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Feeling Pissy
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27 posts in this topic

... before cooking in my kitchen?

My (adult) step-daughter is here (because we have AC and she doesn't and it's really hot out). I just entered the kitchen just in time to see her putting frozen chicken breasts in my iron skillet.

I grabbed the bag from her, and sure enough, the glaze on the chicken breasts has wheat in it.

I dumped the chicken breasts in a nearby aluminum-type pot and went to scrub my skillet. I told her iron is porous and that wheat sticks in it, so "please don't use my iron skillets."

The chicken was only in there probably under a minute, and my guess is that no real harm was done, but I'm still pissed about it. She should know better.

So, now I'm hiding in my room to avoid being rude to her face. I would rather be in my kitchen cooking dinner, but now I have to wait until she's done and I get to sit here and smell HER dinner cooking while I wait. Yet I also feel like I ought to go monitor my kitchen to see what else she's going to contaminate with food she brought over.

It's not like I don't have plenty of good food here (including frozen chicken breasts that don't happen to include wheat). Why does she even feel the need to bring stuff over? Grr.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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Sorry you're in Oregon right now (and it is really really hot), and sorry about the rude kid. I know up here we're all a lot grouchier these days, so maybe try to just let it go.

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I know you're right, but I'm still annoyed. But that's why I'm in here venting on the board instead of out in my kitchen yelling at that woman.

Turns out she also had pizza here last night when my husband wasn't home (I've been gone all week at a conference until today). It's not like I have a 100% gluten free kitchen, but I do have designated gluten areas and keep the rest of my kitchen pretty clear. So if I bring home a pizza for the kids, it goes directly to the table and doesn't get cut or messed with in the kitchen. I have no idea where that pizza might have landed in my kitchen before they eventually ate it.

So... now I get to scrub my entire kitchen before I can even feel safe eating anything out of it.

At least MY children are trained.

And it only got up to 97 at my house today, so that's a HUGE improvement. It was 107 yesterday... and I wasn't far enough out of town to avoid the heat, either, nor did I have AC where I was staying.

-Elizabeth

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I understand your being pissy, but still I think you need to see the other side of this. Being young she probably has no idea about how cast iron is porous. Half the adults I know still don't know that. It is hard for those who do not have Celiac's to remember all our special rules, what dishes can be used, where stufff is allowed ect. I do have respect for her that she brought over her own food so as not to impose on you, not many kids do that these days.

May I suggest you simply make a list of your kitchen rules and post it somewhere. It is very simple and could save future hassels. We have had to do that because our adult children do not come home very often and it just made life easier for them and me. Clearly mark your gluten free area of the counter with a special cutting board or a board on the countertop, special canisters in that area, etc.

Get her involved in planning a meal and cooking it so she fully understands what it is all about. As I said, I understand your frustration but please step back and look at the whole picture. This is an opportunity to bring you two closer and educate her on your condition at the same time. I know for me it has brought my daughter-in-law and I so much closer as she wants to understand what Celiac's is and how she can help. I truly love her for her effort. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Well, for one thing, she's 36 years old, so she's not really young. For another, she constantly makes fun of me for my "allergies" behind my back, and she's very resentful of me in general. This is not really a matter of her not knowing what my rules are in my kitchen, it's a matter of her believing that it's all in my head and as long as I don't catch her doing it I'll be fine.

But... I'm more or less over it now. I was just especially annoyed with her because I was hungry and had to wait for her to get out of my kitchen so I could clean it before I could make myself some dinner. Hot and hungry aren't a good combination.

My teenage sons can follow the rules, and even monitor their friends when they come over. My step-daughter only lives a few minutes away and is over here quite a lot. She didn't forget. She snuck. But... I'm not her mother, I'll never be her mother, and there's really nothing I can do to correct her. She's pretty much set in her ways, and I just have to accept it. But if it happens again, I think I'm going to tell her she's not welcome in my kitchen.

Thanks. :)

-Elizabeth

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It's tough, since she's family. So she doesn't qualify as an average "guest". A guest, I might expect to ask before cooking in the kitchen (once, not on each trip), but family... not really. (Could just be style differences between us, of course.)

