This is the second article in my series on Thanksgiving. This one will probably be the most controversial.
I have gluten in my house. I have medium-sized children and they are old enough to understand cross contamination rules. I was diagnosed when they were young and they have grown up with my celiac disease. They understand the cross contamination rules and know how to keep me safe. With that being said….
Unless you have very young children with celiac disease, I would allow gluten to be brought into my house for Thanksgiving and I think you should too.
Let me clarify and offer suggestions.
If you have very young children with celiac, do NOT allow gluten into your house. Things can go wrong quickly with this and I would not allow it. If gluten is in the house, some unsuspecting helpful relative might offer them a snack or something with gluten. They can grab something that isn’t gluten free and eat it before you are even aware of what has happened. Especially, if you are hosting this year, you are too busy to be the gluten police. It is too great a risk for them. I just wouldn’t do it. (If you are a guest somewhere, it is much easier to be the gluten police when not hosting.)
When certain precautions are taken, I think you can have gluten in your house and be safe.
Make sure the gluten items are in a separate area on the buffet from the gluten-free items. If serving family style, make sure the gluten free plates get made before everyone else eats.
Cleaning up is the hardest part. Here are my suggestions.
Make sure you use a table cloth on the table and buffet area. Why? All the gluten crumbs will be caught by the table cloth. Then the table cloth can get folded, go in the washing machine, and get cleaned without it bothering anything else.
All dishes that touched gluten or may have touched gluten go through the dishwasher. It might take a load or two to wash everything, but wash everything on the hottest, longest cycle. You could use plastic or paper if you were really concerned, but it isn’t necessary.
All gluten leftovers go home to where they came from. No gluten leftovers are left at your house.
After clean up, all sponges or dish cloths are replaced after Thanksgiving. That way if someone did something without your knowledge, a new one will solve that problem.
I know lots of people won’t like these ideas and think I’m crazy these ideas. For me, I get contaminated on occasion but for the most part, I don’t. I live safely but often people accuse me of not living safely. I don’t take risks. I know what I can eat and what I cannot. I have learned to be moderate and live to get along rather than planting my gluten free flag and demanding everyone comply with my gluten free diet.
Let me know what you think.