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emcmaster

My Christmas Sucked

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My family has a tradition of making Eggs Benedict together every Christmas morning. Our Hollandaise recipe is naturally gluten-free and I've never had a problem with it.

I look forward to this breakfast all year long - it's the only time I eat it and is probably one of my overall favorite meals.

This morning we had agreed to be at my parents' house at 10. We got a call about 9:50 from my Dad saying that they'd started breakfast and it would be ready about the time we got there.

:o

My parents are clueless about cooking gluten-free. They use the wrong pans if not instructed, set cooking spoons on top of pieces of bread, use wooden spoons... I could go on and on. The fact that they cooked it without me meant I could not safely eat anything they made. I told them last night that I would not eat anything that I (or my husband) didn't prepare because I consistently got sick when I didn't follow that rule. They KNEW that.

I was absolutely, completely crushed. Not only is the breakfast a tradition but preparing it TOGETHER is a tradition. Add to that the fact that I was already starving and the only grocery store in the area that we could find open was a Tom Thumb (not exactly known for having a bunch of gluten-free items). I couldn't help myself - I cried. My husband called my sister and told them that we'd be another hour or so because we'd have to find me something to eat. My sister tried to try to get us to come over anyway and said they'd stop the preparation at that point, but that wouldn't have helped anything unless they'd completely scrapped everything they'd prepared thus far, which wasn't an option because of the ingredients.

Miraculously we found some gluten-free english muffins at Tom Thumb and some peanut butter, so we showed up at my parents house with something for me to eat and I was fine. But my mother was pissed off all day and at one point, when I asked her if she would get me some water, said: "Did you bring your own glass? Are you sure you can use our glass?" in the most snotty way... which makes me think that she thinks this is all me being over dramatic, which in turn makes me wonder how careful she ever is when she makes me something since she apparently doesn't think it's a real problem.

It sucked. I don't know what I could have done better. I think I've really created problems for myself because I've never wanted to seem too demanding, so they have never had to really make major accommodations for me. If I hadn't been hungry, it wouldn't have been a big deal - I would have just not eaten. But being hungry and not being able to eat and seeing them eat my favorite meal that is technically gluten-free... what a way to celebrate a holiday.

I know I'm being a little emotional about this... I'm just so upset that my parents that know better would do this. I'm not mad at them - they didn't do it to be cruel, they just didn't think. I'm just upset that it happened and that I missed out on my favorite meal.

What a horrible day. I didn't want to let missing breakfast ruin the day (and it didn't, for me) but my mother's reaction and mood all day definitely did. :(

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Sorry to hear that. I get nasty comments too from my family. They think they're being funny. Gluten isn't a problem for my daughter any more. It was an allergy, not celiac. But both of us have other food allergies. They will say things like... What if the clerk touched _____ back in 1997? Can you still eat it? They don't understand cross contamination and don't think a small amount of something will hurts us.

We recently celebrated a birthday at a wood fired pizza place that also sells beer battered fries. Due to our allergies, the only thing safe for us to eat was a dinner salad that was overpriced and not very good. I asked if we could get olives put on it? I was told it came with olives. My daughter's did. A couple of slices. None on mine. We didn't even finish them.

Meanwhile I was stuck sitting at the end of the table where they set up another little table to hold all the pizzas. I had to sit there looking at them and smelling them.

And then of course there was the cake and ice cream. As a diabetic, neither is safe for me, no matter how it's made. I always hate having to sit through that. Especially since the other diabetics in the family just seem to ignore the fact that they are diabetics and eat whatever they want. *sigh*

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I'm sorry that you both had experiences like that.

Family can be so insensitive,well intended but very miguided and selfish(sometimes unintentionally) sometimes.

My family member, who always demands(in not a very nice tone) a Xmas wish list from us(so that they don't have to put any thought into gift buying) ended up getting me something not on the list. I had asked for a gift card for books because I really need some cookbooks and diabetes books and really can't afford them. What I got instead was something that someone else in the family should have given me(and hasn't) and it was given to me in front of that person and I can never use it because it is supposed to come from someone else. So it will be kept by me and passsed on to someone else in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time. Not only was it not appropriate but it brought up alot of hurts. Sigh... Then another relative called to wish me a Merry Christmas, and by the way, I should never be left alone when I get sick because my blood sugar could get out of control and I could end up in a coma and ..... and they shared a story about someone they knew who that almost happened to. What am I supposed to do with that?? My husband travels and is away from home ALOT! I already worry about other things. I had already spent most of Xmas trying to calm down and not be stressed because I already was and it has been physically affecting me lately. I know the real message was "I am worried about missy's mom and care" but really that was still more about their feelings than about me. So I went to bed praying and trying to relax again. ARRRRRGGGG!!!!!!

