Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Celiac.com Sponsor:


Celiac.com Sponsor:


Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

jamer

Nervous About Being Out Of Town For Turkey Dayi

Recommended Posts

I know Thanksgiving is only a month a way, but I'm already becoming anxious. I have gluten-free since my celiac diagnosis in January. I have never had meals at other family/friends home since becoming gluten-free. That is mainly because my immediate family on my side just refuses to get it. Only my husband and teenage daughter get how serious it is and have seen how sick contamination makes me.

 

This year we were invited to my husbands brother's home for Thanksgiving. My husband immediately volunteered to cook the turkey so he knows it will be gluten-free. His niece graduated from culinary school in NYC last year and took a semester in gluten-free baking, cross contaminiation, and all other aspects. Her bff was diagnosed Celiac while they were in culinary class together. So, in a sense I do feel safer with them as I feel they will take my condition seriously and not treat me as if I'm doing this on purpose like my side of the family does.

 

My question, do any gluten-free vets out there have any suggestions of how to enjoy the holiday without making myself sick?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Celiac.com Sponsor:

Celiac.com Sponsor:

I definitely know how you're feeling. I'm not a veteran by any means, as it's only been a month since I was diagnosed, but I just wanted to put in my two cents. I'm going away this weekend for Thanksgiving as well. I'm excited but I'm extremely nervous and a little bit scared about it. Everyone is very supportive, but I definitely am nervous about cross contamination in the restaurant I'm going to.

 

The best thing you can do I think is just make sure you think about what you're going to eat before you eat it. I've been tempted so many times by pumpkin pies and cookies, but then I always remember how sick they make me. Just remember that the people who are cooking your Thanksgiving meal understand how you feel and are in the same boat. Don't worry too much about them and enjoy yourself, the worst thing about being a celiac is the constant nagging in your mind that you may or may not feel sick later.

 

Just remember to have fun and enjoy your Thanksgiving! Sometimes the worst is the worrying :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is hard because every family is different. That being said: plain mashed potatoes are gluten-free. Turkey, especially if your husband is cooking, is gluten-free (though I suggest, if not buying a fresh turkey, to check the ingredients since frozen are often brined). Veggies: unless they're topped with something, generally safe. Basically, if you are careful and pay attention to what's being prepared, you can eat safely. One word of advice is to get to the front of the line if meals are being served buffet-style. This helps with cross-contamination issues.

 

You don't say if you'll be traveling or not. If not, volunteer for a side dish as well. And, absolutely, positively, talk to your husband's brother and others in his household so they understand the situation. I'm so sorry your family isn't supportive, but I find I firmly believe communication is key in these situations. Yes, there will be foods you can't eat, but I've been preparing gluten-free Thanksgiving meals (with the exception of a sourdough stuffing my family adores, and I'm just happy they're happy) for a while, and it's so much easier than you'd imagine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily about half the stuff at Thanksgiving dinner is usually gluten-free naturally, like turkey and mashed potatoes.  Of course people like to put crazy stuff in everything, so I would say, go early and offer to help cook, that will at least help you monitor what is going into what.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things you could do is start now with experimenting with gluten free stuffings. Find one you like and offer to make it on Thanksgiving. This is the biggest risk factor of the day and could turn the entire meal gluten free. (Not counting the pies I'm assuming there will be for dessert.) You can also make pumpkin cheesecake or a crustless pumpkin pie for dessert so you won't be left out  there either. Be hands on in the kitchen, be willing to answer questions and help out. And remember that accidents happen and if you do get sick, at least you know that everyone in this family was putting your health first and trying to do right by you. Be forgiving and grateful that you are blessed with such wonderful family, because as you have experienced first hand, many don't have that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Thanksgiving is only a month a way, but I'm already becoming anxious. I have gluten-free since my celiac diagnosis in January. I have never had meals at other family/friends home since becoming gluten-free. That is mainly because my immediate family on my side just refuses to get it. Only my husband and teenage daughter get how serious it is and have seen how sick contamination makes me.

