As the Purge continued, Gladys Knight’s song, Midnight Train to Georgia, came to mind. Long a favorite of mine, an abridged version of the chorus ear-wormed in my brain as I continued gluten sleuthing. As I picked up various wares to examine them closely,
Gladys’ voice rang out: I’ve got to go (for love), I’ve got to go (gonna board) I’ve got to go (the midnight train to go) hey I’ve got to go (for love), I’ve got to go (gonna board)*
With this anthem in my head and a second box by my side, I took to the cabinets. My research told me that there were things that simply had to go.
An article online titled, “Going Gluten-free: Replace these 12 Kitchen Tools Immediately” was particularly useful in helping me to strategize my quest. Additional items not noted in the article also made the list. I applied my newfound knowledge and used my senses of sight, touch, and common sense to identify what kitchenware had to go.
QUICK TIP if you are short on time: Look closely at your kitchenware. If you see a scratch in it, pitch it. Then, use your sense of touch. If you feel a crack groove or other textural imperfection, into the box it goes.
Nonstick and Cast Iron Cookware: The coating on nonstick can be somewhat porous and is susceptible to scratching. If you see any wear at all, get rid of it.
Cast Iron is porous as well. Your well-seasoned pan and grill grates are often gluten contaminated.
Colanders, Strainers and Sifters: Even with the dishwasher safe, stainless steel ones, you cannot guarantee the gluten is gone from those small holes. Think of all the pasta water that has passed through the holes. You can never GF that! It has to go!
Utensils and Spatulas: With all of our cooking and baking, we had quite a collection and some favorites among them. Yet when running my finger along the edges, I felt nicks and cracks. Their time in our kitchen was over. Be especially wary of any spatula that has been used in your food processor. That chopping blade nicked more spatulas than I care to admit. Check your pastry brushes. Any with natural bristles and even some with silicone bristles were destined for the trash.
Wooden Wares: The trusty wooden spoon that your mother used daily is a celiac nightmare! Porous & completely unsafe. Same for the rolling pins, salad servers & bowls. If you think “I only use the bowl for salad,” I have one word for you: croutons. Those little gluten cubes can compromise the bowl leaving traces of gluten. If the bowl has met croutons, it too must go!
Small Appliances: The toaster is the obvious one. And depending upon what you’ve made in it, the blender needs scrutiny. Our food processor bowl and its lid, the mini chopper, and the immersion blender were also offenders. Lastly, and this one can really hurt, the stand mixer. If you are extremely gluten sensitive, you may consider replacing your stand mixer. The cloud of dust that comes up when the mixer turns on, lands up in the housing, and can rain down in later use. Sad, but true.
Bakeware: As if the mixer wasn’t bad enough, bakeware, especially those with a nonstick coating were found to be unsafe. Examine the edges and you will see why. The rolled edges on a cake pan, springform pan, muffin tin, or loaf pan are impossible to truly clean even if they are not nonstick. Our bakeware collection was pretty extensive, so this one hurt.
Plastic Storage Containers: Whether these be the ones you use for your leftovers or used for pantry storage containers, they are porous and contain residual gluten, and if they have nicks or scratches, even worse! This may be obvious but any blistered or cut traps gluten.
Miscellaneous: The waffle iron, pizza stone, panini press, and silicone baking sheets also, sadly had to go as well.
There is a silver lining to this admittedly overwhelming process of GF-ing the home. At the conclusion of each step along the way, a lightness emerges as the accumulation of goods is sorted and space is regained!
At this point in the process, I shift my focus from Gladys to her Pips who offer an enthusiastic woo hoo! It had to go…it had to go…woo hoo!
* Source: LyricFind Songwriters: James D. Weatherly; Midnight Train to Georgia lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group