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jnclelland

Thanksgiving Issue

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Hi! I'm new here, not celiac disease (had a negative blood test), but definitely gluten-sensitive. (My main symptom is that I break out in a rash on my hands and face.)

My husband has been generally supportive, but the following issue has come up: for Thanksgiving, he insists that stuffing MUST be cooked inside the turkey, and he's NOT interested in trying any type of gluten-free stuffing. My concern, obviously, is contamination - if we cook stuffing inside the turkey, will it be safe for me to eat the outside part of the turkey? He feels that since they're not touching each other, I'm being ridiculous to worry about this. Am I?

Jeanne

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Hi!  I'm new here, not celiac disease (had a negative blood test), but definitely gluten-sensitive.  (My main symptom is that I break out in a rash on my hands and face.)

My husband has been generally supportive, but the following issue has come up: for Thanksgiving, he insists that stuffing MUST be cooked inside the turkey, and he's NOT interested in trying any type of gluten-free stuffing.  My concern, obviously, is contamination - if we cook stuffing inside the turkey, will it be safe for me to eat the outside part of the turkey?  He feels that since they're not touching each other, I'm being ridiculous to worry about this.  Am I?

Jeanne

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've read on other posts that if the turkey is stuffed, it's off limits to those with gluten issues. How bout roasting a turkey breast for yourself?

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First, welcome! And no, you are not being ridiculous! A turkey stuffed with regular stuffing is not safe for a gluten free diet. Thats like cross contamination to the n'th degree. One suggestion: if he insists :angry:, you could roast a small turkey breast for yourself while the turkey cooks. You have a right to enjoy your holiday without getting sick.

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Don't eat the turkey. Are you cooking this meal? Is other family coming over? Personally I say if he's not cooking it he can just deal, it's not like your food makes HIM sick, but I'm prone to putting my foot down and damning the consequences.

Other option is what I'm doing with my bf's mom ( who's actually being awesome and cooking everything seperate to give me more choices) if making my own stuffing and gravy and pie. I'm skipping the green bean casserole this year, and she won't budge on an alternate, but I might try it at christmas.

I've never been a fan of stuffing the turkey gluten-free or not, because my aunt nearly killed us all one year when she didn't cook the bird right with stuffing in it. Little paranoid about that now, myself. Its not that hard to do it properly, but I have enough stomach problems, you know?

Elonwy

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Don't eat the turkey. Are you cooking this meal? Is other family coming over? Personally I say if he's not cooking it he can just deal, it's not like your food makes HIM sick, but I'm prone to putting my foot down and damning the consequences.

Elonwy

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow - you guys respond really fast! :-)

We're cooking together (we both love to cook) and having friends over. I almost think it would be easier to get him to cooperate if I *did* have a celiac disease diagnosis; since it's "just" rashes that I've had for years anyway without knowing why, he doesn't quite see it as the big deal that I do.

So, if I cook myself a separate turkey breast, is it okay to cook it in the oven at the same time as the stuffed turkey?

Jeanne

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My husband's family is doing Thanksgiving at their house this year, I have hosted the last 2 years and they don't like dragging their obnoxious kid to our house because I have rules.

Anyway, they won't be making anything I can eat and they refuse to even try. I will be taking my own little bit of, non-Thanksgiving food to re-heat while I am there. I am cooking a full Thanksgiving meal for myself with turkey, ham, GG dressing (and regular dressing for the rest of the family), pies, side dishes, etc. when we get home. I told his sister-in-law that we would NOT be taking any leftovers home because I can't eat them and I don't want them in my house.

You could suggest to your husband, that since you CANNOT have any turkey from a bird with regular stuffing, you will make an additional turkey breast for just yourself in addition so that you can enjoy Thanksgiving together...just fix his first so that yours is warm.

Another note, they have discovered it is bad to stuff a turkey with dressing - can make you sick. I just put cellery, onion, carrots, salt, pepper in mine and remove when we are carving the bird.

I have no celiac disease dx, only food intolerances and I refuse to make myself sick regardless of the behavior or attitudes of other people. Luckily, my husband is supportive and makes sure that I am taken care of...even if it is to visit, not eat, then go home and cook one I can eat. He has agreed not to bring left-overs home regardless of what they say.

Given time, I am sure your husband will turn around, this is a big change for everyone. However, some people get funny about tradition whether it is good or bad.

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Kate,

Wow - your list of food intolerances is even worse than mine! As far as I can tell from the past few months of experimenting, I'm allergic/intolerant to gluten, dairy (including any milk protein such as casein), yeast, and vinegar (which includes even wheat-free soy cause, and all alcohol). Fortunately, soy and corn appear to be okay for me so far, but I'm still reeling and trying to figure out what I CAN eat. The vinegar one is the worst of the lot, since it pretty much excludes all condiments. And I haven't had a lot of luck eating out without getting at least a minor rash, which is a real bummer! (I have 5- and 2-year-old kids and full-time job, so take-out has been a fairly frequent coping mechanism until now.)

