we were in Europe! Almost all the places are fixed now — I have to make a few phone calls to confirm once we hit stateside, so you’ll see an updated version of this post soon — thanks to the wonderful spirit of so many of you. This has felt like we are already gathering at the table together.

But now, it’s time for the real gatherings to begin.

All you have to do is bring a dish that feels most like the place where you live. I know. It’s tough. But we’d love one dish, something singular, something yours. Our hope is to have a room full of great dishes and hilarious people.

Remember, we’re doing this as research for our next cookbook, American Classics Reinvented. If you have a much beloved dish you’d like us to make gluten-free for the cookbook, bring it with you! And tell us the story of why you love it.

Bring a gluten dish, if you wish! Danny will taste the originals and I will take photographs of them (and ask him a dozen questions about texture and taste). We’ll have labels at the potluck so you can clearly label your dish. Gluten dishes on one side of the room, gluten-free dishes on the other. We’ll be making three gluten-free dishes for every potluck, so no one will go hungry. But if you bring a gluten dish to the party, think about adding in some gluten-free food for the other side of the room.

(Of course, if you’ve already converted your favorite recipe to be gluten-free, bring that too! We’d love to taste your dishes.)

And since we’re on a road trip through New England, we won’t have dishes for everyone. (And we don’t want to use hundreds of paper plates and cups, if we can avoid it.) Let’s make this feel like a family gathering. Please bring a plate, utensils, and a glass for yourself!

dough rising

If you do attempt to bring something gluten-free, please pay attention to the following guidelines for avoiding cross-contamination.

We want to remind you that making something gluten-free is just a bit more difficult than using all non-gluten ingredients. Those of us with celiac, or with allergies to wheat, have to avoid any smidge of gluten. 1/2 teaspoon of cross-contamination can make us sick for days.

* When you are cooking, be conscious of any way that flour or wheat might slip into your food. If you’re conscious of it, you should be fine.

* Be aware that soy sauce has wheat in it. For some reason, this one slips by people’s consciousness, often. There is wheat-free tamari, should you want that taste. Also be aware that fish sauce, oyster sauce, and barbecue sauce can have wheat in them.

* Anything with a beer batter or soaked in beer or a chicken roasted over a beer can will make someone who has to eat gluten-free sick. So avoid those please. The same is true for anything with malt flavorings.

* Look at the labels of any ingredients you are using. If it says, “Manufactured in a facility that also manufactures wheat”? Try to find another brand.

* When you are preparing your food, be sure you have cleaned down everything thoroughly before beginning. Sweep those breadcrumbs away!

* Wooden surfaces trap gluten. Therefore, please don’t use a wooden cutting board, wooden spoons, or a wooden rolling pin to make a gluten-free dish.

That’s the gist of it. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask us at shauna@glutenfreegirl.com.

It’s actually much easier than you might think.

Who’s ready to eat?

gluten-free pizza

September 16th, New York City, 6:30 to 8 pm

We’re starting our journey in New York City on Monday! Since we know so many people in New York, this party might be already full. (Sorry about that!) However, we have a few spaces still open. If you would like to come to the New York City party, which will be in midtown Manhattan, please email me at shauna@glutenfreegirl.com. We’ll make a wait list and let you know!

Italian tomato sandwich

September 17th, Bowmansville, PA, 6:30 to 8 pm

Thanks to the wonderful, generous efforts of Anne Ricks and Phoebe Canakis of Phoebe’s Pure Food, we will be gathering together in Amish country, Pennsylvania. Bring us all the Amish, Mennonite, and Pennsylvania dishes you can!

LOCATION: St. Pauls UCC Church
133 Church St.
Bowmansville, PA 17507

Here is the Facebook invitation page for this event. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to simply show up.

beef carpaccio

September 18th, Hudson Valley, New York, 6:30 to 8 pm

Thanks to the tireless efforts of one of my absolute favorite musicians and people in this world, Elizabeth Mitchell, we will be holding a potluck in the Hudson Valley on Wednesday. (If you don’t know Elizabeth’s music yet, I suggest you take care of that!)

Marbletown Community Center
3775 Main Street
Stone Ridge, NY 12484

Here is the Facebook invitation page for this event. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to simply show up.


Thursday, September 19th, Moretown, Vermont, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

I love how all these potlucks have come together, mostly by word of mouth of friends. When Danny posted on his personal Facebook page that we were looking for a place in Vermont, one of his old cooking buddies said, “You have to talk to Jordan Von Trapp at Bliss Ridge.” Looking at the photos, I can already tell this place is aptly named. And Jordan? Oh, she seems fantastic, as does her husband, Dan. (He’s actually a relation of the Von Trapp singers. You know, from The Sound of Music? That thrills Lucy no end.) I can’t wait to be in that barn at Bliss Ridge, sharing food with you all.

Bliss Ridge
Moretown, VT 05660

Here is the Facebook invitation page for this event. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to tell everyone you know and simply show up.

