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Sailing Girl

Help! Disaster Lurking In The Oven Mitts (vent)

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I've spent the last three days at my parents' house guarding (mostly successfully) against the ever-pervasive crumbs. It's working so far (I'm sure I've been CC'd, but at least I'm not really sick, and DD Danielle seems okay). But it's driving me insane and practically ruining my holiday (not to mention I have a cold, which I hate)!

So we were *supposed* to have a gluten-free Christmas Eve dinner (our big celebration dinner), which my daughter and I would fix. I was so excited -- a dinner where she and I could eat anything on the table! Ha ha ha. There are now two gluten-y pies cooling on the stove, gluten-y stuffing in the fridge waiting to go into the oven, and crumbs freaking EVERYWHERE! And, to top it all off, my mother managed to stick both the potholders INTO the tops of the pies, meaning that they're now contaminated as well. I've tried explaining the risk of CC to my mother, and she listens politely and really does try, but she doesn't completely get it. So now I get to spend the day guarding the turkey and the couple of gluten-free dishes I'll fix from contamination.

Sorry, just needed to vent -- I really want to spend this time with my folks, since they're in their 80s and I don't know how much longer I'll have them. But this is about as far from a nice, relaxing holiday as I can imagine ...

Jane

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((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))))

Seemed like you could use a great big one. I hope the holiday improves for you.

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I know this doesn't help any right now, but maybe next holiday you could make food ahead of time and freeze it in containers for you and your daughter and that way there's nothing for your parents to worry about? (Or you to stress about?)

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Thanks so, so much to all of you for your hugs and kind thoughts!

Things are a bit better here, although it turns out I definitely *was* glutened the night we arrived (I suspect the ham -- when, oh, when will I learn not to risk "natural flavoring"?). It took my almost-seven-year-old daughter to point it out to me -- "Mommy, you're acting awfully cranky. Are you sure you didn't get any gluten?" Then the DH appeared, right on schedule, and I had a reason for my extreme fatigue and irritability (well, another reason, anyway)!

Unfortunately, my crumb patrol will extend until New Year's -- we leave my parents (is 87 years old too late to be tested?) house on Saturday and head to my gluten-eating friends' house for New Year's Eve. I'm thinking I'll stop by the Whole Foods on our way there and spend my Christmas gift check on Namaste blondie mix and gluten-free pizza ...

Happy holidays to everyone -- may 2008 be (in the words of my DD) "the best year ever!"

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... and my mother just glutened the leftover turkey by sticking a stuffing-contaminated fork in it <sigh>.

(((((HUGS))))))

I'm so glad I did my own cooking for Thanksgiving this year (we don't celebrate Christmas.)

Maybe next year you can help your parents make gluten-free stuffing and gluten-free pie crusts?

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I too was at home trying to watch every move my mom made and where and what the pot holders touched. i hated to be looking over her shoulder the whole time but did request we use clean towels to take out the gluten-free dishes (which were most of them...besides the yucky rolls lol) thankfully i didn't get sick. and i know it's okay for me to be right behind her correcting her because it's my health but it's just not like me to be fussed over...sometimes. i'm getting used to it though.

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I can so sympathize. My Dad is 82 and he just really doesn't get it that I can't eat food with gluten. He keeps offering me bread, or oatmeal, or cookies - you name it. He lives in a residential facility and I try to go and have breakfast with him once a week. It's always the same, he offers me something and I have to explain that I can't eat it. I've decided to just not swet it. Fortunately, he does not do any of the cooking of food for me. Mary

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I cook gluten free holiday meals at my house. For me this is the best way to stay healthy during the holiday season.

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I'd host if I could and make the meal entirely gluten-free, but my parents don't travel anymore and they live 1,000 miles away -- if I want to be with them (and I do), then it's at their house.

I did manage to keep my DD and me safe (well, mostly -- there was the "natural flavorings" ham incident) while we were there. But I stressed about it the *entire* time -- I was on constant crumb-patrol, and it was very draining to do that for 10 days straight. I'm so, so glad to be home in my very own gluten-free kitchen, where I know every single thing is safe.

Thanks for all your kind words and hugs!

Jane

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I'd host if I could and make the meal entirely gluten-free, but my parents don't travel anymore and they live 1,000 miles away -- if I want to be with them (and I do), then it's at their house.

I did manage to keep my DD and me safe (well, mostly -- there was the "natural flavorings" ham incident) while we were there. But I stressed about it the *entire* time -- I was on constant crumb-patrol, and it was very draining to do that for 10 days straight. I'm so, so glad to be home in my very own gluten-free kitchen, where I know every single thing is safe.