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Ugh. I'm so sorry you all had similar experiences.

Experiences like this with my family make me realize how absolutely wonderful my husband is. He's more upset about this episode than I am. I hope you all have supportive spouses or children.

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My boyfriend and son are great about it but my mom, though well-intentioned, is easily hurt by anything. She's gone on and on about how hurt she was when my sister-in-law got mad about her using the wrong butter at their house to butter her toast 2 years ago (they have Celiac, too.) To be honest, I don't think my sister-in-law actually even got very mad. I think it was just embarrassing for my mom.

So my parents are in town and we had to postpone xmas due to the weather. My job is to "find a turkey I can eat" and they'll buy the rest of the dinner. 1) turkeys are getting pretty scarce now. 2) they do realize the rest of the dinner could make me sick, too, right? I know my sister will make gravy and that involves flour dust. She's already been baking like crazy all week. She'll also season the food with goodness-knows-what and I'm really nervous to eat. I try to drop big hints about all that by mentioning that I can't bake a regular cake for my son because just working with the flour could accidentally gluten me. She tries to be accommodating and supportive, but I don't know if she understands the details of how careful I have to be. I'm going to make some of my own mashed potatoes in advance so I have something besides turkey to eat. My family tries to be understanding, but if I accidentally say the wrong thing and hurt my mom's feelings (usually without me even realizing it) she'll be passive-aggressive for the whole trip, and will make comments about it all year, so I have to be careful. Ugh.

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I'm sorry you all had such a bad day. I wish it were easier for people to deal with family that is mean. My boyfriend's grandmother still doesn't get it and sends pie home with him and stuff, but my family is amazing. I wish I could share them. If anyone comes to Ct I'll cook for ya!! Even eggs benedict (though I don't know how to make that, I'll learn!)

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Miraculously we found some gluten-free english muffins at Tom Thumb and some peanut butter, so we showed up at my parents house with something for me to eat and I was fine. But my mother was pissed off all day and at one point, when I asked her if she would get me some water, said: "Did you bring your own glass? Are you sure you can use our glass?" in the most snotty way... which makes me think that she thinks this is all me being over dramatic, which in turn makes me wonder how careful she ever is when she makes me something since she apparently doesn't think it's a real problem.

What a horrible day. I didn't want to let missing breakfast ruin the day (and it didn't, for me) but my mother's reaction and mood all day definitely did. :(

You know what I've found helps in situations like this? It's very hard to do the first time, but when someone acts like this, my response is usually a simple "Why do you feel you need to be mean about this?" For some reason, people think they're entitled to be mean, which is what your mother is doing. When it's brought to their attention, it's kind of like pointing out the 'pink elephant' in the room and they know they can't get away with it anymore.

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i know how you feel my family doesnt make anything that i can have and it sucks big time, having just about everything with gulten in it shoved in your face when you cant have it is really temping, but i know what you mean because i go though the same with my family

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I understand how you feel. I hosted Christmas Eve this year. My first time ever. I was just diagnosed 6 months ago. I was excited that it would be at my house and I wouldnt have to worry about getting sick because I was preparing everything. I told my family that I had everything under control and I didn't need anything.

My one aunt kept insisting on things. And shes the one that I'm closest to and she has also come to the drs with me, so she knows what my issue is. She told me that she had bought cheese and crackers. I asked her what for and she said for your house. I asked her to bring the cheese but please leave the crackers home. She said that they go together. I told her that I was making crackers. She said "well, what if people dont like your gluten free crackers?" Are you serious???? Even if you dont like them, you cant live a couple of hours of your life without a flippin ritz cracker?

She even suggested that I make myself my own cheese plate then so I didn't have to worry about it. Again, its my house, and it was a total of 2 hours that they were there. Give me a break

She did this to me over and over. Wanting to bring mac and cheese, and then cake. Its very frustrating.

