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Dumb Kitchen Question...
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10 posts in this topic

My question is kind of odd...

But my hubby still eats gluten. I am trying my best not to "contaminate" my food with his gluten-laden favorites. Can anyone give me suggestions on how to do this? Do I need my own dishes, etc. Any tips for keeping flours fresh, storing these "new" gluten-free foods, or organizing my pantry?

I really want this diet to work (I'm feeling pretty gross right now). Any help or ideas in coping with this are appreciated.

THANK YOU for your support...I'm so glad I found this site! :D -Julie

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Separate toasters!!! Hi, this is pastor Dave's wife Christina. I still eat gluten too but I know how important it is for David to not get ANY gluten and so I am very careful. It is very easy to prepare meals that are totally gluten free and tast great - so that is what we normally do. We use a lot of rice and potatoes insead of bread at mealtimes, use rice pasta's, and just are careful with baking (you don't want wheat flour all over the kitchen!.) celiac3270 has a post somewhere that lists some great things to do to minimize the potential of gluten contamination in a "mixed" kitchen, but I just use common sense and David is doing well.

Be careful with butter/margarine. It would probably be good to get one for each of you to keep crumbs out of yours. Also be careful with muffin pans and that type of thing for hidden crumbs. They say teflon can have gluten stick to it - I like the porcelin coating instead because it doesn't come off as easily as teflon anyway. Also be careful in the dishwasher - if things are sticking you might have a contaminated dish.

Just a few hints - I am sure you will get more! Good luck! (I bet he will be willing to help keep contamination from occuring when he sees how much better it makes you feel!)

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I use seperate skillets, toasters, and jars like Mayo and mustard are not shared either. I have my own mini fridge and freezer although that's not really necessary, but you should have your own shelf in the fridge at least to keep away cross contamination. Wipe down countertops frequently, and don't share big serving spoons, though silver utensils are fine as far I know. You don't want to share any things that are made of material that is hard to get clean, because even the slightest trace of gluten can make you sick.

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  • Toasters -- obviously separate--we have two toaster ovens in my house since I'm the only celiac. Make sure that they're easy to distinguish--mine is black, the family's is white, for example.
  • Cabinets -- I have one nice-sized cabinet with all my foods. That way I can just open it up and see all that I can eat. This helps with contamination issues, as well, because foods don't even share a shelf. Fortunately, I moved last September--in my old apartment, there was very little cabinet space and even less counter space. I never would've had enough space. Fortunately, the new apartment has much more cabinet/counter space...anyway, dedicated cabinets help a lot.
  • When cooking, try to designate sides -- if you have counter space on each side of your stove and you're cooking a gluten-free and gluten-containing meal at the same time, keep things on their side. Use the left hand burners for regular food, for example, and the right burners for gluten-free food. Put utensils for each type of food (gluten-free and non-gluten-free) on the correct side. This way you don't need to worry about which fork stirred the gluten noodles. And, when in doubt, take a new fork.
  • If possible, store cooking...things in separate cabinets -- if you have the space, it's best to keep them segregated...and, of course, have separate spatulas, wooden spoons, pots, pans, whisks, etc....and avoid teflon.
  • Do not share condiments and toppings -- too much room for error: the knife double-dips on the peanut butter once and you could be contaminated. Keep separate jars of mayo, ketchup, peanut butter, jelly, etc. I tried it the other way and didn't get contaminated, but realized it's not worth the risk.
  • Sort leftovers in the refridgerator -- if the gluten-free and gluten-types of a food look similar, either label them or put them on different shelves where you can distinguish between them.

-celiac3270

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I don't have room in my kitchen for two toasters, so I bought a small toaster oven and use these methods to keep contamination out.

The toaste came with an extra rack for a broiler. The regular rack is for wheat breads and the broiler rack is for gluten-free bread. I've found that a rack also helps gluten-free bread not breaking during the toasting. An oven also allows for pizza and open faced sandwhich toasting.

As for spreads, everyone knows to use a spoon to dip out spreads and only one dip then the spoon goes into the sink. If more spread is needed, the user gets a clean spoon. Yes, we go through a ton of spoons but this keeps us from having to have duplicate jars of everything.

As for counters, I use plastic placemats to protect surfaces from crumbs. After sandwhich making gluten-free or wheat, the placemat goes into the dishwasher.

