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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Conquered Kitchen (I hope*)

I finally have my kitchen ordered so that I am not getting cross contamination. I was struggling with getting gluten from unknown sources a great deal at the end of last year. The president of our local support group told me that sometimes you have to go back to square one. I thought, What does that mean? Is she saying I should throw everything away and start over? She knows how much gf stuff costs!

So, the contamination continued, as well as the pain. Finally, I did a complete reorganizing of the kitchen. My husband built cupboards in the corner of the room that are away from all others several years ago and they have always been my baking cupboard. With care, I completely emptied and sterilized them and they have become the storage area for gluten free stuff, including my own cooking utensils; such as, whips, slotted spoons, measuring cups and measuring spoons, electric mixer, my own Pampered Chef bar pan, etc. Since these items have places where gluten could cling unseen, I have decided to only use them for gluten-free baking. I also keep my gluten free dry goods in there. It is a tall cupboard and when I am cooking, I park a stool on the floor below them and stand on it to gather what I need (the cupboards, which go all the way to the 9 foot ceilings of this old house, are above a broom closet and I can only reach the lowest shelves).

I use the same pans and casserole dishes as everyone else, but I am meticulous about checking them out to be sure they are completely clean before I use them. A person can scrub and scrub and still leave little tiny bits of the last recipe on the sides of a dish (especially stainless steel pans). I run my fingers along the inside surfaces until I am content.

My favorite baking dishes to use are clear glass, as I can hold them up to the light and see if there are any stragglers. Today I was going to bake meatballs in a pan that I knew had been used for a gluten-death cake last and though it looked very clean, when I held it up to the light, I found several places to which I needed to apply my little green scrubber, dish soap and elbow grease.
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*As long as there is gluten in the house, the battle will continue to rage.

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