Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Food Allergies? Eggs-actly

Last night Phil and I both got home late. With two hungry boys in the house and about seven minutes before a low-blood sugar meltdown, I decided to try the lightning-fast Spaghetti Carbonara recipe in Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires, a book I'm currently reading and enjoying immensely.

The recipe's a snap, largely involving cooking noodles in one pot and frying up some bacon in another, then draining the cooked noodles and adding them to a couple of uncooked eggs. The hot noodles, stirred around in the eggs, cook the eggs safely, and then you add a couple other decadent ingredients like the bacon and some Parmesan, and dinner's ready. Voila. Ruth even says she hasn't met a kid who doesn't like Spaghetti Carbonara. Sold. We'll ignore for a moment the fact that Ruth Reichl is one of the country's leading food gurus and her son regularly enjoys dishes like sushi, a meal my kids would see as a punishment.

I've been very careful introducing foods to eczema-ridden, ear-tubed, asthma-suffering T. M just got over his own toddler milk and egg allergy fairly recently, so after four years of soy milk and egg substitutes, I'm probably more sensitized to the issue than many parents. And when I was young, I was the weird kid at the birthday party who could only have Jell-o because I couldn't eat the wheat or milk in the cake and ice cream. In short, I am intimately familiar with food allergies. But at T's second birthday I cautiously started introducing baked goods with egg, and he had no issues, so thought I had the All-Clear. What is it they say about pride and the fall?

Ruth was half right: While M wouldn't touch my offering, T -- who often subsists in 24-hour periods on little more than three pretzels and a sippy cup of milk -- couldn't get enough of the Spaghetti Carbonara. It was a little culinary miracle. I was still marveling about it when M and I headed out after dinner to get him a pair of flip-flops for the coming warm months.

When we got home, I learned of the drama that had ensued during the hour we'd been gone: a couple rounds of vomiting, a 30-minute hysterical fit in the bathtub, and coughing episodes requiring two breathing treatments. Drat. The only culprit seems to be the eggs, nature's perfect food. And they were even organic. So this puts a tremendous damper on the Savory Asparagus Bread Pudding I was planning to bring to an Easter egg hunt Saturday.

To rub a little salt in the wound, I've been ogling a book for six months, deciding whether I really needed it. Friday I took the plunge and ordered it. Last night, after T was finally cleared out of the poison and settled down to a fitful sleep, I opened an e-mail notice that the book's been shipped and should be here tomorrow. The book?


Anonymous Julia K. said...

That's scary! Lily has eczema, which is no fun, but we've never had to deal with serious food allergies like that. Poor kid. Had to laugh at the new cookbook you've got coming in the mail, though. What timing. Hope your family has a wonderful Easter, eggs and all! -Julie :-)

7:18 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I have read that kids eat up whatever they can't have. I hope he gets better and what a bummer. Can you use the substitutes?

10:14 AM  

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