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BlessedMommy

Going To Someone's House For The Weekend

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Okay, this is honestly one of my least favorite parts of being gluten-free. (other than well meaning people trying to cook for me maybe, though this is a sub category of that)

 

Last time I went to my SIL's house for the weekend, I was so glad to get home! I was so sick and tired of harping on proper gluten-free food prep and hanging out supervising cooking and nagging about washing everything, etc. etc. (and she really wanted to cook for us).

 

Should I bring my own safe pots, utensils, and cutting board next time and simply say, "You know, with me being very careful about my food and all, I think that it's best to use my kitchen equipment with gluten-free food, that way there's no worry about washing your stuff well enough? (and I'll hang out in the kitchen while said food prep happens?)

 

I don't want to avoid going away to people's houses, but the stress is annoying.

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I am sure she found you annoying, too.  Standing over her and telling her how to cook in her own kitchen?  

 

Bring your own food.  Maybe make yourself something before you go that you just need to microwave or can eat cold.  Bring something you can share with everyone - like a couple of those  tator tot casseroles.  Looks like something you could make a head.

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That is a great idea to make up some main dishes ahead of time to share. Have you found that people are less likely to try to plan the menu for you, if you bring stuff premade, instead of bringing ingredients and cooking supplies?

 

In our case, we were driving from FL to NC and had been on the road for days, but it still is probably doable if I worked at it, particularly since I'm vegetarian so making up a dish and then transporting it 10 hours without normal refrigeration probably would work.

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That is a great idea to make up some main dishes ahead of time to share. Have you found that people are less likely to try to plan the menu for you, if you bring stuff premade, instead of bringing ingredients and cooking supplies?

In our case, we were driving from FL to NC and had been on the road for days, but it still is probably doable if I worked at it, particularly since I'm vegetarian so making up a dish and then transporting it 10 hours without normal refrigeration probably would work.

I freeze things and then put them in the cooler. Sometimes they are still a frozen brick when I get there. But you need to warn them if you are bringing food for everyone. I will do twice baked potatoes - I can make a meal of them and everyone else can have one for a side dish.

I just tell them not to plan. Or I ask what they are having and help make it work. Like - if they are grilling burgers, my hub will take charge of the grilling or at least the grilling of my burger. There is no reason not to eat watermelon or things like that. Help with the cutting of the fruit and set yours aside if that makes you feel better.

Or offer to make your kids favorite casserole. Hit the grocery when you get there for ingredients. Get the cheap foil 9x 13 pans and mix it up. You should be safe using their bowls, maybe even pans.

Some of this is your attitude. If you are positive and helpful, it will go over better.

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Thanks for your help. I felt like I was in a no win sort of situation and I didn't want to be annoying or rude, but I didn't want to eat gluten either, so I didn't know what to do. (so I guess I ended up being annoying, ouch :( )

 

We had brought a giant storage container of food on the road, a whole box of fresh produce, my own waffle iron, my own rice cooker and a whole slew of stuff--and they still wanted to make stuff for me.

 

This should help me prep better for next time so that I don't have to avoid visits with family.

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I normally premake my own food and bring a combination of things that are for me exclusively and other things that I have enough of to share. It makes preparing to go away a truly horrible feat, but once you get there, you can kick back and relax. 

I do pack a few items just in case, but a cutting board is normally the only dedicated gluten-free item that I seem to really need and the rest are normally left in the car. I normally pack are a small frying pan and a small cookie sheet mostly so that I know that I can avoid non-stick coatings if my host has them. 

If you do end up sharing meals and participating in the cooking, I'd pick and choose my battles. Perhaps there is a main dish that you are more involved in making so that you know it is safe, or can can set aside a portion of food that you prepare differently from the rest so that cooking doesn't become a chore for everyone. 

Because you've done this before, it is likely that your SIL now has a good idea of how difficult cooking gluten-free actually is in an undedicated kitchen and would be grateful if she could worry a little less.

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Hey! some family members just do not get it! My husband is not officially diagnosed and my family was not always supportive of him for the past 13 years. Just plain ignorance! When I got my official diagnosis (showed results to my Mom), they still did not really get it (mostly about cc). Took a major meltdown on my part at a family party. It was ugly, but therapeutic. Now everyone is on board which is good or we would stop visiting -- seriously. Luckily, my family does not hold a grudge and I became less crazy after being gluten-free!

And that SIL who would roll her eyes at me? She was diagnosed this year with diabetes (me too). She is on a restricted diet and can finally sympathize with our gluten-free diet. We are going to be diabetic cruise buddies in just a few short weeks!

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I've told well meaning friends something along the line of "rather than putting you to all this trouble and chaos, don't worry about me. I'll make sure I have things I can eat safely. I'd rather relax and spend time together than spend all our time in the kitchen."

 

I have the thin flexible cutting boards and bring those with me. Foil is helpful. 

I have some small plastic containers that are like divided frozen meal containers. I make up meals and keep them in the freezer and can take those where ever I go. When traveling by plane, the first stop is the grocery store.

 

It's hard to find the right words and way to be firm without offending, or putting someone on the defensive. I had a hard time with my step son recently. My husband finally said that he preferred not to spend our visit at the local hospital, so let's let her decide what she can eat. If she eats the wrong things we'll be calling an ambulance. Sometimes we have to be firm.My reactions are very severe, and very ugly.

 

Can you talk with her in advance? Give her some links to read about reactions and why it's so important. That has helped me explain to other people. Educate her on how rigorous cross contamination prevention has to be. Make her your ally.

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If it were me, I would bring my own food and call ahead and be direct. I'd say: "please don't cook for me, I prefer to eat food I make myself". You can dress it up a little: "thank you so much for caring enough to try to prepare something for me, but it makes it much harder for me than just making it myself".

 

I think a lot of people drop hints or beat around the bush to try to spare people's feelings, but it actually just makes it more confusing and challenging for both people. Say exactly what you want. I bet it will be much less stressful for both of you and you'll both have a better time. 

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