Have you ever sat down and gone over the "kitchen rules" with her? If not, it's not really surprising that she wouldn't know. Having them posted is great (in addition to talking in person), and having stuff that she can use set out separately (so she doesn't have to know it's the second pan in the stack she can use, but not the first and the third) can help a lot too.

I know it's tough... You're safe place has been violated. (That's how I feel about it when invited family is cooking in my kitchen.) But try to not react out of that feeling of "violated!" and just try to make the situation better from here. You have my sympathies, certainly. :)

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You guys are all so much nicer than me. I probably would've changed the locks. :ph34r:

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:huh: How horrifying!

I do have a 100% gluten-free kitchen (all four sons have celiac disease) and I would go through the roof if somebody contaminated my safety zone like that.

As soon as my temper leveled off a bit, I would tell her that she is welcome to come over and sit in your air conditioning but she'll need to cook elsewhere. Maybe she'd like to bring a little Coleman stove over to use in the driveway or something. Seriously, I would not let this gal loose in my kitchen again.

Its got nothing to do with hospitality. You already said you were willing to cook, you had gluten-free chicken, etc.

I do think you are wise to not go off on her, but I also think you can set a really firm boundary with her. If she resists your boundary, it doesn't mean you've been rude.

(Two cents from a lurker...sorry! This post made my blood pressure climb!)

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Thanks, everyone. I think after my husband talked to her last night, it most likely won't happen again. She doesn't care about ticking me off, but she listens to her dad, or at least pretends to.

It wasn't quite as bad as last year when we invited them over to a BBQ, and the minute I turned my back her husband was putting the buns they brought over on the top rack of our BBQ right over all my carefully selected gluten-free hamburger patties and sausages. There were crumbs EVERYWHERE.

I kept my mouth shut when they dropped their 3 yr old daughter off a few weeks ago with both hands full of half-smashed peanut butter sandwich. Maybe I shouldn't have. I just waited until they were gone and led the child over to the garbage can to throw away the sandwich, which she was more interested in spreading all over the house than eating.

Hence my reaction... we've been over this before, and the behavior doesn't change she just gets sneakier about it as time goes on. She's not going to listen to a long list of rules, but I do think I'll give three rules that might work: "Don't bring food over or send your daughter to my house with food unless you've cleared it with me first." "Don't move the bread or make sandwiches outside the designated bread/toaster zone" and "Don't ever use my iron skillets. Ever." I'll probably have hubby do it, since she'll just roll her eyes at me and go complain to my best friend that I'm overreacting again.

-Elizabeth

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I might add to what you might say to her: "I don't care if you don't believe me. I don't care if you think I'm a nutcase. I don't care at all if you think I'm making this up. All you have to do is respect MY house or you will not be welcome here. That means no bringing anything over I don't approve, no gluten outside of the approved zone, and no using my cast iron pans. I know you don't like it; I don't care. Go complain to your friends now, and stop making me sick with your inconsiderate ways."

(When push comes to shove, I suppose I'm a heartless mean ol' bastard. :P)

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(When push comes to shove, I suppose I'm a heartless mean ol' bastard. :P)

Nope--I totally agree. Her house, her rules. It's as simple as that.

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hey so being younger i have a quick thing to say. she probably thought she was being responable by bring her own food. and she may have felt funny using your food. you could try letting her know that when shes there it would be better if she let you either do the cooking or by the food less of course she would be willing to learn about your disease. i saw this but i got pretty pissed with my sister when she let all of our kids have gluten filled snacks around a table i was baking gluten free food for my husband. i kicked the kids out and told her that if even a crumb was to get into my husbands food he would hurt and be very grumpy. lukkely i was only out of the kitchen a minuet.

and no i haven't read the whole thing here cause i'm in a hurry. so if i missed something like her having a bad aditued sorry. cause in that case i would tell her to go home use her own hydro.

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boundaries.

to me this whole situation seems to be about boundaries.