Since in my house there are 3 with gluten-free, and two without, I buy all gluten-free products or make them from my flour mixes so all I buy with gluten-free is mac and cheese and bread. So contamination isn't much of an issue here as it is in other houses. But hope these tips are a help anyway.

Monica

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Awesome ideas everyone!

Hey, I went out this week and bought a toaster oven to use for gluten-free cooking! I only paid $10 for it on clearance at Wal-mart...my hubby thought I was crazy when I told him I couldn't justify buying a toaster oven if it cost more than $12...hee hee...and we walked into Wal-mart and there it was! Ten bucks :P

God even hears Gluten-free prayers ;)

Anyway, I used ya'lls suggestions and made my whole pantry gluten-free, except for one shelf that is glutened for the hubby's stuff.

I also have bought squeezable mustard/ketchup/etc. so that the whole knife-contamination thing is not an issue. :)

Everybody take care! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. B) -Julie

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Hi my celiac friends in cyberspace! I'm looking for some help with cross-contamination issues.

I have my 84-year old diabetic father that lives with me winters here in sunny south Florida. He eats everything, and anything he shouldn't, wheat, bran, flour, bread, oatmeal, cookies, dairy, ice cream everyday (he says "It says NO sugar added! It's okay!") faux sugar, and on and on. I keep telling him he has major food allergies he doesn't want to hear it. I believe it is causing his neuropathy in his feet. I might go with him to the doc next time and get him tested.

But, I'm really wondering about how all the crumbs, dairy and etc., he leaves behind are effecting me? The Windex and 409 bottles have become an appendage from my body cleaning the cooking surfaces and countertops. Everything goes in the dishwasher. We use the same sponges, I throw out every few days. I don't use teflon, although he has two pans he uses in the same cabinet -- I have stainless pots and pans and spatulas. Except one he uses that is in the same drawer. I don't use wooden or plastic spoons spatuars anymore either.

He keep all his cereals, breads, cookies, goodies on top of and in the fridge, and makes a couple of midnight kitchen raids in the middle of the night in the dark, then he's up before me and make breakfast, waffles, pancakes and etc. I wake up to a mess every a.m. I'm not complaining. I LOVE my daddyO and wouldn't trade him for anything.

But I'm wondering if tiny little particles are somehow getting into my system? My gluten and dairy free diet is very limited lately since my thyroid problem isn't under control yet. I just started thyroid meds a few days ago but they haven't taken effect yet. I stop my enzymes and immonogoblin (although they were helping me) because they were way too costly... When I can afford them I will go back to taking them soon.

What do you all think about cross contamination?

Please help!

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ms sillyak:

Are you in better health when your father is not staying with you? You mentioned he stays with you during the winter. So I'd think if you are healthier when he's NOT there, then yes, you are being cross contaminated.

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We got our house remolded after I was diagnosed but that is a little over the top and we were planing on doing it anyway. I have my own side to the kitchen, it is called Molly's counter, and if gluten ever goes over there then whoever did that gets in trouble. It contains my own curring board, and all my own pots. There is a gluten counter on the other side, that has all the breads and crackers that are not gluten free, also gluten knives that are used to cut breads. I also have my own waffle maker and toaster on my side. Accross from my counter I have my own cupboard and fridge. I have all my own gluten-free snacks in drawers, and my need to be prepared foods in my cupbaord. My fridge contains only gluten free products and that is also where I keep all of my flours. It is best to refrigirate all of your flours so they have a longer shelf life. It also contains some of my gluten-free baked products that don't fit in the main fridge. I share most of my food in the fridge wiwth the entiere family. Most of it is gluten-free alson so... I have my own shelved in the freezer that can only contain gluten-free foods. I know my house is really organized on this and you don't have to go to this extent but for sure have yoyr own drawers and/or a cupboard, and your own toaster, and knives that you don't wash on a regular basis.

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I know how you feel about your dad! You love him dearly, but sometimes he is just a stubborn old mule! :D My dad is 72, and has no health problems. He knows that I have celiac disease, but he doesn't understand the issues with cross-contamination. If I am not standing over the food, stirring it myself, he will use the same spoon to stir mine and everyone else's. All I can say is be very careful, keep your foods wrapped up and sealed, and love your Daddy while you have him! :)

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