 

This year we were invited to my husbands brother's home for Thanksgiving. My husband immediately volunteered to cook the turkey so he knows it will be gluten-free. His niece graduated from culinary school in NYC last year and took a semester in gluten-free baking, cross contaminiation, and all other aspects. Her bff was diagnosed Celiac while they were in culinary class together. So, in a sense I do feel safer with them as I feel they will take my condition seriously and not treat me as if I'm doing this on purpose like my side of the family does.

 

My question, do any gluten-free vets out there have any suggestions of how to enjoy the holiday without making myself sick?

 

 

I'm actually the host every year so I'm fully responsible for the meal preparation. I'm still stressed a bit though because this will be my first gluten-free Thanksgiving and I'm worried about how the family will receive it. Like someone mentioned though, a lot of the food on Thanksgiving is already gluten-free. Just be watchful of the gluten-free dishes being contaminated by someone accidentally... especially when going back for seconds. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Thanksgiving is only a month a way, but I'm already becoming anxious. I have gluten-free since my celiac diagnosis in January. I have never had meals at other family/friends home since becoming gluten-free. That is mainly because my immediate family on my side just refuses to get it. Only my husband and teenage daughter get how serious it is and have seen how sick contamination makes me.

 

This year we were invited to my husbands brother's home for Thanksgiving. My husband immediately volunteered to cook the turkey so he knows it will be gluten-free. His niece graduated from culinary school in NYC last year and took a semester in gluten-free baking, cross contaminiation, and all other aspects. Her bff was diagnosed Celiac while they were in culinary class together. So, in a sense I do feel safer with them as I feel they will take my condition seriously and not treat me as if I'm doing this on purpose like my side of the family does.

 

My question, do any gluten-free vets out there have any suggestions of how to enjoy the holiday without making myself sick?

For eating away from home with family, it sounds like you are in a good position with supportive and aware people. This past summer my family visited my husbands parents, away from home for a week. I was scared to death of cross contamination. They put so much effort in to avoiding cross contamination and they were successful. That is better than when my own parents visit us. 

 

I agree with the poster that said take a part in the prep if you can. That may help take some of the anxiety out at the table as you will know what happened in the prep and ingredients. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, for things like pies, unless the host is one of those people that insist that everything has to be from scratch, you can get them some of those frozen gluten-free pie crusts and have them make their pies with those.  Then the stuffing would be the only thing to worry about CC with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, I'm a newly diagnosed celiac as well. I'm going out of town this , to my Grandparents this year for Thanksgiving & I'm pretty nervous about it... I've been gluten free almost 2 months now so I'm not an expert yet but I tried explaining to my family but they...well.. They don't understand. My Dad tells me that i can't expect my grandparents to change theway they cook just for me. I expect people to do that... He says things like get over it & doesn't understand that it literally hurts me. He just says we'll all die sometime. My mentioning cross contamination made it worse.. My question, is it rude if i bring a container of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and ham just for me, and a side dish everyone & myself can have? I don't feel safe even eating anything there. My grandmother uses the same wooden spoon for everything, real milk, etc. i love her & I really don't want to hurt her feelings plus she's quite proud of her cooking. My husband says this is fine, but I'm worried...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, bringing your own food so you don't get sick is not rude. It is a strategy many of us use when we know that it will simply be impossible to get safe food where we're going. If your family is offended by the fact that you care more about not causing yourself actual, physical and possibly long lasting harm than eating your grandmother's cooking than frankly they are a bunch of jerks.

