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bikerhaustx

Kitchen Space

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Hello! I'm a new member here and have 2 out of 4 of us with diagnosed gliadin reactivity. We haven't bothered with the more invasive tests because we've had such great results with eliminating gluten so far.

My question is how do you organize your kitchen space when you have to account for more gadgets and gizmos to do more cooking and baking at home? I don't have a small kitchen and a huge pantry but I've completely used up every inch of space in both between the extra ingredients I need to keep on hand and the extra appliances. We have a blossoming teen so it's important to have the "fun" foods that we used to be able to eat out at the ready. This means needing to stock things like waffle irons. lol I'm not complaining but would love some references on what the rest of you do to keep some order in your kitchens.

Sorry if this is repeating a topic that's already been covered - I'm new to this stuff and have tried to keep things as normal as possible for our non-target kid who's in the midst of teen angst.

Thanks for reading and for any input you can provide!

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Most pots and pans can still be shared - just make sure to really scrub a pot after regular pasta to make sure that ring of starch gets removed. If non-stick pans are in good shape they should be okay, but it's still good to designate one or two just for gluten-free foods. Definitely need separate colanders/strainers, because it's impossible to clean all of the gluten out. Don't use old cast iron because gluten will be stuck in it. You need separate sets of wooden spoons for gluten and gluten-free. I mark my gluten-free spoons with a black ring around the handle drawn on with a Sharpie, and keep them in separate crocks. You need to label things until people finally learn which items to use for which foods - bright red tape on the handle or something that won't get washed or burned off. I keep a scissors just for cutting open gluten-free packages and a separate can opener, because both of those can carry cross-contamination. Anything that can be completely washed by hand or in the dishwasher can be used for any food (glass, metal, ceramic). If something has too many nooks and crannies to clean completely, don't use it for gluten-free if it has been used for gluten (like my beautiful cookie molds, sigh).

Appliances: do you really need a waffle iron or can you make do with frozen Van's gluten-free waffles? You definitely need separate toasters. If you can make sure to clean it completely after each use, a mixer or blender can do for all foods.

Food: you need separate jars of anything that gets spread on bread: mayo, jelly, peanut butter, margarine, butter, etc. I got green stickers and wrote "gluten-free" on them, and red stickers that say "not gluten-free", and after labeling several pages of each have been using them on all duplicate foods for the past 7 years. Squeeze bottles (like ketchup) are fine to share if you can train everybody to NOT TOUCH THE FOOD when they use them.

I designated one drawer in the fridge and one shelf in the freezer to gluten-free foods for me and smacked anyone who went in them. :lol: . I got a big Rubbermaid container for keeping gluten-free goodies that I didn't want to share (MY Pirate Booty!) - out of sight, out of mind. I also keep the bags of various flours in there.

I don't have to feed gluten-free teenagers, so I may not need to have as much stuff on hand as you, but I hope this gives you an idea of what you need.

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We have no pantry at all. The few cabinets I have wouldn't hold all of the food anyway. We keep extra things in the garage so long as they are in cans and jars. I had to buy a large shelving unit for the dining room to hold extra food and some other things. We still have literally no counter space. I have to use the pull out cutting board and the top of the stove for preparing things.

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My kitchen looks like Noah's ark. Everything two by two, side by side. Instead of the monster round deep fryer my husband loved so much we bought two smaller rectangular ones that nestle nicely in a corner taking up less space than before. I keep almost buying a toaster, my husband says to get 2 when I do but instead I'm considering a 4 slice and just marking my half and his half. I have a separate shelf in the pantry for my specifically gluten free foods and a separate cupboard for my pots and pans and plastic/glass things like a sifter, measuring cups and storage containers.

We do have two separate waffle irons, I hijacked the new round Belgian one that flips over and those are honestly the most difficult thing to find space for. I decided we don't make waffles often enough to have them out and at the ready all of the time so they can hide in the pantry on a high shelf. If you enjoy making your own waffles, go for it. I can't imagine eating some "crap from a box" variety when I can have fresh toasty ones just the way I like them. (No offense to those of you who like the convenience but I have never liked boxed frozen waffles. Just ewwwwww!)

