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Shared Kitchen "review And Renew"

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There are many of us who must share a kitchen with family members.  This is entirely possible to do but I feel the need to send out a reminder to you to "Review and Renew".

 

I recently started feeling poorly.  The cause I believe was a slow glutening from my kitchen.  I promptly tore apart my kitchen and started from scratch.  These are the issues I found.

 

Lax protocols.  It has been almost 2 years since I went gluten free and only gave lecture to family in the very beginning with gentle reminders throughout.  Since that time my son and his girlfriend started cooking in my kitchen and more and more items were being left out by all members for me to clean up.

 

Side by side toasters.  Are the crumbs jumping.  Don't know but they are now on different counter tops.

 

Wooden spoons.  I kept them on the counter top in an open Container.  Hubs makes gluten food on the same counter and he used flour quite a bit.  I threw the spoons away and will not replace. 

 

Cutting boards.  My family uses the big butcher block one we have and I use a white plastic one.  I have not seen my son or his girlfriend use the butcher block one so I must assume my white one has been compromised.  It's in the trash and my new one is being stored with my colander in my cupboard.

 

Flour problems.  Although my pantry shelf is above the other shelves.  I noticed flour leakage on the lower shelves.  I always place new flour bags in zip lock bags when they come in the house.  My hubs however did not do this after his last grocery trip and I didn't catch it.   

 

Lesson learned.  I have had a new talk with family members including the new girlfriend.  Reminders about the separate cooking tools and about how they will lose fingers if caught using my "marked" food items.

 

I think I should have given them reminders and specifics at regular intervals through the past two years.  I also think that if I suspect an cooking tool has been compromised I will immediately throw the item out and replace. 

 

Other things I do to insure safety is to wipe down cupboard doors (upper and lower) on a weekly basis.  Clean spills in refrigerator, microwave, stove top and oven as soon as they happen.   Clean out pantry weekly and wipe off outsides of shared food items regularly ie: salt and pepper, ketchup.

 

I hope this might help someone else.

 

Colleen

 

 

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Having had a recent slow, low-level glutening myself from a nice little lunch place I thought was doing all the right things back there in the kitchen for us G F peeps, I had to review and renew for myself what a shared kitchen actually means. Since I was stuck at home for the better part of 8 days (ahem) I had plenty of time to review it all in my foggy head.

 

Colleen and I discussed this issue yesterday and we both realize even us old-pros can use a refresher course

now and then. 

I found this article on "tips for preventing cross contamination" that may be of some help for people starting out (and as a guideline for the nice women who own the restaurant. I only hope they will take my suggestions in the spirit they are intended. I'd really like to be able to continue eating there!).

 

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/100713p16.shtml

 

I am deeply grateful that the hubs went gluten-free with me so long ago, as it made things so much easier for me especially when I was still so very ill

at diagnosis. Keeping things separate with severe gluten head is uber-tricky business and being a chemist who worked in labs, he just felt the chances for CC were too huge.

(especially given my Lucy Ricardo tendency towards mishaps...LOL) Apparently, those first few days of watching me laboriously trying make his sammy, then change everything to try and make mine was too painful for him to watch, he claims. 

 

So I really admire all of you who negotiate this life successfully with WEs in the house. Major kudos!! :wub:

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Thanks for sharing. It has been 4 days and I have already "caught" my kids contaminating various food items. Makes me wonder what I'm not catching. It's frustrating and they are REALLY trying but they're kids and this is hard even for most adults to learn.

 

Once I get a new bread machine (are you listening Santa?), I will start making gluten-free bread for their toast and sandwiches. I think things will be easier to contain once the wheat bread is out of the house. It's too expensive right now to buy at the store for our large family. My husband and kids can go through 3-4 loaves of bread a week! 

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We couldn't do a shared kitchen.  Is it because I am so sensitive?  Is it because they are too slobby?  Who knows.  We tried for a year with various protocols etc. and just couldn't get it to work.  That was a good review but might not work for all of us.  It is worth a good effort before asking others to change their diet for you.  Those are good thoughts to help others.

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Thank you for posting this! I do not have a shared kitchen, but I had to do a second kitchen review recently, after only a few months of being totally gluten-free. I was finding that there were things I was wary of (When/where did I purchase this item? Was it from the bulk bins? If I could not remember for absolute certain, out it went) The learning curve is so steep in the beginning that the first big clean out I did was not enough. Your reminder has me wondering if the kitchen purge will become a regular thing, just to keep me sharp!

 

My S.O. is also gluten intolerant and I am so thankful that I do not have a shared kitchen as it would probably cause some pretty extreme anxiety for me. Those of you that do so successfully have my admiration.

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People always say, take the whole family gluten free.  It's easier and no big deal.  In reality, it would be easier for me and it would be no big deal for me BUT I have never asked my Hubs to sacrifice his sausage gravy and biscuits and I'll tell you why.