 

I love my grammy more than words can say, she was as much a mother as a grandmother to me. I know if I went home she would be willing to try to cook for me but it would simply be impossible to eat anything cooked in her kitchen. I love her, but not enough to hurt myself. Just like I wouldn't take a razor blade to the back of my arm to prove my love for my family, I wouldn't eat their cooking either. Even if your family doesn't understand it, it is very much the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't ever be pressured into eating food that may not be safe for you. Its not like the zombie apocalypse and wheat bread is all you can find to eat. (long story short, that is what I told my husband what it would take for me to cheat, lol).  I think bringing a container of your own food you can heat up is very reasonable, and a shared side dish or dessert may delight people very much.  If your grammy seems insulted just make sure to tell her in detail what happens to you when you consume gluten, it is possible she has only heard dismissive second hand comments about what is wrong with you and doesn't have a full proper understanding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MissChris,

 

Ditto on bringing your own food.  And I wanted to stress what LauraTx said.  Take Grandma aside and tell her about your "Medical Diagnoses Of Celiac Disease", in those words.  Tell her how wheat, barley and rye  can damage your body.  She will completely understand. 

 

Colleen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first Thx after DX, I went to my sister's and she graciously made me a separate turkey

and I brought my own stuffing & gravy. 

While washing the dishes with my niece, I saw ONE baster. This means she basted my plain

turkey with the same one she basted the stuffed one and yes, it was my first( and not my last)

rookie mistake.

 

Since your hubs is making the turkey, you have the major CC-er out of the way.

 

(1) Make this stuffing in your crock pot and share it. It's fabulous and no one will even know it's gluten-free

 

http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/11/perfect-homemade-stuffing-crockpot.html

 

I use Udi's white bread and toasted it briefly in the oven. Follow her directions.

 

(2) For gravy, request they thicken it with corn starch or arrow root instead of flour. It tastes exactly the same as flour-thickened gravy.

 

(3) for pies, I make my pastry dough following Peter and Kelli Bronski's recipe (except I use lard. I am an old- school baker) 

I told Pete that he and his wife  "saved Thanksgiving and my birthday for me (since I was born on Thx and my "cake" is apple pie) 

by sharing that crust recipe because it is awesome! He was happy to hear this. :D I highly recommend their recipe books. BTW

 

http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2008/10/recipe-pastry-dough-pie-crust.html 

 

 

and I use the same apple pie recipe and pumpkin pie recipe that my family has used for generations.

 

Best. Flaky. Crust ever!!

 

You will be fine. We enjoy the holidays just as much as we did when we were WEs! (actually, we enjoy them more because I am not sick all the time)  Cheers!.

 

I invite people to my house because I can control what is served (and because frankly, I am the best cook I know. --hey, that's what they tell me anyway  :lol:

.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I did Christmas dinner and it was 100% gluten free, including the rolls and stuffing.  No one knew the difference till they noticed me eating it all too!  That said, if we go to someone's home I take my own little turkey meal.  For me there is just to great of a chance for cross contamination.  A spoon dip here, a crumb drop there.  I have felt so good for so long that I just won't take a chance.  The first few times were rough with the looks, rolled eyes, raised eyebrows etc but now it's just acceped and no one says anything other thatn  "Did you remember your food?"   Whatever feels like it will work for you.  The plan that we start off with in the beginning of diagnosis may not be the plan that we end up with.  My first T'day I carefully ate at another home and came home carefully sick.  The next year I had to face everyone and expain that things had changed for me.  It's all a big learning game.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that my relatives, most of them anyway, understand when I bring my own food.  Just try not make a big deal about it if you do bring something.  You'll also have to be discreet if they want you to eat food they've tried to make gluten free and you're not convinced it is.  I've gotten out of a few situations like that by taking it, and exchanging plates with my husband after he's eaten his, he eats mine too.  It works for desserts but might not for a main course...   Sometimes I eat before I go too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that my relatives, most of them anyway, understand when I bring my own food.  Just try not make a big deal about it if you do bring something.  You'll also have to be discreet if they want you to eat food they've tried to make gluten free and you're not convinced it is.  I've gotten out of a few situations like that by taking it, and exchanging plates with my husband after he's eaten his, he eats mine too.  It works for desserts but might not for a main course...   Sometimes I eat before I go too.