I could bore you to death about with my in-law stories. (and this has nothing to do about food)

When my kids were little they were not above inserting their influence on issues like discipline. I didn't mind if we were at their house. But if we were at my house, I wanted to run the house and discipline the kids according to my own norms.

Basically my situation - and yours - boils down to a power struggle. I suspect at the bottom of all this your step daughter probably at some level resents you and so consciously or unconsciously wants to level her influence in your household, to prove she is still Daddy's girl (not you)

Maybe I am over interpreting. But I will tell you the best thing that happened in our situation was when my husband confronted his parents, when they were trying to intervene in a disciplinary situation that was taking place in our home. He basically told them to "butt out". The confrontation ended up with them not speaking to him for awhile. But, it did have a healthy ending, they respected some boundaries, and 15 years down the line they are complimenting me on how I raised the kids.

In your situation, my honest opinion is that the best thing would be for you to ask your husband to speak to his daughter to respectfully request that she respect the boundaries in the kitchen. If he is unwilling to do so, then you need to consider telling him that this is what you are going to do, and thtat you will need his backup on this. And then follow thru with a respectful confrontation, asking her to follow your houseold guidelines, with no exceptions. then lay those guidelines out very specifically.

Yes this may result in a brou ha ha, but sometimes conflict is needed to clear the air. In our family relationships actually became healthier after this "standoff" occurred.

best wishes..... family stuff ain't easy.

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I suspect at the bottom of all this your step daughter probably at some level resents you and so consciously or unconsciously wants to level her influence in your household, to prove she is still Daddy's girl (not you)

I think this is exactly right. You just articulated it better than I did. The food thing is only one example. When MY best friend moved up to the area, she immediately befriended her and then started tell her bald-faced lies about me (like how I'd had an affair with her father and ruined his marriage with her mother, which is a complete and utter fabrication -- I barely knew them when they split up). Fortunately, my friend had the sense to come to me and ask about it. But she is all about exerting power and crossing boundaries, and she always does it behind my back.

My husband will talk to her if I ask him to, but I really hate to do that. He's a really good guy and I try not to bother him with the way she treats me. I don't think it's a fair position to put him in, basically forcing him to take sides (he'll always take mine, but I don't want him to have to). He did go have a talk with her last night, mostly to try to find out for me what they'd been doing in my kitchen the last few days and get an idea of how deeply I needed to go through it before I could eat in it again. I couldn't trust myself to be civil last night. I was too angry. But he really really hates to get in the middle of things, and he feels responsible for her behavior. He actually went and scrubbed the kitchen for me last night before I got a chance to.

Did I mention that I'm married to an amazing man?

Anyway, I did create a little sign to hang in my kitchen. I think I'll put it above the bread and toaster, in the "gluten zone." It might help when the kids have friends over, too. Those kids really do make innocent mistakes, and that doesn't upset me but it can be inconvenient.

Part of this whole thing is that I am not a "super-sensitive" celiac. My mom is much more sensitive than I am. I can actually tolerate a little CC now and then -- but it builds up over time. I try to keep my kitchen REALLY safe, so that if I go eat at a celiac-friendly restaurant or at a particularly careful friend's house once in a while I can do OK. But it seems like if I eat somewhere other than my own house more than about one meal a week, no matter how careful I try to be with what I order or eat, I start feeling crummy. I just can't afford to have my own kitchen contaminated because I eat every meal there. So I think people can look at that and figure that what they're doing in my kitchen is "no worse" than a risk I'd take at a restaurant or eating carefully selected food at a friend's house, but they don't realize that I can only take those risks once in a while. And this plays into my SD's attitude that I'm just being a control freak for the sake of being a control freak. My husband doesn't even really understand this; he offered to take me out to dinner last night and I honestly don't think he understood why I didn't want to go -- not even to Outback or one of our other "safe" choices of restaurants.

-Elizabeth

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:ph34r: Gosh, she came to be in some A/C

You'd think she'd at least just be greatful for that.

too much else to say...........so...........better off left 'unsaid' ;)

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Elizabeth, been thinking about what you said.... and I reached two conclusions.

