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BethM55

Travelling To Far Away Relative's Homes For Thanksgiving

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My spouse and I are flying to visit her family for Thanksgiving, will be staying with her sister and her husband, and having the feast at her father's house. I've already requested that the turkey NOT be stuffed, but really don't want to inconvenience everyone for my needs. We see this side of the family about once a year.

I'm not super sensitive, fortunately, but really don't want to end up with a fibromyalgia flare and the awful D concept from repeated exposures to CC. I do plan to bring a few things with me, and go to the Whole Foods market near my SIL's house when we get there and get myself some food to keep separate, but 5 days is a long time to be so vigilant.

Any suggestions for how to survive this without getting sick, and still be polite and keep the peace, without being singled out as even stranger than they already think I am? (a long story...) We all get along pretty well, Andrea and I have been married for 30 years, but I feel so shy about explaining over and over again, and really hate having the dinner table topic of conversation be my dietary needs. (I've been gluten free for several years, but this side of the family has only encountered my gluten free status a few times.)

Any other ideas I can implement would be very welcome. :)

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Well, a lot depends on how sensitive you are, I guess.

I'd make sure to have gluten-free dish soap, take a flexible cutting board, perhaps kitchen gloves for cleaning up.

How about a container to keep your food in, so it's not cc'd? Someone mentioned toaster bags of you like toast.

I'd volunteer to help with the cooking so you can pull gluten-free stuff out and keep it gluten-free.

Five days will be tough. I haven't had to do this yet....just

now planning my first road trip. Search for a thread called"travel tips".

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Buy paper towels for drying your hands in the kitchen. Buy your own sponge for cleaning and keep it on top of the fridge, so no one else will think to use it. Do not let your utensils come into direct contact with the kitchen counter or dining room table. Open the fridge, drawers, etc with a paper towel in your hand if you get tired of washing your hands a million times while fixing your meal. Fix your own food as much as possible. Be obsessive about washing your hands.

If you're concerned about CC in the pots and pans, you could get a $5 pan at Target when you get there (or pack it). You could get a tiny George Foreman grill and cook in an entirely different room from the kitchen! (They're under $20.) Or an electric hot pot.

Forgot to add that I keep any leftovers in zip-top baggies and avoid using my family's tupperware.

Good luck!

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I would get to the store, buy the quick food stuff that I could eat, like lunch meat, cheese and gluten-free crackers, lots of fruit and then get a styrofoam ice chest and just keep my own chest of food. Then to make up for everyone thinking that is really weird, I would spend the time just cooking their food for them, serving and cleaning up. They will love you!

And I know how you feel about everyone wanting to talk about your diet. I would just deflect the questions and ask them something to change the subject, or tell them I don't want to bore them with it, but would love to know sometime about them.

Hope this is not trite.

It's a tough situation. But you can come out a winner!

Maybe you could find a cool health food store there and make up some special gluten free pies or cookies to share with them. Or pack some mix before you go, like from julesglutenfree.com (no, I don't work for them). I just ordered their Thanksgiving pack because I've never ordered from there and the videos make the food look amazing.

I'm going to try some gluten-free bread, a lemon pie and cranberry muffins.

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Well, a lot depends on how sensitive you are, I guess.

I'd make sure to have gluten-free dish soap, take a flexible cutting board, perhaps kitchen gloves for cleaning up.

How about a container to keep your food in, so it's not cc'd? Someone mentioned toaster bags of you like toast.

I'd volunteer to help with the cooking so you can pull gluten-free stuff out and keep it gluten-free.

Five days will be tough. I haven't had to do this yet....just

now planning my first road trip. Search for a thread called"travel tips".

Good idea to bring a flexible cutting board. Maybe I'll buy a new one and leave it as a little gift when we go home. And maybe I'll bring a box of zip top bags, too. I'm not super sensitive, but I'm worried that constant low levels of CC will build up. We don't keep a gluten free kitchen at home, but it's just the two of us, so it's not hard to keep myself safe from glutening at home.

What are 'toaster bags'????

Thanks for your suggestions!

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Buy paper towels for drying your hands in the kitchen. Buy your own sponge for cleaning and keep it on top of the fridge, so no one else will think to use it. Do not let your utensils come into direct contact with the kitchen counter or dining room table. Open the fridge, drawers, etc with a paper towel in your hand if you get tired of washing your hands a million times while fixing your meal. Fix your own food as much as possible. Be obsessive about washing your hands.

If you're concerned about CC in the pots and pans, you could get a $5 pan at Target when you get there (or pack it). You could get a tiny George Foreman grill and cook in an entirely different room from the kitchen! (They're under $20.) Or an electric hot pot.

Forgot to add that I keep any leftovers in zip-top baggies and avoid using my family's tupperware.

Good luck!