 

Five months after I started my gluten free life I was diagnosed with cancer.  I had two operations, both which took a month each to recover from.  My hubs cooked gluten free every day for me, brought the meals to me in bed, cleaned up.  Just as I recovered from the 2nd operation I started immunotherapy treatments.  Hubs drove me an hour to the hospital, held my hand for 3 hours of treatment, drove another hour home five days a week for a month.  I had severe effects from the treatments so I was in bed for another entire month.  All the while he was still making all the gluten free meals, snacks for the road and the hospital.  He was also doing all the household duties we usually share as my son was mostly in school during this time.  Finally this last spring I was finished with the treatments and started feeling half way human again.  Do I mind that he likes his gluten filled sausage gravy and biscuits?  Nope.  Do I mind sharing my kitchen with this particular gluten lover?  Nope.  Will I ever ask him to go completely gluten free for me?  Never.

 

You see,  I will gladly make this sacrifice for him.

 

Colleen

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aww, colleen, you got a good one  :) 

 

here's what i hafta deal with.................... :rolleyes:

Y'all should have my wife in your kitchens.

 

 

 

She don't let anybody forget. Love you honey :wub: .

lolzz - yes, i am the kitchen nazi - get your gluten away from my food, and DON'T TOUCH MY CREAM CHEESE!!!!  just kidding, he is a sweetie.  fairly well trained ;)

 

i think most of us have exceptional s.o.'s - mine put up with me being so sick for no explainable reason for a very long time and has always taken good care of me.  i think i'll keep him One More Day.. :wub:

 

review and renew is a fabulous idea - i kept some things i had no business keeping when i first cleaned out the pantry/cabinets.  i think, as you 'smarten up' about the whole gluten-free thing, it's clearer what needs to be tossed out.  (i hung on to my bread maker for 2 years - I DON'T KNOW WHY - i guess in the back of my mind i was still a little in denial?  wierddd...)

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After about a year I did cleaned the kitchen. Did a top to bottom on my parts of the kitchen and plan to again over the winter after the holidays and my birthday, which is also my diagnosis anniversary. My husband is awesome about everything and is frequently in the kitchen with me so reviewing with him is unnecessary as it is sort of an ongoing process with him. As for my MIL? The basic rule is Do. Not. Touch. My. Stuff. It's a simple, no nonsense, can't screw it up rule.

 

I know this may seem weird, but I don't even share condiments in squeeze bottles with anyone. This isn't just rampant paranoia either. I have actually watched every single person in this house use both ketchup and mustard out of those bottles then wipe the little drip that's left on their bread. GAH!!!! What the hell?!?! <_< I keep my own every condiment, no matter how infrequently I use them and whether or not I'll use a whole bottle. And I know this may actually be paranoia, but I don't want to be using the same bottle while touching my food that someone else was touching while touching bread. It just freaks me out.

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i think most of us have exceptional s.o.'s - mine put up with me being so sick for no explainable reason for a very long time and has always taken good care of me.  i think i'll keep him One More Day.. :wub:

 

 

 

I second This. We've all got great guys! I do not know what I would have done without my man during those especially crazy sick years.

 

A lesser man (i.e.  hubs#1) would have walked for sure.

 

I just adore him....hmmm, say, I'll think I'll go see what the hubs is up to... ;)

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I live on my lonesome, partly because I didn't want to have to worry about sharing a kitchen with roommates who may or may not get how careful I need to be. That said, even I hung onto a few things from pre-gluten free days that should have gone a long time ago: a cutting board that I got shortly before going gluten-free, a few wooden/plastic utencils, etc. In any case, those are gone and while the difference might be minimal, I have been feeling better since my last big purge. (My man and I are planning to move in together in the spring, and many discussions have been had about needing a suitable kitchen)

 

What I worry about is my parent's house. Mom has been gluten-free for at least 7 years now, and there are still things that we've had FOREVER that she should not be using, nothing is labeled as dedicated gluten-free or not. My stepfather is really great and I'm sure is as careful as he can be, but I do worry that mom gets more CC that she realises. Might be the kind of thing that you don't realise how much it was affecting you until its gone. In any case, I might be bringing my own cutting board home with me this year since I couldn't get a straight answer on which was "safest" to use when I was home this summer. I'm more sensitive than she, but it kind of baffles me that she's dismissed my concern as overdoing it. The only labelled gluten-free is the toaster... which is a 4-piecer with half of it dedicated (bad idea? I think so).

 

Anyway, that's my rant. We all need a refresher course on occasion.

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I would never consider sharing half a toaster. That is (imo) positively insane! I have a lovely 2 slot, 4 piece toaster and while I only use one slot the entire top of it is covered in crumbs. THE ENTIRE TOP! Which means that if anyone were using the other half for gluten bread half those crumbs would be poison. I think people just don't realize how positively dangerous it is to share even half a toaster.

