We have had lots of ‘fun’ over the years adapting recipes, substituting ingredients, testing, adjusting, tasting and re-adjusting until we hit a winning formula that we could all enjoy as a family and share with others as well. Almost all have been fantastically successful. With the exception of a few minor culinary disasters and a failed birthday cake! On that particular occasion a guest commented to never judge a book by its cover as the cake looked fantastic (a football field from memory) but unfortunately tasted more like a cardboard box!
Just like all parents of children with food allergies, we go to great lengths to ensure that the allergens are always avoided and that those around us are fully aware of the risks of cross-contamination.
In our families and like most families, food has always been central to life, whether getting together for a special celebration or simply sharing daily meals. Food offers inclusion, conversation, a sense of belonging and with older children, if you’re lucky, an insight into their lives. It is one of the ways in which we nurture and care for our children. While we went to great lengths to ensure our children always felt included, we were very careful not to impose their food restrictions on everyone else. Any gatherings involving food were initially very stressful as well-meaning friends and relatives would struggle with the fact the even the tiniest amount of offending food could result in a life-threatening reaction.
On another level, in our homes, our kitchens turned into ‘labs’ where we had to inspect and thoroughly check everything in order to avoid cross-contamination. Outside our homes, a simple trip to buy groceries would take hours as we had to scrutinize all the names and codes on each packaged item.
Although labeling of food products (and even non-food products!) is now more regulated, we still have to spend a great deal of time thoroughly checking every ingredient on every food label, every single time. As we are all aware, manufacturers do change recipes and revise processing methods which can result in cross-contamination.
Did your kitchens also turn into ‘testing labs’ for new recipes?
How do you find food labeling and ‘deciphering’ all the food names which sometimes sound more like codes?!?