Thanks for all your kind words and hugs!

Jane

Maybe next year you can help them make the meal gluten-free at their home? I see no reason they can't make stuffing from gluten-free bread, and pie crusts based on rice flour, etc- if they have your help in purchasing ingredients and learning how to use them. It might make for a less stressful visit all around.

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This is where I started -- I had told my mother that DD and I would cook the entire meal and had planned to make it entirely gluten-free. But my mother decided it wouldn't be "fair" to deprive the rest of the family of their gluten-y favorites. My father (*certainly* undiagnosed Celiac, and also the least supportive of my immediate family when DD and I first went on the diet -- how often do those two traits co-exist?) would refuse to eat the substitutes.

I could get upset about all this (and was for a while -- is it "fair" to deprive me of a stress-free visit?). But then I realized that -- even if I made the meal itself gluten-free -- their kitchen is not at all gluten-free. Crumbs *everywhere.* And so there would be just as much stress or more for me in trying to cook gluten-free pies using, for example, bowls and a mixer that are used primarily for gluten. I'd have to get new sugar, new vanilla, new ... well, everything!

Unfortunately, bringing pre-made food isn't an option, since they live 1,000 miles away and we usually stop somewhere for a few days along the way. This year I had gluten-free pies shipped in, but they defrosted along the way and weren't very good when they arrived. So I'm thinking next year will be similar to this year -- except that I'm going to try not to stress about it so much. And, I may bring my own oven mitts.

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I thought the I'd have a little more relaxed time with my family over Christmas as my Dad has had celiac for more than 10 years and my sister (who lives a mile from my folks) and her daughter were diagnosed gluten intolerant the same day as my son and I a couple of months ago.

What I found was that it can be even more awkward to try to deal with people who think they're careful but aren't so much. Mom gave my sister a taste of tenderloin from the cutting board where she'd just made two gluten sandwiches. Everyone rubbed the spaghetti sauce ladle across the top of their gluten spaghetti, ditto the barbecue beef spoon on the gluten buns, we used the same colander for the gluten-free spaghetti that she always uses for regular spaghetti, etc., etc. I even had to give the colander back to her to rewash when I was drying dishes because there were bits of spaghetti still in it. She rewashed it, but was a little defensive about how she doesn't normally use that colander for gluten-free spaghetti, anyway. She uses it for other things things we all eat, but I wasn't going there.

On the flip-side, they have Chik-fil-A where they live. My sister and I got a large order of fries and a salad to split. Then we split another large order of fries. I miss fries! The salad had cheese, though - we're both casein-free, and neither of us noticed. DUH! Fortunately I didn't react as badly to that as I do to gluten.

Somehow I managed not to get glutened, but it seemed like a miracle. And, as I said, it's especially hard to comment and give suggestions when they should know - especially my mom. She says that sometimes my dad gets sick and they can't figure out what it was, but I think her anti-CC practices leave an awful lot to be desired. If I say so, though, she feels like I'm accusing her of not taking care of Dad, and that's hard because it's gotten to the point that she does *everything* for my Dad. He knows almost nothing about how to manage a gluten-free diet. But that's another whole ball of wax.

Anyway, I, too, was glad to be back in my own kitchen, and then we got the flu or something - glutenoids included. Sigh. I'm so ready to feel good for a while. Surely we'll get there soon...

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I'm sorry that you had such a stressful time over the holidays.

My family, especially my mom, has been so good about fixing gluten-free food for my 14 year old DD. She made a separate pan of hashbrown potatoes, after calling me to find out which brand to buy. My sister bought a brand of ham that I had checked to make sure it was gluten-free. I try to set food aside for her before the meal to lessen CC. The hardest part is that the extended family thinks her food and baked goods look so good that they want to eat them too.

I have a travel bag that includes a frying pan, 3 qt. sauce pan, utensils, colander, plastic toaster bags and dish towels. We drove for the holidays, so we were able to bring a cooler for the gluten-free food. I put all of her food inside the cooler, including fruit, snacks, etc. so I didn't have to worry about accidental CC. At home, we put blue masking tape on gluten-free food, pans, etc. as a visual reminder to keep it gluten-free. On most trips, I try to take the tape with me and educate others about it.

We all came home with the stomach flu but I don't think she was glutened on our six day trip. I don't mean it to sound like it was as relaxing as before going gluten-free but I am learning how to cope on trips.

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