It started maybe five or six years ago as an acronym for a casual cocktail gathering for anywhere from three to ten of us – all ladies – at a time when most of us were working at the same ad agency and m was trying out a gluten-free diet (dr’s orders) that was subsequently abandoned (about six months later – also dr’s orders). We’d often start the proceedings with an assortment of wildly delicious and varying seasonal cave-aged cheeses from Bobolink Dairy in rural New Jersey made from the milk of grass-fed cows accompanied by their now infamous, slightly charred, rosemary epees (very low in gluten for those counting) and often a nice hunk of fresh local honeycomb and some sliced pears or other fruit of that particular season. The events were strategically arranged for Fridays after work to coincide with the dairy’s presence at the farmer’s market at nearby Union Square. Wine would be brought and consumed, or, occasionally Lillet, along with whatever goodies the ladies decided to bring. And, after a few hours of storytelling and gossip and some of the funniest impressions ever (thank you, Cara) we’d often get around to ordering a few gluten-free pizzas to be delivered from the wonderful Risotteria on Bleecker Street (asparagus & gruyere, portabella & truffle oil and Parma ham & mozzarella were the staples). And now, all these years since the ill-fated and barely memorable gluten-free diet was abandoned, the “gluten-free friends” get-togethers, as they were once dubbed early on, are still going strong. So much so, that we still call any party with the group a “gff” short for “Gluten-Free Friday” and any one of the girlfriends a “gff” as in “Gluten-Free Friend.” The pizza from Risotteria is still quite edible, though we’ve all pretty much gotten past that. So much so that, at this most recent gff at JJ’s, we even had full-on gluten-filled cupcakes with the moniker “gff” emblazoned on their buttercreamy tops – many thanks to our lovely Betsy, Alexia, Ann, JJ, Marianne. Jaime, Stacy, Joanne, Roseanne, Cara and Sarah for understanding that this makes perfect sense, even though it really doesn’t – we love you all!