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House guests with “needs!”

(76 Posts)
EllieB52 Tue 01-Oct-19 22:04:16

Hope you lovely people can give some advice. Early December we have my DH’s daughter, husband and three virtually adult children visiting for three nights from New Zealand. One of them is coeliac so their food has to be prepared and cooked separately (no cross contamination) and another is vegetarian. As carnivores we have no idea what to feed them. All suggestions welcome. I can see me being stuck in the kitchen for three days! Then I have my DS and DiL coming for Christmas which was arranged months ago. My stepson is now trying to invite himself and his two unruly children for the post Christmas period. My DH can’t see a problem but then he’ll be the one sitting on his backside while I cook, clean, get the bedding washed and ironed between visitors! I feel frazzled just thinking about it.

Bridgeit Tue 01-Oct-19 22:11:34

Get them to send you a list of what they do & don’t eat
Get your DH to get off his backside & present him with a list of jobs to do.
After that enjoy every minute , best wishes.

Chewbacca Tue 01-Oct-19 22:12:21

Ironing bedding??? Why? You could be one job less!

suziewoozie Tue 01-Oct-19 22:22:11

For three days the simplest thing would be to all eat vegetarian apart from the coeliac obvs. For that one I’d get some coeliac recipes that can be cooked in advance and frozen. I’m a carnivore but eat vegetarian at least once a week - there are loads of wonderful recipes - the internet is your friend

suziewoozie Tue 01-Oct-19 22:22:57

Oh and get a new DH whilst you’re about it

Farmor15 Tue 01-Oct-19 22:26:20

I sympathize- my OH loves having house full of guests but it’s mostly me that has to organise everything- though I don’t iron bedlinen😮.
To help cope with coeliac and vegetarian, you could look for recipes that would suit both eg based on chickpeas or beans, cook some dishes ahead and freeze.

suziewoozie Tue 01-Oct-19 22:26:30

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/gluten-free

Here’s a start - some yummy ideas here

agnurse Tue 01-Oct-19 23:27:18

People with celiac disease can still eat many foods that naturally are gluten-free. They can eat rice. They can eat potatoes. They can eat vegetables. They can eat meat.

You could try making vegetables with gluten-free pasta or even making "noodles" from zucchinis and related vegetables.

LondonGranny Tue 01-Oct-19 23:35:05

One thing about food for coeliacs. Beware of stuff you wouldn't consider as a problem ie stock cubes.

suziewoozie Tue 01-Oct-19 23:36:49

www.waitrose.com/ecom/shop/browse/groceries/health_free_from_and_specialist_eating/free_from/gluten_free/gluten_free_ready_meals_soup_and_pizza
Never mind all the cooking, just put your Waitrose order in and have time to spend with your guests

LondonGranny Tue 01-Oct-19 23:53:51

I'm a bit wary of shop-bought gluten-free food. The food standards agency are always putting out warnings when mistakes have occured. Big names too. Go to their website and subscribe to their emails.

Callistemon Wed 02-Oct-19 02:26:31

suzie coeliacs can eat vegetarian food - just nothing with gluten.
I'm sure that they will advise you Ellie and the coeliac may be pleased to find UK eateries/supermarkets are better than NZ with providing and labelling gluten-free food and keeping it separate.
(I speak from recent experience.)

suziewoozie Wed 02-Oct-19 06:03:34

Yes I know that but I thought it would be so restrictive that I made the suggestions I did. Bearing in mind LG’s comment I still think cooking in advance where you can completely be in control and then freezing would make the visit easier and then everyone else eating veggie

BlueBelle Wed 02-Oct-19 06:50:43

Cook in advance definitely
coeliac isn’t that difficult just buy the right stuff..... ask what she would like is the best way to get it right
vegetarian food is lovely I pt would be nice to all have it for three days It’s only three main meals
3 days is very brief
Ironing bedding? Forget it they have come to see you they aren’t on ‘Four in a bed ‘ examining every item in the room
Have fun and give husband some jobs to do they usually do stuff if asked just don’t automatically think
You are taking this way to seriously relax and enjoy take a leaf out your husbands book life’s too short

Grammaretto Wed 02-Oct-19 07:03:24

Can you go out for meals occasionally?
There would be shouting in our house if I was expected to cope alone.
Get those nearly adult AC to wade in.
I find NZ ers are very hands-on and capable.

I made pastry using gf flour by mistake recently and it tasted vile but I'm sure there are some delicious recipes to suit everyone.
I am vegetarian so that part would be easy for me.
Some sensible advice on here. I hope it goes well and you have a great time.
Come back and let us know how it goes!

Davidhs Wed 02-Oct-19 07:15:28

Vegetarian is easy, self explanatory, swot up on coeliac diets, I would ask for meal preferences as well, also your visitors are not helpless they can make their own breakfast and minor meals, just do it buffet style.
Don’t panic, you have plenty of time to prepare, make sure husband helps and enjoy Xmas.

