Good news for the freshly diagnosed celiac’s family

The strangest thing happened to me recently. I went to my Mom's place to celebrate her 60th. That wasn't too strange.

While I was there, I would help with meals.  As much as I love to let my hubby cook, helping out in the kitchen isn’t totally foreign either.

What was indeed very strange – by strange, I mean it set off big flashing red lights in my head – was that they were double-dippers.  And they didn’t – get this – use butter knives!!

Mom & I

Now, you have to realize that my Mom has always been big on table manners, and for special occasions, of course there were serving utensils for everything, even the butter.  But I’m used to our dual mode kitchen.  We keep everything separate.  We have ‘gluten butter’, and gluten-free butter.  We have ‘gluten jam’ and gluten-free jam.   And, if you’re using the gluten-free butter, there are certain things you just do not do! ‘Cause then we have to get out the masking tape and put a big “X” on the container thereby dubbing it, ‘gluten’.

It was a little panic-inducing for my carefully crafted wariness to be constantly assaulted.  What was even more concerning was that I might get used to it. And that would be far worse.  Because then I’d have to adjust again.  I’d have to focus on every single item I reached for in the fridge.  I’d have to think about what knife I was using.  I’d have to stop and be intentional!

You know what?  This is terribly good news for the freshly diagnosed family (a family member with celiac disease).  Here’s the fabulous news – it does get easier! In fact it gets so easy that it feels absolutely wrong to live any other way!  Being in a home where nothing was labeled, and the cautiousness wasn’t there, was just plain scary.

Happily I’m back at home where I belong.  I open my fridge doors and find welcoming masking tape “X”s on every other item.  And the sink is jammed full with once-used silverware.

Home sweet home.


About Cathy Tibbles

In 2007 Cathy's Hubby was diagnosed with celiac disease and Strawberries Are Gluten Free was born. The early days of SAGF are chock full of all the newly converted recipes. More recently the articles are trending to cool new products, events, local news and family tales.


  1. haha! this is great Cathy!! I can just picture it! Did you tell mom and laugh till you cried and mom had to bend over to protect herself? hahahahaha!

  2. haha! mom is so funny! sometimes her sense of humor completely alludes me and then other times we just laugh our heads off!!


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