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woolwhippet

Eating What Other People Cook

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I have a lovely mother in law who is bending over backwards to accomodate me. Last sunday she took the time to prepare 'gluten free' meal and dessert for me. I have had d all week and I know it came from that meal. She is a very strong minded woman and for her to go to all this trouble is a big deal and I don't want to insult her but I also can't continue to be glutened. I was wondering how to tactfully approach this. Is there a pamphlet out there designed to educate family?

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I suggest you just tell her...I've had to do it with my family and I now learned that because they never listen I simply bring my own food to everything unless I can be guarantee it's safe. A few times I was told that something was gluten-free and it wasn't...

It may seem as not the nicest thing to do to tell her she's making you sick, but I bet she would feel a lot worse if you let it continue without telling her.

~ Lisa ~

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If you are 100% confident that it was that meal, then I'd talk to her about it. A pamphlet's not going to help, as you've already described her as bending over backwards about it. I'd approach it in a very friendly, upfront manner - she is family, after all. ;)

Something along the lines of, "I *really* appreciate all the effort you went through to make that meal safe for me. Something in it appears to have gotten me sick, though. I know you did your best to avoid that, and I know how hard it is to catch all those silly little sources of gluten, so can we walk through how you made the meal so we can figure out what happened?" Treat it like a puzzle you guys solve together, that is also a place where you can point out the potential areas for contamination.

I had something somewhat similar happen one year we went to my in-laws friend's for thanksgiving, and the woman cooking tried really hard to make a few dishes gluten and dairy free. She was talking about how she made sure the margarine for the mashed potatoes was dairy free as she poured in a box of Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth to them. I had to point out that I wouldn't be able to have them, though as that was one of the few broths that has gluten. (That was a touch awkward - it was also the first time I'd ever met them. ;) )

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I guess my DD will have to make that decision for herself when she is older, but for now, the only person's food I will let her eat is my mother's because she TOTALLY gets it, she's researched it about as much as I have and actually tries to live gluten-free because she knows how much better she feels. I digress, during Thanksgiving, my very well intentioned MIL thought she'd do a completely gluten-free dinner (except the pumpkin pies-because gluten-free pumpkin pies CANNOT taste good-LOL (mine were better :D )) Anyway, she thought nothing of flouring the bag she cooked the turkey in, thank goodness we had another one. I'm sure I would have thought like this at one point, but living with this in my house and with my own child (who I'm probably more neurotic about than if it were me who had Celiac) I can't imagine why the heck she thought that was OK. I guess my point is, I won't let her eat other people's food unless I'm in the kitchen watching them cook it. We always travel with meals!

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(except the pumpkin pies-because gluten-free pumpkin pies CANNOT taste good-LOL

actually, they can. (my wheat-eating father in law loved with gluten-free, casein-free, low-fat pumpkin pie:

gluten free, casein free, low-fat pumpkin pie

(the crust is here: Pumpkin Bread for use as Pie Crust)

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actually, they can. (my wheat-eating father in law loved with gluten-free, casein-free, low-fat pumpkin pie:

Yeah, I know, I made a couple pies, mine were all eaten before hers :D:D She just couldn't imagine it tasting good.

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Yeah, I know, I made a couple pies, mine were all eaten before hers :D:D She just couldn't imagine it tasting good.

lol, sorry. I've been sick for four days, and my fever and pharmaceutical addled brain totally read that wrong. /duh

sorry! :)

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lol, sorry. I've been sick for four days, and my fever and pharmaceutical addled brain totally read that wrong. /duh

sorry! :)

I hope you feel better soon! It's never a good time to be sick, but especially now! Good thoughts being sent your way.......

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My MIL gets it and she makes a lot for DS and I. However, I also have a problem with onions and not too long ago she made some wonderful beef vegetable soup for me that had onions in it and I was in so much pain from the onions. :( As much as I hate to tell her, I have to or I would feel horrible if she makes it (or something else with onions) again and I can't eat it.

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Thanks all for the great suggestions. I will talk to her about it--you are right, it's better she know from me because there is a lifetime of family functions ahead. This is such karma for me because I used to be a little critical of "those people" with "food issues". Now I am one! Serves me right.

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i had to do it with my family when my mom passed away when they would make me something i would have to tell them that nothing with guliten could go near my food whatsoever, i told them that i couldnt get gluten at all,

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I had something somewhat similar happen one year we went to my in-laws friend's for thanksgiving, and the woman cooking tried really hard to make a few dishes gluten and dairy free. She was talking about how she made sure the margarine for the mashed potatoes was dairy free as she poured in a box of Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth to them. I had to point out that I wouldn't be able to have them, though as that was one of the few broths that has gluten. (That was a touch awkward - it was also the first time I'd ever met them. ;) )

Not to veer off-topic, but I just bought some swanson chicken broth, (boxed, not canned) and read the label, and I thought it was gluten free. Am I mistaken? It's Swanson Natural Goodness (low sodium) boxed broth:

Ingredients: chicken stock, salt, flavoring, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, celery juice concentrate, onion juice concentrate.

No allergy warning whatsoever. I'm very new to this. Thank you.

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Not to veer off-topic, but I just bought some swanson chicken broth, (boxed, not canned) and read the label, and I thought it was gluten free. Am I mistaken? It's Swanson Natural Goodness (low sodium) boxed broth:

Ingredients: chicken stock, salt, flavoring, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, celery juice concentrate, onion juice concentrate.

