This is the second post in my Gluten-Free Diet Pantry and Kitchen Series. Click to read the previous post in my “How I Set Up My Gluten-Free Diet Pantry and Kitchen” series.
Just a reminder that for the next couple of months, in addition to my regular recipe posts, I will be featuring excerpts from my newest book “Eating & Living a Gluten-Free Diet… The Official Guide (2012 – 2013)” in some of my posts. It’s available from Amazon for $5.97 USD, or for FREE, by just signing up for the “Elegantly, Gluten-Free Connoisseurs’ Club” near the top of the left hand column on any page on this site. When you signup you will receive a .pdf copy of my book just as soon as you confirm your signup.
The next several free excerpts will be from a section devoted to helping you learn how to set up your gluten-free pantry and kitchen in a home with both gluten-free and gluten-y individuals…
… Welcome to my world! Here’s today’s excerpt:
Examples from My Experience
In my own kitchen I’ve seen how easy it is when the gluten-y and gluten-free breads are side-by-side to accidentally pick up a knife that has just cut regular bread and use it on the gluten-free bread.
I’ve also seen how easy it is to dip a gluten-y spoon or spatula into my gluten-free saucepan or bowl – just start me talking, and the brain no longer pays attention as well as it should!
Maybe I’ll notice that I made that mistake in time to keep from eating the contaminated food…or maybe I won’t. After it happens there’s no way to see that the contamination even happened…until I get sick later. Ugh! Who wants to experience that?!
Also, once a gluten-free food is contaminated, it needs to be eaten only by a person who isn’t gluten intolerant/sensitive. There may not be anyone else around who can or will eat it and you end up throwing the food away. Depending upon what you are making, that can be an extremely expensive discard.
Because of that very possibility, I’ve developed habits at home to help me keep mistakes from happening.
For instance, to avoid cross-contamination of ingredients as well as completed foods, I try to do everything gluten-y on the left side of my stove and on the counter space to its left. In the same fashion, I try to do everything gluten-free on the right side of my stove and on the counter space to its right.
I do the same kind of thing to keep the spoons and other cooking utensils and vessels straight while I’m cooking. Also, when I finish with a utensil or vessel I will always wash and rinse it well before I use it again. It’s a real bummer to get a pot or a utensil from the dirty dish pile which you think is from the gluten-free side of the stove and discover later as you are racing to the bathroom with a gluten reaction that you should have washed it instead of just rinsing it off.
After I had been doing this for a while it became second nature for me so I no longer had to think much about keeping the utensils, vessels and food straight.
Now I automatically reach for the spoon or pasta fork on the left side of the stove to stir the gluten-y pasta, and I reach for the one on the right side of the cooktop to stir my gluten-free pasta. I apply this principle to a lot of things that I do now.
Also, NEVER ask someone else to stir something on the stove. They will inevitably grab the utensil from the wrong side and contaminate the gluten-free food.
Generally food storage can be divided into what can be kept at room temperature and what has to be refrigerated. For simplicity’s sake, we can call the things that are kept at room temperature the pantry (or cabinets), and the refrigerated or frozen foods we’ll call the refrigerator. First I’ll talk about the pantry storage.
Pantry or Cabinets
If you have a mixed kitchen, probably the easiest way to manage gluten and gluten-free storage is to make some sort of separation where you store pantry items, even if it’s only on separate shelves. Since some kitchens have most of the storage in one area, like a pantry, and some have it divided between several cabinets, I’ll discuss them one at a time.
My Next Post
My next post will pick up from where I left off in Section 2 of my new book with my next topic in which I call “One Pantry with a Split Personality;” So, check back often to read my next post about how to setup your gluten-free pantry and kitchen.
Or, do it the easy way!
Just sign up to receive your personal .pdf copy of the “How I Set Up My Gluten-Free Pantry” excerpt from my new book in the upper left hand corner of any page on this site. One of the benefits of becoming a member of the completely, without charge “Elegantly, Gluten-Free Connoisseurs’ Club” (in addition to periodic free gifts) is that all of the Connoisseurs’ Club members are notified each time I post.