Yes, that is “evil gluten” bread in the photo above. You may be wondering, why, on a declared gluten free blog, am I posting am image of gluteny bread???
As I’m sure many of you know (and if not feel free to check out my about page), my husband is gluten free. Through the years of sharing our lives together we have come to enjoy learning how to cook and try out several types of GF dishes, from easy naturally gluten free meals to more complicated baked goods, including my many failures in mastering GF puff pastry.
But me, personally? You may not have realized that I actually do not have any issues with gluten. My husband is the one with the intolerance/sensitivity. And we have developed a system of habits in our home that do allow us to be a mixed GF/gluten home without incident to my husband. I’m not a doctor and I’m not saying what we do should be practiced by everyone, and certainly we will re-evaluate when the baby arrives and we get a handle on her sensitivities (or hopefully lack thereof) – and certainly there are some situations where such a practice is not feasible and an entire residence must be GF for the health of those affected, but here’s a little explanation of what we do.
Why even have gluten in the home? It’s not because I feel gluten free ingredients are inferior. Far from it, as I hope you have gleaned from the enthusiasm I have tried to share for our GF creations on this blog. I love the variety and diversity that makes gluten free living so possible, accessible and enjoyable. There are only three gluteny products that I keep at home, and the main reason is simply cost. When I can eat bread at 1/10th of the price of my husband’s GF bread (which costs the equivalent of over $1.00 per slice), I cannot in my mind think it ok to take that away from him by eating his bread, which is often reserved for a special treat. I also have a package of granola that is oat based for myself, as well as my own gluteny pasta,which I may or may not use depending on what we are making. The reason for these things is purely cost. Certified GF oats (which my husband has no issues with) are a rare and precious pantry ingredient for us, usually brought over by friends from the U.S. So when I do make GF granola for him, I usually don’t use it myself because it is too precious.
This morning we made French toast. So to prevent contamination, I make his first, serve it to him, clean the kitchen, make mine, then clean the kitchen again.
I clean the kitchen a lot.
Cleaning glutened dishes requires copious amounts of scalding hot water and soap. Multiple times. And then a dishwasher cycle.
Living in a mixed GF/gluten household means being extremely careful about these things. I never ever ever bake with any gluten containing flours in our home. Never. Flour gets everywhere and can hang in the air for an extended length of time and to me that type of risk is too great. Other than the products I mentioned above, everything else I eat at home is GF, just like my husband. I even keep a special bread knife separated from everything else just for my “evil gluten bread”. I spoon some jam into a separate container and label it “evil gluten jam” which I use to spread on my “evil gluten” bread, so that there is no risk of double dipping and contaminating the whole jar. I keep a separate stick of butter just for gluten bread. And always, once a utensil has touched gluten, it is done and must be washed. I’m not saying our method is perfect, nor am I advocating that everyone should try these things, but it is what we do and through these things I can keep a kitchen safe for my husband.
Obviously, it is easiest for both of us to eat gluten free.
And 95% of the time, that is what we do. The world is full of beautiful gluten free food, and cooking from scratch as much as possible over the past few years has only shown my husband and I how rich and wonderful GF cuisine can be. If we were rich and could afford 1 CHF/slice of bread for everyone, it would be a different story. But we are not, so we do what we can to make it work for us, and things like his GF bread remain a treat for occasions and good friends coming for a special visit
If you live in a mixed GF/gluten home, how do you manage to keep things gluten free that need to be GF? I’m curious everyone’s experiences and methods – maybe we can all share and pick up some new great habits.
Also submitted to Gluten Free Wednesdays