On the other hand, it's SOOOO nice to have, I'd say, about a 95% reduction in these rashes I've had for at least a decade. Even casual acquaintances have commented on how much clearer my face looks! I had a glass of wine a couple of weeks ago, itched for 2 days, and realized how nice it is NOT to itch most of the time after itching all the time for so long! Doctors always told me it was just eczema and not likely allergy-related; it took an acupuncturist to suggest that I was allergic to wheat and dairy, and from there I've been gradually piecing together the rest of the puzzle. It's a pain, but I'm glad to finally know what the problem is after all these years.

Jeanne

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Jeanne-

Have you had a skin biopsy? Could your rash be DH (Dermatitis Herpeteformis)? That is also caused by gluten intolerance, but I'm not sure that all DH patients are celiacs as well.

Lisa

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Vinegar has yeast in the process (I found out after I discovered I can't have yeast) which is why no vinegar if you can't tolerate yeast. I found the vinegar thing first, then the yeast thing.

I can't have wine due to the yeast. There is just enough that I can't drink it. What I CAN drink is tequilla in my own homemade limeade mix for margaritas and potato vodka (which I make into my own khula and mix with plain rice milk) which I can drink sparingly. I also sometimes drink blueberry brandy but it gives me a "mild" yeast reaction. My reaction to yeast is to get knocked out for 4+ hours and spend a couple of groggy days. However, my reaction to the brandy isn't that bad...maybe an hour so I only drink close to bedtime. But I don't get rashes...I would watch out.

Anyway, I eat out without too many problems as long as I don't go when the place is busy. If I go during a busy time, I get sick every time. I have one place, a little hole-in-the-wall bar, where I talked with the cook and I gave him my list of food no-nos and I just tell the waiter when we go in to tell the cook that Kate is here and he will fix me something that I can eat and it is always great. Some places I have called just said no. Keep looking...

We have learned to cook everything at home and continue to expand our menu as we get better at cooking.

We moved and got a new grill and the only thing that has ever been on the grill is meat, veggies, my BBQ sauce (no vinegar, with lemon and onion), and my special salt I make for the grill.

My kids are 12 & 14 and active again so we cook extra on weekends or free nights so that during the week, we do a lot of re-heating of main meals and then just cook side dishes fresh.

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Jeanne-

Have you had a skin biopsy?  Could your rash be DH (Dermatitis Herpeteformis)?  That is also caused by gluten intolerance, but I'm not sure that all DH patients are celiacs as well.

Lisa

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, but I've looked at pictures online, and my rash doesn't look anything like the pictures of DH that I've seen. It's very localized, mostly on the knuckles of my right hand and a little bit on my neck, which also doesn't fit the pattern of DH as I understand it.

Jeanne

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Sure it does..

DH occurs on joints on the body all the time (at least with me)...

I get them on my neck and knuckles...(as well as knees, elbows, "arse", my "belt-line" and armpits (where skin rubs against itself)

DH is a tricky devil and can go just about anywhere and not necessarily be in certain spots also!!

Hope this helps...

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Sure it does..

DH occurs on joints on the body all the time (at least with me)...

I get them on my neck and knuckles...(as well as knees, elbows, "arse", my "belt-line" and armpits (where skin rubs against itself)

DH is a tricky devil and can go just about anywhere and not necessarily be in certain spots also!!

Hope this helps...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't have the blisters that seem to be typical of DH; my rash just doesn't look anything like the pictures online, so I don't think that's it. At least, it doesn't seem likely enough to bother with a skin biospy, since it seems like my dietary changes are pretty much taking care of it.

Jeanne

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I only have my rash between my fingers, but it is definitely gluten related. I've never had the DH test but if I am accidently glutened, out it comes.

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I only have my rash between my fingers, but it is definitely gluten related. I've never had the DH test but if I am accidently glutened, out it comes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh, I'm sure mine is gluten-related, too - or at least allergy/intolerance related; I just don't think it's DH. It also flares up when I eat other foods I'm sensitive too (vinegar, for instance), so it's not unique to gluten.

Jeanne

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I know that people use different types of stuffing....you could make a normal cornbread stuffing (there are regularly gluten free cornbread recipes) and then there would be no risk of contamination. Just a thought. :)

If I am doing the cooking, it is gluten free. Tell him you'll make YOUR turkey w/gluten-free cornbread stuffing and he can make his own little turkey himself :P

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My DH was never "blistery" until later on in life. It was always just like a heat rash. It started on only my elbows and knees, then I started getting it on my hands and feet. Now it shows up all the places previously mentioned. It started getting worse after the birth of my son.

If you're doing the diet, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. But if you have flare-ups when you accidentally eat gluten, a dose of Dapsone could probably help to keep that under control (if it's DH). Not everyone's the same, so you never know if that's what it is or not. Just a thought anyways.