 

It is so hard to part with things that were new right before diagnosis. I bought a brand new pizza stone for Christmas two years ago. Used it maybe twice before I got the freakin phone call. It turned out the most beautiful, perfect, crispy pizza crusts. And it wasn't cheap. :angry: It's actually still on a top shelf in the pantry... idk why. It just makes me sad every time I look at it.

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I gave away the bread machine, the pizza stone, pizza peel and all the bread making things Please believe me when I say it was difficult, but

when we brought them down to this church food pantry and those women started weeping and hallelujiahing, I felt like I had done the right thing.

:D They used to do this when we brought all the apples from our trees too. Just so sweet.

 

One thing I did NOT give away was the rolling pin that was my Gramma's and then my Ma's and then mine. It's in a bag. It's history and I am keeping it.

 

And no way you can share a 4 slice toaster, Peg. 

 

I suggest toast-it bags when you visit and take some of these flexible cutting boards. I take them when I travel to friends and relatives' houses and all my friends have one so when

they cook for me, they use it exclusively. Non-porous, non- absorbent.

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/dexas-reg-heavy-duty-8-inch-x-11-inch-grippmat-reg-cutting-boards-set-of-4/1018862557

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:o Hot Pads.  I just took my banana bread out of the oven and had moment of clarity...we all use the same hot pads!!!  I definitely feel like an idiot.

 

Colleen 

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:o Hot Pads.  I just took my banana bread out of the oven and had moment of clarity...we all use the same hot pads!!!  I definitely feel like an idiot.

 

Colleen 

 

GAH! Not only do I have my own, but I launder them frequently due to using them to pull out oven racks that sometimes get pizzas slid right onto them. Live, learn.

 

 

I suggest toast-it bags when you visit and take some of these flexible cutting boards. I take them when I travel to friends and relatives' houses and all my friends have one so when

they cook for me, they use it exclusively. Non-porous, non- absorbent.

 

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/dexas-reg-heavy-duty-8-inch-x-11-inch-grippmat-reg-cutting-boards-set-of-4/1018862557

 

I need to replace my cutting boards, they're looking a bit worn. I usually just grab a pack of the flexible ones. They're cheap and if something happens I can toss them without blinking, but I also love that I can just pick them up and fold them to dump the food into something. I like these more than the ones I've been using. A lot more. And they're about the same price which is super.

 

ETA: And the closest place to pick them up in a store is like 80% of the way to Sweet Cakes in the city. It was totally time for a trip to the city anyway. ^_^

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:o Hot Pads.  I just took my banana bread out of the oven and had moment of clarity...we all use the same hot pads!!!  I definitely feel like an idiot.

 

Colleen 

Well, shoot! Now I wonder if I need to get new oven mitts...I wash them, but they are old, from back in my gluten gorging days...oy. It never stops does it? DE-GLUTEN ALL THE THINGS!

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Well, shoot! Now I wonder if I need to get new oven mitts...I wash them, but they are old, from back in my gluten gorging days...oy. It never stops does it? DE-GLUTEN ALL THE THINGS!

 

Abbs, yours should be fine.  Mine just took my son's frozen pizza out of the oven a day ago.  I had just replaced them a month ago but didn't get separate ones for me.  It never crossed my mind.

 

Colleen 

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You can get that rubber kind and then it can be washed between uses if you like.

 

Do you mean they can be rinsed in the sink before use?  That would be great because I have limited space to keep doubles of everything.

 

Colleen

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:o Hot Pads. 

what is caused by cat menopaws, alex?  i'll take animal aging for 300....... <_<

 

do y'all mean OVEN MITTS???  hot pads, lololz :lol:

 

(i just wash mine)(they don't see much gluten - husband has no nerve endings left in his fingers, anyway - "if you want that bread, you better get it out.  and, don't use my oven mitts....." )

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what is caused by cat menopaws, alex?  i'll take animal aging for 300....... <_<

 

do y'all mean OVEN MITTS???  hot pads, lololz :lol:

 

 

 

:lol: I had to figure out what that meant, too. At first I though Col meant "hot pants". ohh lala

 

"Hot pads" for Bella  meant she jumped up on the wood stove. ONCE. yeah, that was all it took. Poor kit.

 

You guys should get these!  These are what THIS lucy GIRL has been given by the hubs. I could handle toxic waste with these suckers.

 

http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-1106053/?affsrcid=Aff0001&CAWELAID=120120820000004588&cagpspn=pla

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Irish.  Those are sweet.  I'm on it.  I always use my hot pads for oven mitts because my oven mitt is a big, bulky thing that hates me and I always end up with a thumb in anything I touch.  Rinsing them off after I deform my food will be great.

 

Colleen

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Merry Xmas Mom, here's a new toaster. Sorry you've been glutening yourself for 7 years (that'll go over well)... I really worry about where she's been getting her information. She goes to Celiac Association meetings and everything! Probably needs a serious refresher. (sorry. rant)

 

And I never thought about "hot pads" either (I don't think you want hot pants in the oven...)

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