Italian breakfast

Saturday, September 21st, Unity Maine, 2 pm

I’ve been waiting to visit Maine for most of my life. This time next week, we’ll be in Maine, visiting Common Ground, the state fair. I can’t imagine a better way to find out about the food and culture of Maine than by attending this event.

We won’t be holding a potluck at Common Ground (it will be too chaotic!), but if you are going to be at the fair, and you’d like to meet us and tell us your stories, we’ll be standing in front of the Taproot booth at 2 pm. (And if you come there, you can meet the wonderful Amanda Soule too!)

Sunday, September 22nd, Rockland, Maine, 11 am to 1 pm

I’ve been writing and talking with Tara Barker of A Baking Life for years now. She feels like such a kindred spirit that it’s absurd we’ve never met in person. Well, now you can all meet her with us. She and her husband Josh own two restaurants in Maine, 40 Paper and 3 Crow, both of which feed gluten-free customers beautifully.

They have been generous enough to offer their restaurant for a brunch potluck on Sunday morning, September 22nd. Bring food and let’s laugh together!

3 Crow Restaurant
449 Main Street
Rockland, Maine 04841

Here is the Facebook invitation page for this event. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to simply show up.


Monday, September 23rd, Smithfield, Rhode Island, 6:30 to 8 pm

Thanks to our friend David Dadekian, who knows more about Rhode Island food than anyone I know (and may be busier than us right now!), we will be gathering at Blackbird Farm in Rhode Island. Danny and I had the pleasure of eating burgers made from Blackbird Farm’s pasture-raised beef when we were in Providence in February. Those were some of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. Plus, it’s a beautiful place.

Rhode Island, we would like to try the best of your food!

Blackbird Farm
122 Limerock Rd.
Smithfield, RI 02917

Here is the Facebook invitation page for this event. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to simply show up.

Italian lunch

Tuesday, September 24th, Connecticut, 6:30 to 8 pm

We will be in Connecticut on the evening of the 24th. The location is not fixed yet. Stay tuned here for an updated post with all the details. But save the evening of the 24th for food and laughter.

Italian pasta dish

Wednesday, September 25th, Boston, 11:45 am

I’m happy to announce that we will be working with Audrey from Boston Foodie Tours to conduct a gluten-free food tour of Boston! In Audrey’s words:

Our tour will begin on Beacon Hill with two courses at one of The
Daily Meal’s just-announced, “Top 20 Italian Restaurants” in America,
which is also the home of a legendary James Beard Award winner, as
well as Boston’s “Best of Non-Gluten Menu.” Onward we’ll go to Julia
Child’s favorite neighborhood market, where we’ll introduce you to
artisanal, non-gluten treats. A few doors away, we’ll enjoy the
oh-so-good offerings of one of the “Top Ten Ice Cream Shops” in the
country. Non-gluten, non-dairy, non-lactose…they’ve got all the
“nons” covered. Next up, a three-time Best of Boston winner.
Chocolates, anyone?

As we cross over to the Back Bay, we’ll stroll through the lovely,
botanical Boston Public Garden to reach one of the “7 top food streets
in the country”, say Zagat. Off the beaten path a bit, we’ll introduce
you to a 2-year-old wine and cheese shop that’s sure to become a fave.
Awaiting us at our next stop will be non-gluten baked goods created by
a three-time James Beard Award finalist. Our tour will conclude with a
Hall of Fame, non-gluten chowder that has won the Boston Chowderfest
three times!

Join us with Shauna Ahern as we Stroll. Sample. Savor. Repeat…the
non-gluten way.

Start time: 11:45 a.m.; approximately 3 1/2 – 4 hours long

Price: $90.00 per person plus small ticket processing fee. Includes
all food samples and gratuities. Drinks extra.

Join us! You can sign up for tickets here. The tour will be limited in number, so please sign up soon.

Wednesday, September 25th, Belmont, 6:30 pm to 8 pm

We will be in Belmont on the evening of the 25th for our best of Boston and Massachusetts potluck.

Please come to Glutenus Minimus, a wonderful gluten-free bakery in Bedford!

697 Belmont Street
Belmont MA 02478

Here is the Facebook invitation page. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to simply show up.


gluten-free pizza II

Thursday, September 26th, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 6:30 pm to 8 pm

We will be in Portsmouth on the evening of the 26th for our best of New Hampshire potluck. The location is not fixed yet. Stay tuned here for an updated post with all the details. But save the evening of the 26th for food and laughter.

Friday, September 27th, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 6:30 pm to 8 pm

Our last stop will be in the Berkshires. We cannot wait to savor this experience in the backyard of a good friend.

Bring us your favorite food, Berkshires!

10 Highland Drive
Great Barrington, MA 01230

Here is the Facebook invitation page for this event. Please sign up there, invite your friends and neighbors, and tell everyone about it!

And if you’re not on Facebook, feel free to simply show up.

at the table

And then, on the 28th of September, we fly home to Seattle. I imagine our heads will be so stuffed full of good memories, and our bellies full of food, that we’ll need a week to process it all. Heck, this feels like the trip of a lifetime. It will take more than a week.