Hmmmm, some good ideas there! Last time we stayed with my SIL I didn't get sick, so perhaps her pots and pans are ok. I think they are not Teflon, so probably safer. I do like the paper towels ideas. I may add that to the stuff I need to bring with or buy there.

Thanks for your advice!

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I would get to the store, buy the quick food stuff that I could eat, like lunch meat, cheese and gluten-free crackers, lots of fruit and then get a styrofoam ice chest and just keep my own chest of food. Then to make up for everyone thinking that is really weird, I would spend the time just cooking their food for them, serving and cleaning up. They will love you!

And I know how you feel about everyone wanting to talk about your diet. I would just deflect the questions and ask them something to change the subject, or tell them I don't want to bore them with it, but would love to know sometime about them.

Hope this is not trite.

It's a tough situation. But you can come out a winner!

Maybe you could find a cool health food store there and make up some special gluten free pies or cookies to share with them. Or pack some mix before you go, like from julesglutenfree.com (no, I don't work for them). I just ordered their Thanksgiving pack because I've never ordered from there and the videos make the food look amazing.

I'm going to try some gluten-free bread, a lemon pie and cranberry muffins.

I think I need to look again Jules' site. I have a baking 'flour' blend I make, but lemon pie? You definitely got my attention!

I'll be able to find what I need at Whole Foods. I just won't look at the prices! I'll ask about time frame, and if there will be time, I'll bake something that doesn't require a mixer, and use aluminum pans, or line their pans with foil, so I can bring something yummy to share. Good idea! Hmmm, I could pre-bake some muffins the day we fly, since my baking mix works well for them. Cranberry muffins. yummy! Thank you!

Also, I'll keep your suggestions in mind for dinner table conversation. I do NOT want it revolve around me!

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Good idea to bring a flexible cutting board. Maybe I'll buy a new one and leave it as a little gift when we go home. And maybe I'll bring a box of zip top bags, too. I'm not super sensitive, but I'm worried that constant low levels of CC will build up. We don't keep a gluten free kitchen at home, but it's just the two of us, so it's not hard to keep myself safe from glutening at home.

What are 'toaster bags'????

Thanks for your suggestions!

I asked the same thing! Google it. I would post a link but it probably wouldn't work because it's "spam".

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You'll be better off andake less of a scene if you just do your own food. Thy turkey will be cc'd think about it, pies being baked, stuffing being made in the SE kitchen, dinner rolls, people coming back for seconds...

Last year we hadn't quite figured it out and realized just how ridiculous it was to try and share food at a gathering like this.

We are a family of four so we probably bring more than one person would need to, but we bring:

Crock pot - great for 'roasting' you could even do your own small bird. It's good because you can get your cooking done in your room or on the back deck, basically out of the way

Stainless steel pot - good for heating up soup (we bring broth from home then add veggies and meat that we buy once we get there)

I they can't spare a burner, we bring a hot plate

Chef knife

Cutting board

Smaller serrated knife

Cast iron pan - optional, but this is what we usually cook stove top things in at home

Serving utensils

We do use glass/Pyrex that our hosts have on hand rather than bringing our own.

We bring soup or chili on thermoses, fruit, and veggies for the first day so we don't have to cook right away. We also bring a few packaged easy things we normally wouldn't eat (but have tried in the past without a problem).

The more we can cook ahead and pack it in the cooler, the better. I have some blog posts about traveling on the blog linked from my profile.

Anyway, we've found that it becomes less of a big deal if the expectation is set... We only eat food from home/ we prepared. It takes the pressure off and reduces the awkward situations where someone offers something they have made special for us but that we can't trust to be safe.

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I am going to buy stock in paper towels. Honestly they are the best to fight cc. I spread them out on a counter so I can prepare food(parchment paper works well too), wipe up counters, dry hands, you name it. It may not be environmentally good but they can be a celiacs best friend.

Re: table conversation. I am ok with answering questions and explaining why I bring my own stuff etc. I look at it as a way to educate others. If it goes on too long though it's easy enough to change the subject and get the focus off of oneself.

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May I also suggest Foil (or foil sheets from Costco ). Great for a liner on counters, in glass dishes, bakeware, etc. great cc saver

Toaster bags. Awesome invention for anyone who does not always have access to a gluten-free toaster or grill. You can order from Amazon. They are like a baggie (made out of a material similar to an iron liner that quilters use). Put bread, English muffin, frozen waffle, grilled cheese sandwich , etc and pop in any toaster. I use at hotels all the time at the breakfast buffets, I just go downstairs with my English muffin in a small lunch bag and pop into the toaster and waa la, breakfast I can eat. I have even had waitstaff toast for me in restaurants where there is no buffet.

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I asked the same thing! Google it. I would post a link but it probably wouldn't work because it's "spam".

I did google 'toaster bags'. Interesting idea. I looked at one link that suggested making your own, using parchment paper folded into a packet. That could work! I'll have to experiment at home, although we have a broiler/toaster/oven, not a regular toaster.

