Thursday, June 15, 2006

and the verdict is?

Anaphylactic to wheat. Moderate to barley. Allergic (to unknown degree) to rye and oats. Unless the test overstates the matter, which the bloodwork is often wont to do. Even so, the numbers I see indicate something, though we may not know exactly what the implications of that something are...

Sigh. When even the tests are hard to interpret, how do you know what you are really dealing with?

Came downstairs this morning and stared at the birdseed. It looked an awful lot like it had wheat. After preschool, took both boys to the pet store (and took all four EpiPen Jrs). Yup. Every brand of birdseed for parakeets has wheat, and some also have sesame and nuts. And peanuts. Sigh. Now what? Bought some millet and went home, where I called a couple of avian vets. Got the pet store to swear that they'd arrange a good adoption should we be, in the Mater's words, trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. (Or rather, a standard peg into a hole characterize by several standard deviations from the norm - did I get that right, jgfellow?) Vacuumed for 45 minutes, terrorizing the baby, and scrubbed the bird's cage. Tossed the birdseed down the garbage disposal, taking a certain dark pleasure in holding the switch to 'ON.'

I have moved past the stage where I holler things like "what the freaking hell" and "holy mother of god!" (yes, some Jews swear in Christian), and am now a bit numb. I have no idea how life works without the major grains. Even my allergy groups, replete as they are with other veteran mums, is now silent, awed by my sons' allergic range. They offer much empathy and few solutions. But I can tell you this: we've rented a carpet cleaner, and the carpet under our dining table is now soggy and has pretensions at cleanliness. Next up: the car, complete with pretzel fragments.
******************
Here's what worked this week:

from the Kitchen Garden, a non-waldorf salad, minus blue cheese and with apples, cauliflower, sunflower seeds and fresh thyme and lemon zest. Yum, said the grown-ups. No thank you, said the eldest.

from the Lactose-Free Family, a wild rice, green bean and canned salmon salad in a vinaigrette dressing. Made a huge quantity. Again, yum! said the grown-ups. Um, not so very much, thanks, said the kid.

from the Boston Parent's Paper, a soy-maple-ginger chicken. Hooray, said we all! Yippee, said the married-to-a-vegetarian, who'd escaped for the night.

My thanks to the Tuesday playgroup for being guinea pigs, and to the ever determined magid, who watched me incoherently eat sushi last night, reminded me of meatloaf, as well as raising the intriguing possibility of dessert-ish spring rolls. (With mango and apple and mint, I think. Possibly also lemon zest? pineapple?) I can only hope that the fog will lift onto a world whose rules I understand. But first, this week's painful attempt at making challah.

In the loosest sense of the word...
**********************

Think allergies are all gloom and doom? Try this for a giggle. I'm dying to get one!

9 comments:

magid said...

Still thinking about other things that still fit in the menu...

I hope this week's bread works.

mama o' the matrices said...

actually, it almost worked. If you accept the idea of bread that is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. I tried the "Almost-Pumpernickel" from the Gluten-Free Gourmet, and a mix called "Noah's Bread Mix" that I bought online.

The pumpernickel wasn't handled quite right in the baking, but we added sugar and nutmeg to the Noah's mix and baked it in a muffin pan. Very nice! EVen better was the last few cups of the stuff, which we poured into a loaf pan, with halved apricots/peaches on top. Yum.

Anonymous said...

can you eat Corn? I have a number of corn dishes that are pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Corn "lazagna":
Use corn totila (they only have corn meal in them), tomatoe product, salsa and beans. Layer them as you want and cook to death.

Polenta can be used instead of the totilas.

Melinda said...

Man, that sounds like a drag. I'm no chef, so unfortunately I don't have any great recipes to offer up, but I'm sending hopes that the diet change isn't too much of a hassle.

mama o' the matrices said...

Thanks, melinda! I think we're getting there. And boy, will we be international eaters by the time we're done...

mama o' the matrices said...

Hey, Anon, we *can* eat corn! And I've walked past the tortillas and wondered...I worry about cross-contamination issues from wheat with commercially made tortillas, but if I could figure out how to make my own, that lasagne idea sounds good. Or, as you say, polenta. Hmm.

Food (okay, small pun indended) for thought! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Have you also thought about a low carb cookbook? Especially focusing on Phase I of either Atkins or South Beach? A lot of the allergic stuff is out in Phase I, such as wheat, pumpkin, butternut squash. South Beach allows chick peas, but you don't have to eat them. Very few recipes have nuts. Dairy might be trickier, but is still avoidable South Beach in particular is really focused on lean meats and lots of veggies.

mama o' the matrices said...

Actually, that's not a bad idea. Hm. We went straight to asian and vegan food, with a short break to plod around in Indian food. But low-carb is essentially what we're eating, anyway (with a side of potatoes)...

Thanks, Anon! Appreciate the nudge.