Tuesday, April 06, 2010

holiday wishes and food test results (belated)

The past few weeks have been a marathon. I got back from my visit to Atlantic City and hit the ground at a dead run. Ten hour days (minimum) for almost 12 days straight. Don't forget to throw in Passover and Easter! Now that I've cleared the finish line, I wanted to share my Passover experience with you.

We had a lovely Seder here on the first night of Passover, complete with matzo ball soup and potato kugel. I've never understood the Passover dessert spectacle (who the heck has room left in their stomach after the Seder, the soup, and the enormous meal?), and yet at every Passover I've ever attended, at the end of the evening everyone sits down to a table laden with Passover cakes, cookies, ice cream, syrup, fruit, and candy. For my non-Jewish readers, let me explain something key: nobody who sits down to this is actually happy about it. It's more of a ritual than it is a treat, and this is because of a well-kept Jewish secret: Passover desserts are AWFUL. The reason for the ice cream fixings on the table? TO DROWN THE CAKE/COOKIES. Anyone will tell you that it's the equivalent of eating a brick (or a sponge, depending on whether it was made fresh). It's just simply not edible, and it's overload on your stomach.
This year was my non-allergic in-laws first time joining us for Seder (thank you non-allergic sous chef Mom and Dad!), and while I wanted to cook traditional foods, I didn't want to have to sit and stomach the things I don't like, especially when it came time for dessert.
Selfish? You betcha. But hey, I'm the cook. Them's the breaks.

For dessert we had fruit salad, ice cream, and macaroons. See, I found the loophole. I introduced a traditional Jewish Passover dessert that actually tastes good! Unfortunately, trying to convince your guests that something is good that they don't(and won't - coconut allergy) see you eating is not usually an easy task. Fortunately, they trust me :), and the Seder was lovely and quite delicious, and the macaroons went over very well!

The other day I got to thinking, though I've known about my coconut allergy for almost eight years, I can remember stealing macaroons from the cookie jar during Passover when I was a child. I also have a few memories of sneaking the Mounds bars out of my Halloween stash (allergic mom is a big fan, and they seemed to always disappear). So, at some point in time, coconut and I got along.

How am I going to tie up this post, you ask? Well, the marathon is over, but I still have plenty of work to do. Ergo, I'm in the house for the next few days, and the macaroons are still here. I tried one yesterday, figuring that it was processed, and about an ounce, and if I got sick I was here and it wasn't a big deal. Except....I didn't get sick. I tried another one today, and no reaction again. Apparently I'm no longer allergic to coconut! I'm not sure that I was really missing anything, as this isn't an ingredient common to a lot of food that I eat, but it's sure nice to have something back on my food list.
So with that successful food test, I have logged in to wish you all a belated Happy Passover and Happy Easter. I hope this year is finding you well!
Your Allergic Diner