 

No one should ever feel put upon to lie to someone to make them feel good about what they cooked for us. A simple "I'm sorry but I don't eat things I haven't made", "...haven't helped make" or a simple "no thanks" should suffice. If someone wants to get all hurt over the fact that we aren't willing to risk actual harm to our bodies to make them feel warm and fuzzy inside then frankly they can go be hurt about it. They're the one with the problem, not us. I find that by being polite but firm in declining what is offered is quite effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one should ever feel put upon to lie to someone to make them feel good about what they cooked for us. A simple "I'm sorry but I don't eat things I haven't made", "...haven't helped make" or a simple "no thanks" should suffice. If someone wants to get all hurt over the fact that we aren't willing to risk actual harm to our bodies to make them feel warm and fuzzy inside then frankly they can go be hurt about it. They're the one with the problem, not us. I find that by being polite but firm in declining what is offered is quite effective.

 

 

I do agree with this.  The only circumstance I can see this being beneficial is if Grandma made dinner and she has alzheimers or something that will make her unable to understand regardless of what is said to her.  The reason I say this, is this is how my grandma was her last few years with us.  One year she made Christmas dinner 4 hours early and left it on the stove to stay hot and it was all crusty, my sister took her into the bedroom to "look at a picture" and we all dashed for the garbage can to make it look like we are her food, then we took holiday dinners to my house so that wouldn't happen again.  God bless her soul, I loved her very much regardless of her kookiness.

 

But yeah, if you are going to be family or friends with someone the rest of your life, you don't want to have to set yourself up for fibbery that whole time.  But I understand the temptation to use that strategy because a lot of people dislike confrontation.  Today, my best friend posted on facebook about making pumpkin bread.  I replied "If I could indulge in your gluteny awesomeness I would be showing up on your doorstep."  She then asked if she found a gluten-free recipe and made it, would I eat it?  I told her "You are one of the few people I would let cook for me, as long as you let me go all anal retentive on you and make sure you aren't cross contaminating, then maybe :) "  And she understood.  Anyone other than her and maybe two other relatives, I would have said "Since I don't want to chance getting sick, I cant."

 

So if she brings it up I will just be like hey, come to my house lets cook together :) (and by that I mean, come to my gluten-free kitchen and cook stuff because yes I really do want to eat it!)

 

Overall, if you choose to use little white lies remember you are setting the foundation of people not taking your illness seriously and you having to run around behind grandmas back for the rest of your life.  That applies to other things in your life, too.  I have some relatives that never learned that lesson, haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much!!! You're right. I will explain to my Grandma and you are right I think shed just want me not hurting & happy. I was also wondering about what to do when I go to others houses and they say it's gluten free. My in-laws want us to come over the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I heard a horror story about when she made something gluten free for a coworker and it made her sick. I heard alarms going off... lol i plan on calling her tonight, they wouldn't let me cook at home when I offered so Ill just be honest & say I can help cook & bring a few dishes we can all eat. If she declines then I'm going to try to be strong and say "Since I don't want to chance getting sick, I can't & would like to bring a little container for myself but I would stool like to contribute with a side dish & dessert." It's true, most people don't like confrontation. My husband said i should just tell people i have an allergy. I had just read a gluten free lifestyle mag,.and said no. I need to be honest, it's not an allergy I could just take a pill for. It physically hurts me.

I feel I made some accomplishments though. I asked what my sister is having at her wedding reception & explained my celiac and said I'd like to make a container of food that looks similar to what everyone else is eating. She said I could have the wedding cake & that shed cook for me. I heard "cake"and cringed. I said it's sweet of her to offer but she'll be busy with plans & I don't want to add one more thing. I messed up there... I should've been honest & said I don't want to chance getting sick. But again with wanting to avoid confrontation.

Thanks again everyone!!! I was trying to think positive, Thanksgiving should be a time of enjoying family & friends. But I admit, I just wanted to stay home...

