Food allergies are terrible things!

No simile there; the only way you can describe a food that is so contrarian to be both delicious and food poisoning is “terrible”.

I love diary food. I was raised to love diary food – my mother was from Arkansas farmer stock and despite being relocated to a city in her teenage years & living in cities, she still defined herself as a Country Woman. In fact she would turn our small backyards into mini-farms with large gardens, chickens, rabbits, fruit trees. Man I hated those noisy chickens; they were always placed just on the other side of my bedroom wall. So – as you can assume – milk was always well-featured on our dining table. (My mother also believed in tonics – that’s a story for another time.) And – when my baby-sister was found to be allergic to cow’s milk –milking goats joined the Evans Homestead

I grew up in cities. I defined myself very much as a Californian. Formative years spent in the Bay Area – then teenage years in the behind-the-times “town” of City Of Salem. At the time – well, even now – Pacific NorthWest folk were not too accepting of Californian transplants. Any ethnicities coming? Sure – Come on in – Welcome Home! You’re from California? When is your visit ending? Can I pack your bags? With that attitude, my schoolmates were harsh. It did not help that puberty (so I thought) brought acne – not-too-ghastly-but-always-showing acne. My popularity was furthered not helped by the fact that I was sick just a little far too often.

Still – I loved milk. And cheese. And pudding. My sister was no longer diary intolerant and none was denied. I was the main cook at home and I was continuously pouring that white substance into my creations. By this time, I had been taught to cook well by all my three grandmothers – all originating from that Southern Breadbasket.

Fast forward many years to me being a young mom making homemade meals for a young son. There are many embarrassing disgusting parts of being a parent; most having to do with children’s elimination processes. My son was often constipated – not a fun happening for either of us.

Our turning point was one time, early adolescence, when my son got suddenly very sick. The doctor suggested immediately taking all diary out of his system. We did. Over the next short days he started feeling great! And no constipation …

Hmmm, I thought “My genetic material is allergic to milk; could I …”  I took diary out of my diet.

And my not-too blemished skin became blemish-free. It was December – I shed 10 pounds that month …during holiday feast season. That slight nausea I barely noticed anymore was gone.

However – the acne, the nausea, the bloating has now been replaced with The Craving.

It’s now many years later. The craving for diary has never gone away for either my son or I.  Occasionally we indulge. A half-gallon of milk, for cooking purposes, lasts us a month. We like discovering a new cheese once a month and schedule it for when the guaranteed cramps and milk sickness can leave us at home. The taste & texture is soooo worth the price. Cheese also gets crumbled on salads for holiday meals. It is the equivalent of a birthday cake in terms of rare treat. The bummer is it isn’t even the lactose we are allergic to – so lactaid products don’t help.

Yes – it’s a bit of masochism. But human – we can always find a way to justify doing what we love. My husband was allergic to watermelon; it would cause his throat to swell and close. It was also his favorite fruit. So I didn’t dare bring that irresistible taboo into the house.

I have a brother staying with me, recuperating from a serious accident. This is the brother that is a milk-addict; he goes through a gallon-plus of milk a day. So currently my fridge is filled with delicious poison – milk, chocolate milk, cheeses (damn, those bitches), creams. My freezer is hosting a 24 hour buffet of Oregon’s vanilla-bean ice cream.

Man, one way or another – giving in or resisting – this month is killing me!

I hope you’re better at resisting your demons than I am.

 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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