We simply cannot wait to meet you. Spread the word to your friends and family, gluten-free or not. Anyone who loves good food, anyone who loves the town or state he or she lives in, and anyone who loves to laugh? Come on down. Let’s gather at the table together.

See you soon.


We want to send out a huge thank you and acknowledgment of the good companies that have come forward to sponsor this American Road Trip Potluck Tour for us all. 

Jovial Foods makes incredible gluten-free pastas, organic tomatoes, and some of the best olive oil we have ever tasted. They make simply great food. 

Attune Foods makes some of our favorite foods in the world, including their new quinoa-chia cereal, which we will be debuting on this tour. They do things right. 

Bakery on Main makes great gluten-free foods, including good granolas and bars. We’ll definitely take some of their instant oatmeal packets with us, for a good breakfast on the road.  

Thank you to these three companies, as well as the companies that might be joining us, for their sponsorship of this tour. 

22 comments on “let’s gather together at the table

  1. Heather

    OMG – you’re coming to Vermont! I’m so excited! But the link to the Facebook event brought me to the Hudson Valley page. 🙁 Once the link is fixed, I am so there!!

  2. kari

    Come to Detroit! We’d love to have you here. Lots of celiacs and foodies for you–and we were recently named the region with the most gluten-free friendly restaurants! Come see for yourself! 🙂

  3. MazeDancer

    Maybe “what feels like the place where you live” will be an internal, emotional expression for some of us, rather than an indigenous one.

    The Hudson Valley and the Berkshires are beautiful spots that attract people from all over the country, and, especially in the food & creative world, are quite tied to NYC. Where refugees from less liberal climes have long sought wider opportunities. Now, those folks might live in the country but they didn’t grow up eating popovers and pot roast. Their oldest food memories are from somewhere else.

    Restaurants in the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires commonly feature an all-locally-grown menu, but almost never focus on “Mid Atlantic Cuisine.” Not even sure what that would be, but look forward to learning.

    However, in the South – and in the SouthWest as well – heritage meals are celebrated in homes and restaurants everywhere. Take Santa Fe – a town with plenty of the same sort of refugees/invaders depending on your POV – you can enjoy centuries old – as in Native American – local cuisine daily.

    Look forward to seeing how all the events seem similar and different and seeing what people invent.

  4. Lenora

    Hi. When you make your way to OHIO and especially Northeast Ohio (think Cleveland) let me know. I would love to help organize the event. L

  5. Sarah

    I hoped you would come close enough I could join everyone, but now you’ve left me with choices! Stone Ridge is 20 minutes tops from my Dad’s house (and it’s my day off!) or VT is about an hour away from me. Oy!

  6. Tracey Kruger

    This sounds great! Would love to see you down ‘South’ someday (I’m in Wilmington, NC). Safe travels!

  7. Emily

    SO glad you will be going to Common Ground here in Maine! Wish I were going Saturday rather than Sunday so I could say hello. I am positive you will fa in love with the fair and Maine there, it’s a magical event.

  8. Anna Rae

    such an amazing idea! I know you’re from PNW, but if you ever decide to do a mini-road trip, Squamish, BC is full of GF foodies and would love to have your lovely family. 🙂 Good luck and stay safe on the East Coast!

  9. Courtney

    Hi Shauna!

    I’ll be at the common ground fair the same day as you, and returning to Rockland the day after! Two excellent venues. Just wanted to point out that Rockland is spelled Rockwell in the event heading. And – if you have time, hop on the ferry from rockland to North Haven, the beautiful island where I live! We have a fabulous farm and a lot of food- aware folks.

  10. Linda

    Shauna!!! You had said earlier that you might be doing the southeast in February or March. Hope you will consider southeast Virginia – Virginia Beach/ Norfolk/Chesapeake/Newport News/ Williamsburg/ Yorktown/ Jamestown. We have seafood (Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay) and LOTS of history here! The first three cities are on the Southside, the rest are on the Peninsula. Would love to have the three of you!

  11. Ken

    OMG you’ll be in Cambridge. I absolutely need to be at this event. I’ll change around my whole schedule to make it. Now to figure out a GF vegetarian dish to make.

  12. ellen

    Grew up in Philly. Been a CA girl for past 17 years. Wish I could join in on the East Coast fun, but sadly cannot. I have an amazing GF granola recipe I’ve been tinkering with. Maybe when you get back to WA and start to think about fall chills I can send it to you! Have a great trip!! It looks like it will be whirlwind but that seems to be the way you three roll these days….

  13. Niyati

    I wish you would visit Hawaii!!!!:) I’m not gluten free but know several people who are ! The food here is amazing…

    Love your blog and writing!

  14. Natalie

    Are you still looking for a place to host the pot luck in the Boston/Cambridge area? If so, I would be happy to offer up my gluten free bakery as a location for the dinner! Please feel free to get in touch.

  15. Grace Taylor

    Would like to know where you will be in Ct on 9/24/13. I reside in Moodus, Ct and am looking forward to meeting you.

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