Lisa

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Guest nini

If you know that gluten is the source of your rashes it does not matter one whit if you have a Dr. confirm it. As far as your husband and his unreasonable request, I agree with the comment that YOUR FOOD WON'T MAKE HIM SICK... there are some awesome stuffing recipes, in fact, I use my me-maw's traditional cornbread stuffing recipe, I just converted it to gluten free... My entire family absolutely raves about it. Also, it's very dangerous to cook the stuffing INSIDE the bird, you can end up with some serious food poisoning from this.

If you don't stand up for yourself, who will? My husband gripes and complains about me not cooking anything "normal" for him... or at least he did in the beginning. He's getting a lot better about it.

I recommend that you read Dangerous Grains, and get him to read it too. This may open his eyes to the seriousness of this.

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You need to really educate your husband so that he understands what you go through when you eat gluten. If he still acts that way it is extremely insensitive. Don't put up with it. Do you cook the turkey? If so, I would say "Ummm, would you like to eat?" LOL

In all seriousness, though, anyone who would sacrifice your health or well being, even for the moment, for a bite of turkey, doesn't deserve you cooking it for them. My husband had a hard time accepting this, too, but he would never insist on my preparing or eating a meal with gluten in it and if he did there would be major trouble in our house. ESPECIALLY since you get blistery, which means even preparing the food is harmful to you!

It's just food. Tell him that!

Sorry for my soapbox. I am so NOT old fashioned. I don't know if you are or not so I hope I'm not offending. I'm not saying it like a bad thing: I have friends who cook every meal for their hubbies and do all the housework, raise the kids, etc. I respect that. I just seriously would go berserk if my hubby ever said anything like that to me.

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The alternative way to handle this is to get gluten-free bread cubes and make the stuffing gluten-free without telling him until he sees you eating it. But I am sneaky like that, I would try to get my way no matter what. Before my husband was celiac, I was always lactose intolerant and made dairy based desserts with lactaid drops, he moaned that it made the food taste different, so I said I wouldn't do it any more, but used the drops anyway and he never caught on and never said that the food tasted different. Being gluten free is important and it's your holiday too. You are the hostess/cook/chef/skullery person so it should be up to you. Besides if no one knows the stuffing is gluten-free what difference would it make?

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I recently read an article written by a dermatologist (can't remember where now) that the medical community used to think that some people who had DH had celiac disease. He said they now know that everyone who has DH has celiac disease. I think it's worth discussing with a good dermatologist.

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Jeanne-

that is frustrating that your husband isn't even willing to try gluten-free stuffing sometime. i guess you have a few options...try and really discuss what's at the heart of the "stuffing" issue and see if he can become willing. try and show how much his support is needed, and how serious this issue (even stuffing is). this would be my approach. second is to say 'if you want your own regular stuffing, you can make yourself.' :) or you could try and sneak it in and not tell him. that approach doesn't always work the best...it wouldn't motivate my husband, it would make him angry, and only make things worse in the end for me. lastly, you can "carefully" throw some stove top in the turkey, but keep yourself away from that food. cook your own separate meat. and make sure utensils don't get switched around from one plate or dish to another. that can happen with big families eating, and it could end up contaminating your food. i actually buy a mini gluten-free ham (i can eat turkey anyway) and take it to the big family meals. like jersey angel said...you could cook some meat for yourself separately. if you choose this route, i would advise still talking to your husband...and let him know that you do not want cooking non-gluten-free meals to become a lifestyle. just some of my suggestions. good luck with all of that--let us know what you decide!

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Jen, You're right cooking with gluten sets up a bad precedence, but accepting that gluten-free is abnormal, and making your own separate turkey w/gluten-free Stuff you're setting up a "second-class" citizen future. My theory is to not ask "Is gluten-free acceptable?" Just consider gluten-free as normal and proceed accordingly. If you're going to argue over gluten-free anyway, why not do it the gluten-free way to start with.

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Gee, I must have made my hubby sound more insensitive than he really is! He's actually been very supportive overall; it's just an adjustment for him as well as for me. I think that in the end he's going to agree to cook his stuffing outside of the turkey; it was just that when I first mentioned it, it hadn't occurred to him before, and he has to go through his own "grieving" process about letting go of this particular Thanksgiving tradition.

In general, we both love to cook, and it's been hard for him not to be able to cook a lot of things for me that he has always loved to cook. (It's not just gluten; it's also dairy, yeast, and vinegar, so I really can't eat ANYTHING interesting from our former repertoire.) And he IS trying his best to be accommodating, but as I said, it's an adjustment.

At any rate, *I* ordered the turkey from the store, so if I have to, I'll use the I-paid-for-it-I'm-damn-well-gonna-be-able-to-eat-it argument. But I think he'll come around!

Thanks for all the supoprt; this board is really great!

Jeanne

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Well, it seems that one of our friends who's coming for dinner wants to make a big pot of stuffing, NOT cooked in the turkey, and hubby is fine with that. so, problem solved! :-)

Jeanne

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