No allergy warning whatsoever. I'm very new to this. Thank you.

That's the tricky part - their regular stuff is fine; their organic stuff has gluten. (This box certainly did, perhaps they changed their recipe in the past two years?)

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It's a tough one. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law both want to cook for me all the time, and are willing to go out of their way to do so. My sister in-law last night was just asking me how she can make a gluten-free meal for Christmas Eve, and I simply told her that it wasn't possible. That my house is gluten-free, my pans, plastic containers are new and therefore gluten free, my wooden spoons are gluten-free, every ingredient is gluten-free and not used for anything but gluten-free meals (like no double dipping in the mayo jar). Last year she made salmon and green beans, but then she made this potato dish that was heavily sprinkled with Wheaties cereal. There were Wheaties's crumbs all over her counter, I never would have noticed that pre-gluten free. When she was dumping the cooked beans into a serving bowl, some of the beans fell on the counter where she proceeded to scoop them up and put them in the dish. I cringed... I didn't say anything, I ate them, and I was sick.

What I did was talk to my mom about how my mother-in-law wanted to cook for me, and how it scared me, and how I got sick when I did eat there, and then my mom just got it. I did the reverse with my mother-in-law, I talked to her about how I got sick eating a meal my mom or sister-in-law cooked for me -- and then she got it. It sorta removes them from the story and kind of puts it into a "third" person perspective.

My sister still sends me recipes all the time, they are gluten free, but full of milk, and cream, eggs, and butter -- I can't eat that stuff.

Look how hard it has been for us to learn this diet, they don't think about every ingredient that goes in their mouths like we do, or lipstick... they don't have to. Whereas we have given up so much -- but that comes from our desperate attempt to feel better.

Their hearts are in the right place. I think the important thing is that we are not excluded because we can't eat their food. That would bum me out. Food is such a social thing. I can still drink wine though.... :P

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People mean well, but they really don't understand what all is involved in staying gluten free. I have had friends try really hard to cook for me, but inevitably I get sick.

It took me months of dedicated study to learn all I needed to know to protect myself. There are very few people that can do that for a friend or loved one.

Recently we had a group of people want to make dinner for us. I said it had to be at our house and I had to check their ingredients. They said they had checked everything and it would be totally gluten free, but would comply with my wishes.

They showed up with the food. As one of them was making the baked beans I asked to see the syrup they were about to add to the beans. They were shocked when I said, sorry, you can't use this, it has wheat in it.

They couldn't believe that pancake syrup would have wheat in it. I said yes, that is the problem, stuff you would never dream of containing wheat does, so everything has to be checked. That is the sort of stuff that gets us when we allow others to cook for us. That and contaminated pans, counters, etc.

Even their best efforts can fall short and cause a glutening, which for me can last a couple of weeks. It is just not worth it.

It is very hard to explain that to someone that does not live with it everyday. I know they feel rejected when we can not accept their loving gestures, but that is the way it is.

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I have a wonderful, well meaning friend who tries to cook for me nearly every week. I've told her flat out so many times that I'm just not comfortable eating other people's cooking at this point, but she continues to push things on me. I can see she's doing it from a place of kindness, but I'm amazed at it--which part of "no, thanks" isn't coming across??

What has me far more worried is my dad and his wife. My dad was diagnosed celiac in 2000, so I was looking forward to being able to eat at his house when I move back to the US (I live abroad and was just diagnosed this year). Well, they came to visit me this spring and I was horrified to watch my dad digging the filling out of an apple fritter while his wife ate the crust. He says he's not very sensitive--if a restaurant screws up his order and it comes with regular sauce he just scrapes it off and keeps eating. I wanted to cry when I realized that I will never feel comfortable eating at their house, knowing the measuring cups go from wheat flour to gluten-free flour and back, etc. He's been totally symptom free since going gluten-free except for during our visit when we were served spelt bread and told it was gluten-free--we both got really sick. People really do have different sensitivity levels, and I seem to be super sensitive like my Grandpa was.

Andrea

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I was horrified to watch my dad digging the filling out of an apple fritter while his wife ate the crust.

Andrea

Ha ha ha! The image of this is great! I can see your Dad eating that filling and passing the empty shell to his wife--true marital harmony. It's sad that you won't have that food haven you were hoping for. I also truly believe in the "spectrum" theory of gluten sensitivity. My Uncle is super super sensitive and of his 4 children one is slightly sensitive and one moderatly sensitive and the other slightly more than the other two. Fascinates me.

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My cousin who gave me my "list" in the begining of my ordeal was actually diagnosed due to my diligence of research after getting her "list"

My mother who lives next door to her and my gram's came to visit, she asked where my hot dog rolls were....... after getting over my shocked look inquired why she thought I would have any since I can't have wheat..... her response was...... "well your cousin eats them all the time, she says they "calm her stomach down"... I was in shock and told my mother in no unceratin terms that was a bunch of crap and it was most likely the rolls making her stomach act up...... she inquired more into my can's and can'ts and found it very interesting, she even greatly enjoyed the gluten-free meals I produced while she was here, the pancake mix she bought a package of to give to my cousin upon her return... also said she was planning on talking to my cousin's daughter about her "cheating" not sure what this will accomplish as my cousin is in her mid/upper 70's and lives with my gluten eating grammy.

I think its a giant case of denial, so very glad I dont have this issue!

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