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Sharing A Kitchen
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Sharing a kitchen with gluten eaters has been a big source of anxiety for me. I do it at home, and I'm quick to yell at my parents when they contaminate something. But I know that's not going to fly with my friends who I'll be living with this school year.

I know that I'm going to keep all of my cookware separate and foods labeled and separated as best as possible. Unfortunately we have limited kitchen space and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to pull this off.

Beyond that, how do I inform them, remind them, etc, without being a huge pain in the butt? With my parents, it's always, "Did you use a new utensil?" "Did you scoop instead of spread?" etc, and they roll their eyes at me.... I don't want to create this type of tension with my friends.

Anyone who shares a kitchen have tips? I'd so much rather be proactive than learn the hard way by getting glutened...or worse my friends being fed up with me!

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I agree with you that it could strain relationships to be asking questions after every meal and educating endlessly. You want to be comfortable in your kitchen and you want them to be comfortable in theirs. But you have to be careful. I have thought that if I had to share a kitchen, like say, with my sister and her kids on vacation or something that my tactic would be to make it a little harder on them to use my stuff. For example, I think if you get in a habit of putting your things in ziplock bags it will be less convenient for them to use them. People grab other people's condiments and dishes and silverware out of convenience not to be mean or disrespect you. So what I would do is always wash your dishes after you eat and put them in Ziplock bags in the most inconvenient corner of the kitchen, say the bottom shelf of the furthest cupboard. Do the same thing with silverware and cooking utensils. Make it harder on yourself so you don't have to repeatedly discuss it with them. If you also ziplock each jar of condiments in the fridge it will be less convenient for them and it will also be obvious if they use your stuff because they won't be able to put if back like you left it. Maybe your pots and pans can be stored somewhere else. Anyway, people may mean well, but they aren't likely to take this as seriously as we have to. The hassle will be mostly on you if you do this. You will have to reach down to lowest cupboard in the back to get your utensils out of a ziplock to make a meal. But it will make it less likely for them to grab your stuff. Depends on how you want to handle it. I love my sister but I don't trust her. With kids to feed she will grab anything close by. So this is my strategy for sharing a kitchen. Of course you might be able to think of other ways to make it highly inconvenient for them to use your stuff and if you do...pass your ideas on to me. :)

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are you in a college dorm/apt? Celiac is covered under the disabilities act so you should have requested a private room with a fridge, that way there would be no way to get CC....or only have one room mate who gets it....

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mawmaw- It's an off campus apartment so it's unaffiliated with the school.

eatmeat4good- I agree with you about making things inconvenient. I was brainstorming with my mom: we have a living room closet where I can keep my stuff tucked away in a bin. (We don't have a pantry in the kitchen, just cabinets.) My mom was annoyed, "WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE TO GO INTO THE LIVING ROOM TO GET YOUR STUFF?" ...she has a real issue with me being treated differently/losing convenience.

So now I'm looking into getting a pantry on wheels like this That way I can store my stuff out of sight and just wheel 'er in when I'm cooking.

Also, I don't plan on segregating my glass dishes and silverware since we have a dish washer.

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That is a wonderful idea! The pantry on wheels! And...I have that little cart and it is amazing if you are looking for a reveiw. :)

I thought other posters here might agree with your mom...and I "get" the losing convenience factor is somewhat unfair. But it's a fair trade for me and well worth the peace of mind knowing that I am safe. You can try to teach your roommates and of course they should be educated about your disease, but in the end, it is you who gets sick and not them. So if keeping your stuff separate will help you, I say it's well worth it.

I was thinking though, that you do need separate condiments and not try to teach them the drop method and think that it is ok. If you think about how easy it is to stick your knife back in mayo because you need a little more, it is just the most difficult little habit to break.

I worked for a woman who agreed to keep her stuff gluten free and was interested in learning about gluten free and cross contamination and she learned the drop method to keep me safe. But she noted that each time she wanted a bit more mayo it meant getting another knife or spoon to dip it out. She said people would have to be really dedicated to you to want to do this for you. Haha! So I let her go back to using her condiments the way she was used to and I brought my own! In a situation with roommates I wouldn't expect them to remember to do this. Your mom-yes~ but roommates um no...just the way to be safer.

I love your idea of the pantry on wheels!

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