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HeatherRJSoleil

Thanksgiving Potluck - Help!

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Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to this forum, and just got diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity on Friday...three days ago! Thanksgiving is coming and so is my mother and one of her friends. But instead of either one of us cooking, we're going to friend's sister's house for a Thanksgiving potluck at her 55-up neighborhood. (I'm underage) I don't know the status of the turkeys (stuffed/unstuffed). And with all sorts of people bringing all of the other dishes, I'll have no real way of knowing what's in everything. I need to stay strictly gluten free, but don't want to be a pain in the rear and ask everyone what they put in their potatoes.

Any help in how to deal with this meal would be much appreciated! I'm still learning how to adjust my diet and here we are in holiday time. Fun stuff!

Heather

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It's really pretty simple. You just bring your own food to eat. In a potluck situation, even things that should be safe, like carrot sticks, usually aren't. People will get crumbs on them or use the bread tongs to pick up and drop carrots. You can bring a dish to share, but take a portion for yourself before you put it on the table or before you leave your house.

Just because someone's mashed potatoes have no gluten ingredients, does not make them gluten free. For example, my mom would boil the potatoes in a pan she has used for pasta for 30 years. Then drain them in a colander that has been used for pasta. The pan might be OK but the colander can never really be free of pasta in every little hole. That pasta is now likely on the potatoes.

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Fix yourself a separate plate of food that is gluten free.

Fix a common dish to take along and share with others. Make this one gluten free, and you can put some of it on your own pre - packed plate, if you want.

If you're dipping out of your own communal shared dish at this thing, YOU GO FIRST and use a spoon you've brought along with you. Don't let anyone near the thing until you've gotten your serving. They WILL screw it up. I've taken a plate of homemade gluten free cookies to things, labeled "gluten free cookies, made with these ingredients" and the first thing somebody does is plop some regular cookies on the same plate, and some of these people in that group know that I have a food quirk.

Pack up both, go to potluck, eat your food. If anyone asks, (they will....) say, "oh, I have food allergies, and this way I don't have to worry about anything, and can enjoy myself." Yeah, technically you don't have a food allergy (or maybe you do, in addition to the gluten intolerance, but that's the shortest response anyone can use with the result being therefore they are going to be really cautious in offering you anything. If somebody tries to offer you a gluten free food, (they might....) say "thanks, but I have to read the label because I'm allergic to something that is commonly put in to gluten free foods, and I usually cook my own." Then, if they actually cough up the label, you can say "oh, dear, it has {fill in the blank} and I can't eat that, but thank you so much for thinking of me.

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I agree with the other posters here... But I'm sure at three days you are not 100 % gluten-free, you are truly just in the infant stage of learning about this disease...and I also would never tell anyone to cheat that just doesn't fly well with me.....but I also don't think you will die eating a thanksgiving gluten meal... ... in this early , infant stage.. I do applaud you for wanting to get started immediately to find better health....I think it is your choice....

I know many will disagree but we must be realistic... a day or two isn't honestly going to save your life in this situation...

Now, anyone who is on the gluten-free diet should NOT eat gluten on any holiday to loose all the hard work, health, energy, & money they have invested, just not worth it......

So if you can make & take your own gluten-free food wonderful but if you feel insecure or overwhelmed by the thought , go eat a bit & never , never return to gluten...

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Hi Heather!

When I'm not cooking myself, I bring a cooked Cornish Hen. It's my own personal Mini-Me Turkey. :P

You've gotten some great advise. It's hard to improve on. :)

And, the 55+ crowd could be a lot of fun too! :P

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Hi Heather!

When I'm not cooking myself, I bring a cooked Cornish Hen. It's my own personal Mini-Me Turkey. :P

You've gotten some great advise. It's hard to improve on. :)

And, the 55+ crowd could be a lot of fun too! :P

Thank you everyone! You are right, I am just in the infant stage of this new life, and have SO much to learn. I'm cleaning up my diet but I haven't cleaned my kitchen (of gluten) yet, for example. I probably will bring a little something for me and to share, and maybe something for dessert that agrees with me, since the pies are out. I LOVE the cornish hen idea. If I had more time, I would definitely do that.

We'll see how this goes...at least my mom gets it. She won't be the one telling me, "Oh, a little stuffing isn't so bad, is it?"

Healthy Happy Holidays,

Heather

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I've been doing this for five years now, and haven't had a single glutening incident at a holiday dinner. My plan is simple. I don't eat anything that obviously has wheat, or that looks complicated (too many ingredients I can't identify).

I eat turkey, ham, brisket, or any meats not fried or covered in gravy. Mashed potatos, corn, or other simple vegetable dishes that don't look risky. The desserts are always out.

I don't worry about anything having been cooked in potentially contaminated pots & pans at these get-togethers. If I was gonna worry about that, I'd never eat out again in my entire life. For that matter, all the plates and silverware could be contaminated. I keep separate cookware for myself at home, but do not believe eating food that might possibly have a microscopic amount of cross contamination due to cookware a few times a year is a significant problem.

best regards, lm

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It depends on how stuck you are on having traditional Thanksgiving foods. If you must have them, then maybe you can make them at home tomorrow for yourself and then bring your own plate of food with you.

As long as I get Thanksgiving food sometime during this week I'm okay so we had turkey, green beans with bacon and mashed potatoes with gravy last night. Tonight I'll make some sort of sweet potato dish.

I don't worry about the cross contamination of what pots they cook in. I've never gotten glutened that way and I'm pretty sensitive.

They have cooler food carrying bags now that look like a purse and I think they will keep hot food hot for you too. I've gotten them at Target and at Costco. Maybe you can run there tomorrow and get one.

If you don't care about traditional foods, then bring a gluten free pasta dish and some sort of fun salad that you like.

The main thing with potlucks is keep your food away from the rest of the group until you have served yourself. I bring my cute cooler and keep my food in it until I am done eating and I'm full. Then I put whatever is left over out for others to try.

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Make your own food and bring it with you (just a plate for you, not whole dishes).

When you get there, just say "I've recently been diagnosed with food intolerances. The best thing for me to do right now, until I figure out all the convoluted details, is to stick with stuff that I know is safe and won't make me sick." You do not need to offer any explanation beyond that if you don't want to, and using the "newness" of it all as an excuse is probably a pretty good idea.

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