GagaJo Wed 02-Oct-19 07:20:36

There are LOADS of coeliac alternatives available. Why not just do everything coeliac and veggie and for yourself and husband, just put a pork chop or a steak on the side?

My daughter and grandson (live with me) are veggie and it really isn't hard. Stews are a good place to start. As are salads. As for coeliacs, they can have potatoes and rice so meals with those as the carbohydrate are fine. Just no cornflour or flour in gravies etc. And check that your stock (cubes or whatever you use) is gluten free.

As someone above has said, make in advance and freeze so you're not cooking when they come.

If you need coeliac alternatives for stuff, you're clearly internet savvy, so rather than rushing round shops, order the alternatives (bread, pasta if needed, cakes, biscuits, stock cubes etc) online.

TerriBull Wed 02-Oct-19 07:49:19

I think you should encourage your husband out of his chair to lend a hand in the kitchen and with preparing the bedrooms. As others have said I don't think you should be too phased by the coeliac condition, my granddaughter was diagnosed with it a while ago and when she eats with us, often for a Sunday roast, it hasn't been a problem using gluten free flour for gravy thickening and have managed to make Yorkshire puddings with it. Other than buying special products for bread and pasta, she pretty much eats what everybody else does. My step daughter is vegetarian and again she's pretty adaptable, I do things for her such as vegetarian lasagna, or a vegetarian tart with roasted veg. although she has a penchant for Linda McCartney sausages and just tells me to get her some of those to eat with whatever vegetables we are having with the meal, she's always been easy in that respect.

Possibly you could get your guests involved in preparing some of their own food. "Coeliac" sounds a pretty scary word, but those with the condition can more or less eat everything except of course bread, cakes, cereals etc. which contain gluten. Supermarkets stock gluten free alternatives these days, although a word of warning, loaves of bread are tiny and expensive. Maybe you could email the family from NZ before they arrive to ask about their eating habits to have some things in before they arrive.

Hetty58 Wed 02-Oct-19 08:09:50

Cook frozen ready meals are good (I have them delivered) and there are vegetarian options. Freeze some gluten-free meals in advance too. Why not be vegetarian yourselves, too, for a few days? There are plenty of veggie and gluten-free products available in supermarkets now.

As for all the bed changing and washing, enlist the help of your husband. It's all so much easier with two people. I have a lot of guests so I have spare rolled duvets and pillows, stored in a wardrobe, already 'dressed' in their covers and cases. Bed making is just stripping the used linen, adding a clean sheet and putting them on. Ironing? Never!

Get yourself organised with main dishes, veg or salad, desserts and snacks. Get bed linen at the ready. Then enjoy yourself with your guests rather than working too much!

sodapop Wed 02-Oct-19 09:00:09

That seems like the best option EllieB52 for everyone to have vegetarian meals with some adaptation for a coeliac diet.
Have a straight talk with your husband and tell him which jobs you want him to do as its too much for one person. Let your guests help with chores and enjoy the visits.

Daisymae Wed 02-Oct-19 09:01:14

Firstly ask them for suggestions. Check out the free from aisle at the supermarket for basics. Book meals at restaurants, all have to list ingredients for allergens, all have veggie options, most have a vegan option too. Make it quite clear what help you need and keep DH busy. Give him a list. Re stepson, I would keep that to an overnight stay if you must. Then go away for New year!

Bubbe Wed 02-Oct-19 09:55:58

This combination of coeliac and vegetarian dietary needs happens in my extended family.

I resolve it all by having everything for all of us as gluten -free (ie no wheat) and loads of vegetables. Meat and veg is all absolutely fine for the coeliac, but if you want to provide sauces or gravy use the gluten -free flour. Shop bought sausages and burgers contain flour.

Its lunch, breakfasts and snacks that are more challenging. I find Schar products usually acceptable. Also the M&S range. If you want to create something using flour, Dove is my preferred go-to manufacturer.

You will I'm afraid be appalled at the cost of gluten-free foods.

midgey Wed 02-Oct-19 10:02:28

Some gluten free stuff is really horrid, Schar is quite good as it’s full of sugar! Cauldron Lincolnshire sausages are a favourite in my family veggie or not.

Missfoodlove Wed 02-Oct-19 10:03:55

Toast pockets are great for Coeliacs, it means their GF bread won’t get contaminated in the toaster with ordinary bread crumbs.
Re the bedding, why not send it to a laundry? just collect it all clean and pressed. It’s money well spent.

LondonGranny Wed 02-Oct-19 10:07:57

Something my MiL did towards the end of her life, when the idea of either guests or travelling to visit family filled her with dread, was to write to everyone explaining how difficult it was and enclosing a list of good local B&Bs.
It worked a treat.
We visited her more often too because when we stayed in the house and tried to help, it made her tetchy because she was very ingrained in the way she did things and also felt we were robbing her of her independence and 'interfering'. I totally understand that. I don't let guests help either. They put stuff away in the wrong cupboards etc. I do expect them to make their own beds though.