She did bring the crackers, and they are still in the box. I didn't put them out, and I served a table full of gluten free food. I'm to the point that if you cant deal with it at my house, then dont come. I dont expect anyone to do anything special for me when I have to go somewhere, I just bring my own food. My parents try to accomodate me as best they can, but everyone else, no way.

Luckily my husband has been pretty good. My 6 and 8 year old kids understand more that most adults. Again, I feel you, its extremely frustrating....

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It's so, so frustrating -- sometimes family seems completely unable/unwilling to "get it."

I feel like my daughter and I dodged a bullet on Christmas Eve. I'd spent the day preparing gluten-free food in my parents' gluteny kitchen, and was confident that everything (save for the awful pies) was safe for us. I left for the airport to pick up my brother, and asked my mother to please put the chestnuts (our Christmas tradition) in the oven.

Well, we arrived back to the house just in time to find my father scooping some of the roasted chestnuts off the crumb-encrusted bottom of the oven and dumping them into the bowl with the rest. Apparently my mother had spilled some of the chestnuts from the flimsy foil pan I used for them (the other choice was teflon, and we all know about that).

I was *furious* with him for ruining the entire bowl of chestnuts (my daughter was so sad). But then I realized ... if I had returned from the airport one minute later, I never would have known they had spilled ... and both my daughter and I would have been glutened, no question (you ought to see this oven). So we stayed healthy for Christmas (although we didn't get any roasted chestnuts). It could've been way worse.

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My holiday started off pretty badly... It was a 10-hour drive to my parents' house and we arrived at 1:00 in the morning to a house filled with all kinds of off-limits "goodies." Buns, cookies, fudge, ice cream, cheese (Wisconsin is not a good place for the casein-free!). My mom had been interrupted in the middle of a baking project by the arrival of my sister's family... open bag of powdered sugar on the counter (corn starch) along with a measuring cup full of flour (OMG!). Since she had been doing lots of baking, her plan for the 25th was, "you find it, you eat it." Normally I'm good with that, but I was tired from the drive and had come down with a nasty little cold :angry: so I did NOT feel like cooking my own food. Thank goodness I had a stash of chocolate.

Anyway... fast forward. Yesterday we went grocery shopping. Last night I made dinner (stir-fried vegetables and burgers without the buns) and today I made lunch. My dad, who is SUPER picky, actually tried the soup... first time in his life eating mustard greens... and he thought it was ok! :) The pumpkin pie (made with coconut milk and no crust) was a big hit. I have to wash every pan before I use it... there's flour dust everywhere... but it's nice to cook for my family and reassure them that I have still have plenty of yummy things to eat on this new diet.

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My family is just now, FINALLY, starting to "get it". It only took 2 years! HA! Now, when my husband and I come over, my mother either has me prepare the food, or email her a menu along with detailed recipes and instructions. She either buys disposable pans or uses her few safe ones. She also cleans off and designates the top shelf of the refrigerator for gluten-free foods and a gluten-free cabinet. She has also started to sterilize an entire section of the counter and designates it as gluten free. Only gluten free foods may be prepared and placed there. It has made life, and our relationship, so much better. I think the turning point came when she attempted to go gluten free for Celiac Awareness month. I sent her a detailed sheet with all of the rules/limitations/CC issues etc... She only lasted about a day and a half. But, her views and understanding of Celiac's completely changed. It has been such a blessing!

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Sorry It went so rough for you. It sounds like you need a "do over" as my kid would say. Sadly this illness means that we do need to sometimes change some of our traditions. Maybe you and your hubbby can invite some understanding family members over for a new years day brunch?

Your mom acted the same way that I though mine would. Lucky for me one of her friends is also gluten intolerant so she learn about it at first from someone she is not so invested in. My dad thinks I need to widen my horizons and not be so picky. lol If only. But they both do mean well in their own way.

I cooked two batches of almond cookies and sat them near me so that when I was bothered by the gluteny cookies I could eat mine.

lol Greeneyes, I got a laugh out of your aunt. Good for you making your house a safe place for yourself. So far I do not know of anyone that died from a lack of gluten! Your aunt must have been a waitress of mine once. I just could not get though this woman's head that breaded stuff had flour on it, Some how she thought flour on something was ok just not IN something. Go figure!