1. I understand about your hubby not wanting to between his daughter and his wife. that really is different than my husband standing up to his parents.

2. Your sign is not going to do anything .....

The sign is just another little boundary that she will only get more satisfaction from pushing back on. This will just be another opportunity to exert her power, push your buttons, and make you upset to her satisfaction.

You said yourself - she is all about exerting power and crossing boundaries. She won't stop until you stand up to her and firmly tell her how things are going to be in YOUR kitchen.

There's room for only one alpha b**** in your home, and that should be you. If you establish yourself as a stronger figure in her eyes, she may eventually stop the behaviour, especially if you consistently reinforce the way its going to be.

There's a time to be nice..... and there's a time to be not-so-nice. I believe that to resolve this you are going to have to confront her. And tell her very firmly the way things are going to be from now on.

"I don't think you understand that the rules in my kitchen are necessary for my health. Whether you care to understand gluten sensitivity, whether you choose to believe that this is a real issue and not just something in my head, I don't really care. This is my house, I live here, you do not. You will respect MY guidelines for using MY kitchen, whether I am present or not."

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... before cooking in my kitchen?

My (adult) step-daughter is here (because we have AC and she doesn't and it's really hot out). I just entered the kitchen just in time to see her putting frozen chicken breasts in my iron skillet.

I grabbed the bag from her, and sure enough, the glaze on the chicken breasts has wheat in it.

I dumped the chicken breasts in a nearby aluminum-type pot and went to scrub my skillet. I told her iron is porous and that wheat sticks in it, so "please don't use my iron skillets."

The chicken was only in there probably under a minute, and my guess is that no real harm was done, but I'm still pissed about it. She should know better.

So, now I'm hiding in my room to avoid being rude to her face. I would rather be in my kitchen cooking dinner, but now I have to wait until she's done and I get to sit here and smell HER dinner cooking while I wait. Yet I also feel like I ought to go monitor my kitchen to see what else she's going to contaminate with food she brought over.

It's not like I don't have plenty of good food here (including frozen chicken breasts that don't happen to include wheat). Why does she even feel the need to bring stuff over? Grr.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Oh my. This does look like a power struggle. I want to thank you before I put my two cents in. I'm 63, have cooked in restaurants for years, have been on th gluten-free diet for 8 months and did not know till reading this topic not to cook in the old cast iron skillet that I used to make glutteny corn bread in! You cannot assume people know this stuff unless you tell them. Having said that, here's me 2 cents. I agree not to put husband in position of being in the middle. You have to inform her of ALL the kitchen rules and, no matter what she thinks of celiacs, YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST. It is your house and she has to abide by your rules.. It' not a matter of choice. If she knows the rules, and continues to defy you, then forbid her from bringing any food into the house. Period. But communicate first. There's nothing worse than an estranged family. I am a peacemaker, but no one brings gluten into my house. I hope you two can work this out in a way that keeps you safe and your family sane. And, I'm no longer using my beloved cast-iron skillet. I feel like having a funeral for it and burying it in the rock garden (so it's not near my vege garden) Good luck.

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ranger, I agree, there is nothing so sad as an estranged family and Elizabeth does need to communicate first - in a polite but very direct manner with her SD.

Sometimes, with people who like to exert their position or power on others, the only thing they will respect is a strong stance or even a bit of a push back. I am suspecting that is the case here. If Elizabeth stands up to this SD, and politely but firmly states the rules for HER kitchen, there is a risk that SD will react and there will be a bit of a family brou ha ha. (that is after all, just another way of exerting her power.) But if Elizabeth sticks to her guns all the while maintaining civility and lines of communication, it will pass, and greater respect on all sides will exist afterwards.

That's what happened in my case. If my family brou ha ha had not occurred, I firmly believe that I would have continued to be needled to this day.

and I have an idea for your beloved skillet! Don't bury it - put it in your rock garden! A friend of mine made a very charming hens and chickens garden in a bird bath that was cracked and no longer could hold water. I bet you could do that with your skillet!

