13 Mar No to contamination. A kitchen with and without gluten.
“In medio stat virtus (Virtue stands in the middle). In search of a possible equilibrium, without forcing anyone to something they don’t want to. I swear.”
No doubt we are in an era of extremes: black/white, good/bad, fast/slow, gluten-free/with gluten. Do we really have to make this type of choice? I’ve never believed it.
It’s true, there are certain things that need to be done. The kitchen space must be rearranged in a logical way, but we don’t have to build an isolated cell where we have to put those who are celiac or gluten-intolerant.
Why do we have to stop family members from eating what they want when all they need is a bit of collaboration?
The norm that regulates the contamination problem in restaurants is obviously very strict: separate storage spaces, oven and worktops. This is because operating methods and timing can’t allow for compromises.
The “house system” is based on collaboration, mutual attention so as to guarantee a happy home without any problems
and inspiring mutual respect in grandparents, children and friends. But, let’s go back to the original problem regarding organizing the house based on this double requirement.
As usual, you can find a lot of suggestions (more or less obvious) in Google searches. Here are a few that you can look for some ideas…
in which the author chooses the shared kitchen (I totally agree) while avoiding contamination
for those who are fans of experimenting and, like me, find themselves with tons of little bags of different types of flour and powders that need organizing
this article, like all the content of this American magazine, emphasises the gluten-free concept as a lifestyle.
I’ll try to give you some advice that comes from my experience and I dedicate it to those who, from one day to the next, have to face the contamination problem.
Everyone can tell you how they see it, their organization system in the kitchen, but nobody can be you.
There are super-organized people and untidy people, there are people who have huge pantries and people that have to do with a pair of big drawers.
The important thing is to use good sense. Then, in time, everything will seem natural.
The main ingredient for a home life without contamination is good sense.
- Do you remember what the force of gravity is? It makes it so that objects are naturally forced downward. Organize your pantry, cabinets or other spaces putting gluten-free products higher than the others. A simple, immediate and intelligent thing.
- Crumbs don’t walk. Create spaces dedicated to open packages of gluten-free products. A closed box inside the drawer and air-tight containers for biscuits will do. You will avoid contamination and keep the products fragrant longer.
- Colour and shape are your allies. And in our case, they become wellness and health. Use different colours and shapes to identify the utensils you want to use for gluten-free cooking. Go crazy. A purple colander, a fluo green ladle, a fuchsia lunch-box. The bright the colours, the stranger the shapes, the less confusion you’ll make.
- Plastic is preferable to metal or wood because wood is porous and can’t be washed well. Very true. Personally though, I will never substitute my beautiful wooden spoons for plastic ones. Therefore: I have preferred (and labelled) ones for different uses.
- I’ve always loved vases, small vases and containers. And since I’ve discovered I’m celiac, I have a good excuse to increase my collection. They help me keep things isolated, closed and fragrant. And if you get used to labelling them with their contents, the deed is done.
- Accurate cleaning of pots and pans is fundamental, be careful to avoid contamination deriving from residue. But don’t become obsessed: gluten is not a supernatural element capable of clinging to the sides of dishes. It simply washes away. Here’s what AIC (Italian Celiac Association) suggests with regards to this matter. If they say it, it has to be true.
- The oven is the most controversial topic: if I cook traditional lasagna, then can I bake a gluten-free tart? The general reference is expressed by AIC, therefore yes. But be careful of the usual things: clean pie plates, separate oven shelves and meticulous cleaning of the oven.
- For the sake of convenience, I have opted for two toasters, barbecue grills, wooden cutting boards and cake moulds. This because they are really difficult to clean well and I would probably have spent more for water and detergents. This way, I don’t have to think about it.
- Jam jars, honey and chocolate spread must be separated. This is the annoying part, one of those things that risk causing disappointment for your hosts who probably bought gluten-free products for your breakfast. If the jar isn’t sealed and a knife contaminated with glutinous crumbs has been dipped in the jar, it is off limits. At home, I have forced everyone to use very chic, single-portion bowls for their jam. You can also choose to keep a dedicated jar to be labelled with a nice sticker. You can even have fun with the kids: click on the link below and print the labels that you can customize with your name.