Monday, June 29, 2009

Food Allergy Snapshots

Sometimes I’m amazed at the places I go and things I do that make me think about life with food allergies. Here are a few snapshots of things that brought food allergies to mind in the last couple of weeks:

  • On the Metro in Washington D.C., as well as on TRAX here in Salt Lake, you’re not allowed to eat or drink anything. That’s a blessing for food-allergy sufferers – one less place to worry about getting spilled on or sitting in crumbs.
  • At a birthday party, the mom served Italian Ice from a new place in Layton called Zeppo’s – it’s milk-free, egg-free, and nut-free, and quite yummy!
  • Another friend called twice to check on ingredients for a birthday cake to make sure the two allergic boys there would be okay at that party. Don’t you love friends who care?
  • In the ultra-cheesy movie “The Game Plan” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (not my usual movie fare, but it was late and I was too lazy to find the remote), the big climax is when his newly discovered daughter suffers an anaphylactic reaction to nuts in a dessert that he fed her without remembering that she’d mentioned her nut allergy earlier in the movie.
  • At the Utah Arts Festival, a vendor was hawking free samples of those roasted almonds – and my son was nervous about standing at the art booths next to the vendor’s stand because the smell made him worry he might have a reaction. (He didn’t.)
  • Southwest Airline’s peanut policy makes me nuts. (Ha.) They hand them out to every passenger without even asking. I had to be quick to tell them not to give us any before they plopped them down on my tray. On a longer flight, they also offered other snacks as an additional treat, but nearly every one had a nut warning.
  • Hershey’s Dark Bark recipe makes great chocolate for making S’mores:
    1 (8-oz.) package of Hershey’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, broken into pieces (if you can’t find Hershey’s baking chocolate, substitute 3 T Hershey’s cocoa melted and blended with 1 T shortening or oil for every ounce of baking chocolate); 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp. shortening; 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract; 2 cups confectioners sugar.
    Grease 9x9-inch pan. Set aside. In medium bowl, microwave chocolate and shortening on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until mixture is melted and smooth when stirred. Add vanilla extract. Gradually stir in sugar. If mixture becomes too thick, knead with clean hands. Spread out in prepared pan. Cover tightly. Refrigerate until firm. Break into pieces. Store, well covered, in refrigerator.

What are some of the places and events that have made you think of food allergies this week?

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