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From another recent thread, here is a protocol I have seen several times for rehabilitating cast iron which has been in contact with gluten. It uses a self-cleaning oven.

Cast iron:

Turn off smoke alarms.

Open windows.

Turn on fans.

Put clean cast iron in oven.

Set oven cycle to clean.

Burn off residue on pans.

Scrub pans out and reseason.

Turn smoke alarms back on.

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Thanks again, everyone. I know I'll have to have a talk to her. I couldn't do it right away because I couldn't be civil about it. I know the sign won't solve the problem, but she's passive-aggressive enough about the issues that it might actually help a little. She hides behind "I didn't know" when she talks to her dad about it, and that will be harder for her to do after she's not only been talked to but had a sign posted. It also can help with other, less frequent visitors to the house who honestly mean well but don't know how I need things to be.

I showed my new sign to my husband and he strongly approved. He knows his daughter is like this, and although she has a special place in her heart for disliking me, he says she's always been more or less like this with everyone (I won't even get started on examples of this same attitude I've seen in her mother because that's a whole different topic).

There is no point in getting super nasty with her, but if I have to calmly and politely ban her from my kitchen or even my house, I will.

-Elizabeth

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Elizabeth, you go girl! Be strong. You will find the right way to handle this.

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Oh Elizabeth, I understand exactly. Ours is a blended family and it is purely a power struggle. It seems to be daddy's little girl that does this type of behavior. I don't feel its right though for the dad to not speak to her about this. He has to back you and she needs to see that.

I deal with a similar situation btw.

Good luck either way.

Thanks again, everyone. I know I'll have to have a talk to her. I couldn't do it right away because I couldn't be civil about it. I know the sign won't solve the problem, but she's passive-aggressive enough about the issues that it might actually help a little. She hides behind "I didn't know" when she talks to her dad about it, and that will be harder for her to do after she's not only been talked to but had a sign posted. It also can help with other, less frequent visitors to the house who honestly mean well but don't know how I need things to be.

I showed my new sign to my husband and he strongly approved. He knows his daughter is like this, and although she has a special place in her heart for disliking me, he says she's always been more or less like this with everyone (I won't even get started on examples of this same attitude I've seen in her mother because that's a whole different topic).

There is no point in getting super nasty with her, but if I have to calmly and politely ban her from my kitchen or even my house, I will.

-Elizabeth

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ranger, I agree, there is nothing so sad as an estranged family and Elizabeth does need to communicate first - in a polite but very direct manner with her SD.

Sometimes, with people who like to exert their position or power on others, the only thing they will respect is a strong stance or even a bit of a push back. I am suspecting that is the case here. If Elizabeth stands up to this SD, and politely but firmly states the rules for HER kitchen, there is a risk that SD will react and there will be a bit of a family brou ha ha. (that is after all, just another way of exerting her power.) But if Elizabeth sticks to her guns all the while maintaining civility and lines of communication, it will pass, and greater respect on all sides will exist afterwards.

That's what happened in my case. If my family brou ha ha had not occurred, I firmly believe that I would have continued to be needled to this day.

and I have an idea for your beloved skillet! Don't bury it - put it in your rock garden! A friend of mine made a very charming hens and chickens garden in a bird bath that was cracked and no longer could hold water. I bet you could do that with your skillet!

Great idea! I've got other metal things in ther. Thanks

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You guys are all so much nicer than me. I probably would've changed the locks. :ph34r:

I agree. "once" is a mistake, again is deliberate and against house rules. She's more than an adult, she's a middle-aged woman who should respect her father's and your home and rules. I wouldn't even go to my mother's house and start cooking and she's my mother.

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If she's 36, that ain't "Daddy's little girl". That's "Daddy's little b*tch".

I'm a firm believer in the mantra a very wise man said, "Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind."

Stand your ground and tell her that if she's not going to respect you and the way you keep house, she can just go sweat herself to death somewhere else because YOU'RE the one doing her a favor, not the other way around. If she gets huffy and leaves, that's HER problem.

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