One more mile

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I just want to report back on my post and say that God provides. For New Year one of my husband's overseas clients wanted to buy a particular item, that he knew DH liked, to send to him as a tip but shipping/customs law wouldn't allow it so he bought my husband a gift "card" to the exact retailer that I had in mind for the books that I wanted and in the exact amount that I had in mind! I hadn't even prayed about it. And DH gave it to me to spend! Whoo hoo! I was calculating the cost of the things I wanted and it's more than enough! Yeah!

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Thanks everyone for your support and your stories. I hate that we all have had similar bad experiences. :(

My husband and I made Eggs Benedict for New Years brunch with two of our friends and it was delicious and completely safe (I didn't get sick!). :)

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Urgh I thought my family would be better than they are being. My sister's a doctor and she's pretty good; she does what she's told but my dad has notions that a crumb won't hurt. He says there's no way I can be completely gluten free and I have told him 7 or 8 times just this week that it is not to do with the amount...

Am I the only one thinking we get muddled in with all the other intolerances when it's okay for people to eat a bit? But people with say nut allergies get taken seriously - it seems everyone knows that people can't even have a bit of a peanut if they're allergic but not gluten... sigh...

BG

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Thanks everyone for your support and your stories. I hate that we all have had similar bad experiences. :(

My husband and I made Eggs Benedict for New Years brunch with two of our friends and it was delicious and completely safe (I didn't get sick!). :)

Glad to hear that you got your eggs, on a holiday and shared with some people who mean something to you. :)

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Ugh. I'm so sorry you all had similar experiences.

Experiences like this with my family make me realize how absolutely wonderful my husband is. He's more upset about this episode than I am. I hope you all have supportive spouses or children.

thats really great that you have such a supportive husband! its too bad your family cant be the same :( i dont think they mean any harm, they just dont understand.

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I just want to report back on my post and say that God provides. For New Year one of my husband's overseas clients wanted to buy a particular item, that he knew DH liked, to send to him as a tip but shipping/customs law wouldn't allow it so he bought my husband a gift "card" to the exact retailer that I had in mind for the books that I wanted and in the exact amount that I had in mind! I hadn't even prayed about it. And DH gave it to me to spend! Whoo hoo! I was calculating the cost of the things I wanted and it's more than enough! Yeah!

Isn't that the truth! He is so faithful! We were broke this Christmas and so is our big oven. Our pastor brought us a 9lb. turkey that just fit into our little toaster oven and a gift card to Walmart. I got to use it last night and it was for $150!!! I hadn't been to the store in 29 days!!! What nice surprises. God is good...always...even when we don't understand. He knows our every thought even before we think it.

Last year when my oven was broken- then too <_< , I turned it on and was able to cook a turkey both for Thanksgiving and for Christmas :) Never worked any other time?!?! This year I didn't try it so God sent as a wee sized turkey that was just the right size for the 2 of us b/c He knew I wasn't going to turn on the big oven. :blink:

God also knew I wanted a pineapple to have with Christmas dinner but wasn't able to get one (I didn't pray for one). Someone gave us one in a giant fruit basket! God is so exciting!!!

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Thank you for sharing that purple. It encouraging to hear. I had a little chuckle about your oven. (Hope you don't mind.)

When you're on a medically necessary diet, it's easy to live meal to meal and worry or stress about what your next meal will be, adding finances to the mix adds extra worry or that edge of tension, reminding myself of the verse in my signature and others like it of his provision, is helping me to not worry, I still plan and make sure that my most vital dietary needs are met but I am able to let other things go.

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Thank you for sharing that purple. It encouraging to hear. I had a little chuckle about your oven. (Hope you don't mind.)

When you're on a medically necessary diet, it's easy to live meal to meal and worry or stress about what your next meal will be, adding finances to the mix adds extra worry or that edge of tension, reminding myself of the verse in my signature and others like it of his provision, is helping me to not worry, I still plan and make sure that my most vital dietary needs are met but I am able to let other things go.

I laugh about the oven thing too :lol: My dryer is broken (I do old fashioned "hang the clothes by the wood stove" thing) and my fridge doesn't stay cold enough either but we have one outside we use. If I didn't have a problem, I would never know God could/would fix them...in his timing. I am blessed with great health. I think my oven quit so I wouldn't bake gluteny things (and I LOVE to bake)...HA HA! Both my dd's are allergic this year but not the year my oven broke. I think my dh should be off gluten too! God knows ALL things so I don't have to...what a freedom to understand that!!

The appliances are coming...I just don't know how or when ;)

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