Let's see. To pack for the trip: parchment paper, zip top baggies, food basics, paper towels, flexible cutting board... :lol: I'll need an extra suitcase!

Such an adventure!

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May I also suggest Foil (or foil sheets from Costco ). Great for a liner on counters, in glass dishes, bakeware, etc. great cc saver

Toaster bags. Awesome invention for anyone who does not always have access to a gluten-free toaster or grill. You can order from Amazon. They are like a baggie (made out of a material similar to an iron liner that quilters use). Put bread, English muffin, frozen waffle, grilled cheese sandwich , etc and pop in any toaster. I use at hotels all the time at the breakfast buffets, I just go downstairs with my English muffin in a small lunch bag and pop into the toaster and waa la, breakfast I can eat. I have even had waitstaff toast for me in restaurants where there is no buffet.

Some of the comments I've read about the toaster bags said that they melted or caught on fire. :o Has this happened to you? Also that they only work 3 or 4 times before they melt or tear. I'm thinking to make my own out of parchment paper.

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I am going to buy stock in paper towels. Honestly they are the best to fight cc. I spread them out on a counter so I can prepare food(parchment paper works well too), wipe up counters, dry hands, you name it. It may not be environmentally good but they can be a celiacs best friend.

Re: table conversation. I am ok with answering questions and explaining why I bring my own stuff etc. I look at it as a way to educate others. If it goes on too long though it's easy enough to change the subject and get the focus off of oneself.

I suppose you could always buy paper towels made from recycled materials. Paper towels can be composted, too, so they avoid the landfill.

I like to use waxed paper on countertops too, even at home, as it keeps my ingredients and utensils clean, and makes clean up easy, too.

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You'll be better off andake less of a scene if you just do your own food. Thy turkey will be cc'd think about it, pies being baked, stuffing being made in the SE kitchen, dinner rolls, people coming back for seconds...

Last year we hadn't quite figured it out and realized just how ridiculous it was to try and share food at a gathering like this.

We are a family of four so we probably bring more than one person would need to, but we bring:

Crock pot - great for 'roasting' you could even do your own small bird. It's good because you can get your cooking done in your room or on the back deck, basically out of the way

Stainless steel pot - good for heating up soup (we bring broth from home then add veggies and meat that we buy once we get there)

I they can't spare a burner, we bring a hot plate

Chef knife

Cutting board

Smaller serrated knife

Cast iron pan - optional, but this is what we usually cook stove top things in at home

Serving utensils

We do use glass/Pyrex that our hosts have on hand rather than bringing our own.

We bring soup or chili on thermoses, fruit, and veggies for the first day so we don't have to cook right away. We also bring a few packaged easy things we normally wouldn't eat (but have tried in the past without a problem).

The more we can cook ahead and pack it in the cooler, the better. I have some blog posts about traveling on the blog linked from my profile.

Anyway, we've found that it becomes less of a big deal if the expectation is set... We only eat food from home/ we prepared. It takes the pressure off and reduces the awkward situations where someone offers something they have made special for us but that we can't trust to be safe.

Wow. That sounds like a lot of work and preparation, but also like you have things down to a routine and an art form! We're flying, so I can't bring that much stuff with me. I do plan to shop at a nearby Whole Foods market for supplies when we get to L.A., although I suspect they'll be closed when we arrive Thursday evening. (Our turkey day will be on Friday.)

I've learned that when I travel, the more simply I eat, the better. I've learned some great ideas here, too. I think I can do this.

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Yeah, it is a lot to being on a plane, though you can check a lot of it in baggage. Arriving on thanksgiving makes shopping tough but in the future, dollar stores can be great for picking up cheap kitchen stuff when traveling. We got a crock pot at Fred Meyer (kroger) for $24, and when staying a week or more that's so worth it.

Definitely bring some safe food for flying. We had a terrible time finding anything at all that was safe to eat the first time we flew with celiac. I will never depend on airport food options again, despite the security hassle!

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Yeah, it is a lot to being on a plane, though you can check a lot of it in baggage. Arriving on thanksgiving makes shopping tough but in the future, dollar stores can be great for picking up cheap kitchen stuff when traveling. We got a crock pot at Fred Meyer (kroger) for $24, and when staying a week or more that's so worth it.

Definitely bring some safe food for flying. We had a terrible time finding anything at all that was safe to eat the first time we flew with celiac. I will never depend on airport food options again, despite the security hassle!

I agree completely on bringing my own food when I fly! It's only an hour and a half flight, so no meals needed, but I always bring snacks with me, just in case we are delayed. The only edibles I might buy at the airport is tea, bottled beverages, Yoplait yogurt, and maybe packaged chips, if they have the proper brands, although $2.75 for a small bag of chips makes me think three times about how much I really want them.

In general, I feel much better (and safer!) bringing my own food almost anywhere I go.

Good tip about dollar stores, I'll keep that in mind!

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