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Sharing A Tiny Apartment With Gluten
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I just finished up all my diagnosis stuff on Friday and am trying to figure out how to keep my teeny, tiny dorm kitchen safe. I share the apartment with my wonderful roommate who is trying her hardest to understand cross contamination and make our kitchen safe. She's a huge gluten eater though, so it can get a bit difficult. We've already discussed getting separate cookie sheets and using different pots for her pasta versus mine. As far as I know, we both only use my skillets (non stick) for bacon, sausage, eggs, veggies (me), and the like. I think the only time gluten ever touched them was in September when I attempted fried rice, so many meals and washes ago. I have my own sponge and drying towel. I have half of the toaster (traditional style) clearly labeled. Most of the kitchen things are mine and somewhat recently acquired, so there isn't years of gluten rubbed in. My mom came up to my school to take me to my testing and washed every pot, pan, knife, utensil three times pretty obsessively.

 

We're going to continue acquiring separate kitchen things, partly because of my diagnosis and partly because we know we won't live together after graduation in 2014 and need our own kitchen stuff. So is there anything else I should add to the list of what needs to be kept gluten free?

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Unless you have a toaster, where each side is completely walled off from the other side, I would get a new one.  The crumbs fall into those crumb trays and anytime you pick the toaster up, you risk the crumbs getting spilled into your side.  I assume you have separate PB, butter,etc.  or use a glopping method?  a colander that has never had gluten pasta in it?

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Don't forget wooden and plastic cutting boards and stirring utensils.  No shared spreads or anything a knife can be dipped in.  Colander.  Use a paper towel or a plate on the counter always.   You probably know all these things :)   Basically just analyze everything you do in the kitchen and think of how gluten could sneak in there.  Once you've mastered it it won't feel so paranoid any more.

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I would definitely get a separate toaster (you can find them really cheap).

 

I understand what you're going through completely, I share a small kitchen with 3 roommates. I recommend keeping stuff like your colander, pots, cutting board, wooden utensils (sometimes even spatulas), etc on a separate shelf, or in a separate bin in your room. It's less stressful knowing that even when you leave the kitchen, there's no confusion.

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Be careful of baking supplies that are contaminated too. A bag of sugar might be contaminated by a measuring cup that was first used in flour.  Stuff like baking powder, icing sugar, baking soda, salt, etc should be taken into consideration.

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Thanks for all the tips! We do keep all our food separate, only eating what we each buy except for some staples and times when it would be ridiculous to buy a whole extra thing (like honey and salt). We like different types of peanut butter and jellies and such like that. She doesn't cook/bake much - that's all me, so I can keep that stuff pretty separate. 

 

I haven't had any cross contamination issues with the toaster... at least when I went gluten free before I found out I needed to stay on for my biopsy. But we'll find out in the next two weeks if that causes problems. I react pretty quickly. If so I'll just give her the toaster and use the broiler on the oven with a cookie sheet (covered or dedicated gluten-free of course).

 

Silicon baking stuff should still be safe, right? I know wood and other natural materials need to be replaced/separated. 

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Silicone washes great...and I may catch it for saying this...but I boiled my wooden stuff -- I've had it for years and had grown quite fond of it.  Never had any problems -- but I cleaned and kept much more than some folks.

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