Our kitchen isn't really small, but it has quickly become crowded. Since some of the appliances and other things are the same style/brand for the gluten and gluten free ones I marked all of mine so everyone would know they are a gluten free appliance. So that it was something that wouldn't come off in regular washing or even in the dishwasher I broke out the bright pink nail polish. I marked things like the dial on the deep fryer and the handle of it's basket. When I finally find a toaster I like I'll mark near the ends of the slots that are mine. Some things I just use totally different brands. My MIL favors Glad or Ziploc plastic containers, so I buy Rubbermaid with red lids or Pyrex so they are obviously mine.

A lot of the snack and "fun" foods can be shared by everyone. Nachos and cheese? Check. Popcorn? Check. Cheetos? Double check! (Yeah, junk I shouldn't eat but they're so tasty and I wouldn't want to disappoint Chester.) I love the idea of stickers to mark things, just getting some cheap smileys or something you could maybe just put them on the gluten-free stuff so you know what you can grab quickly. I may be buying stickers today!

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One note about the shared snacks: I taught the kids to not stick their hands inside the bags (because they don't remember to wash them) but to pour out their portion so they don't comtaminate the rest. My paranoia keeps my guts safe.

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I actually bought a set of inexpensive shelves at Meijer. Five shelves, and I have it in my bedroom (really tiny apartment). You could put it in the laundry room if it's accessible from the kitchen or buy a kitchen cart and make it decorative by putting the big utensils in a couple crocks and use the drawers they came out of for additional storage.

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My kitchen looks like Noah's ark. Everything two by two, side by side. Instead of the monster round deep fryer my husband loved so much we bought two smaller rectangular ones that nestle nicely in a corner taking up less space than before. I keep almost buying a toaster, my husband says to get 2 when I do but instead I'm considering a 4 slice and just marking my half and his half. I have a separate shelf in the pantry for my specifically gluten free foods and a separate cupboard for my pots and pans and plastic/glass things like a sifter, measuring cups and storage containers.

We do have two separate waffle irons, I hijacked the new round Belgian one that flips over and those are honestly the most difficult thing to find space for. I decided we don't make waffles often enough to have them out and at the ready all of the time so they can hide in the pantry on a high shelf. If you enjoy making your own waffles, go for it. I can't imagine eating some "crap from a box" variety when I can have fresh toasty ones just the way I like them. (No offense to those of you who like the convenience but I have never liked boxed frozen waffles. Just ewwwwww!)

Our kitchen isn't really small, but it has quickly become crowded. Since some of the appliances and other things are the same style/brand for the gluten and gluten free ones I marked all of mine so everyone would know they are a gluten free appliance. So that it was something that wouldn't come off in regular washing or even in the dishwasher I broke out the bright pink nail polish. I marked things like the dial on the deep fryer and the handle of it's basket. When I finally find a toaster I like I'll mark near the ends of the slots that are mine. Some things I just use totally different brands. My MIL favors Glad or Ziploc plastic containers, so I buy Rubbermaid with red lids or Pyrex so they are obviously mine.

A lot of the snack and "fun" foods can be shared by everyone. Nachos and cheese? Check. Popcorn? Check. Cheetos? Double check! (Yeah, junk I shouldn't eat but they're so tasty and I wouldn't want to disappoint Chester.) I love the idea of stickers to mark things, just getting some cheap smileys or something you could maybe just put them on the gluten-free stuff so you know what you can grab quickly. I may be buying stickers today!

I bought some stickers from Ebay printed with my daughter's name. That way we knew the food was hers.

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. Having possible contaminants in the house isn't an issue - I've simply told our preteen that we only have gluten-free food in the house. He can have whatever else he wants when we're out but I won't stock it at home. It's too risky for my husband and daughter. Having 2 of everything isn't really an issue in that case. I'm just frustrated with running out of space. My kitchen is not small but the cabinet/counter space is insufficient for the "open" space that's in the middle. I may need to rearrange some things and see if I can go vertical to store some things on top of the cabinets. It won't be pretty but it'll have to be functional.

On the topic of cast iron, is it never possible to clean it thoroughly enough? I have a skillet that I just love, love, love, and would honestly cry if I had to get rid of it. We've been gluten-free since October so it's been a few months and both my targets don't seem to react when I cook with it... Really, I'm looking for reassurance that I can keep it. LOL

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