This will be my mantra Since I don't want to chance getting sick I can't. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of off topic, but with a wedding you can contact the person doing the catering and speak with them directly. Totally stress free for your sister and then you can decide for yourself if they can prepare something for you that you can comfortably eat or if you want to just bring your own meal. If you are bringing your own, you'll want to have contacted them ahead of time anyway so they are prepared to heat it (if necessary) and have a plate and such ready for you to use so nothing is out of place if you are concerned about that.

 

And no, none of us want confrontation. Sometimes with someone we'll never have to deal with saying allergy is the quickest way to get someone to understand that no means no. They immediately get the idea of someone keeling over of a peanut allergy in their head and back off. But with people we have to deal with for the rest of our lives it does become more complicated than that and many of us want them to actually understand our issue. Partly because it's important to us and partly because with family they may also be at risk and if they understand eventually they may come around. I do always try to take a non-confrontational approach to things, it is only when pushed to eat that things get awkward. I also try to make clear when people offer to cook for me that not only do I mean no, not this time but I mean no, not ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably already been suggested, but you could offer to bring in a dish (or two).  Then you could make it gluten free and at least have something there you know you can eat.

 

This year I am going to let Mom make the regular stuffing for her and Dad.  I will make my own small pan using some toasted gluten-free bread.  I am hoping this will be better than the prepackaged mix I had before.  My Mom is also willing to use corn starch instead of flour for the gravy and I will be helping to cook.  I'm thankful she is willing to work with me.

 

I'm sure if you just explain that bread can literally make you sick that your family will understand.  At least they should!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably already been suggested, but you could offer to bring in a dish (or two).  Then you could make it gluten free and at least have something there you know you can eat.

 

This year I am going to let Mom make the regular stuffing for her and Dad.  I will make my own small pan using some toasted gluten-free bread.  I am hoping this will be better than the prepackaged mix I had before.  My Mom is also willing to use corn starch instead of flour for the gravy and I will be helping to cook.  I'm thankful she is willing to work with me.

 

I'm sure if you just explain that bread can literally make you sick that your family will understand.  At least they should!

I used Bob's Red Mill bread mix.  Made two loaves of bread, cubed them, dried them and then just finished up the bread crumbs cube things like regular stuffing and it was really good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much for your suggestions! We are actually going out of town to my brother-in-laws in the DC area. We staying almost a week. My husband and I have already been pulling up all of the bakeries and restaurants on my find me gluten free app. He gets as excited as I do about being able to safely eat a more variety of food. We live about an hour from Asheville, NC which is AWESOME for our community. Love them. We frequent it a lot and hubs always eats gluten-free with me. <3

 

My husband is also very, very observant when cooking and cross contamination. In the ten months since my diagnosis, he has never glutened me. Now, myself, I have caused cross contamination to myself a few times. :rolleyes:

 

I'm beginning to feel less nervous. I've heard him and his brother discussing the meal. We decided I will take a lot of my own foods too. I'm addicted to rice chex so breakfast will be taken care of. I think it just feels so good to not be treated like I'm causing problems. My own family I feel like I'm not taken seriously.

 

Again, thank you all so much for your help, suggestions, and support. I love the overall support in this community. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Celiac.com Sponsor:

  • Forum Discussions

    Never went to a "gym" always felt on edge there and only used hotel ones at 4am when no one else was. What  invested in a few years after I got diagnosed was a set of resistant bands, a stationary bike (late got a under desk elliptical,...
    Think I just had a serve response to some red wine I drank last night, severe cramps, bloating, etc. I have never had a reaction like this to red wine, a new bottle I’ve never tried before. Has anyone had a gluten reaction to red wine? ...
    It's not because it's a new year. It's because I want to do something new now that my life has changed due to Celiac disease.  I'm eating way less junk nowadays and I miss it a lot. Never been a health interested person before, but I ...
×
×
  • Create New...