Monday, June 21, 2010

Cooking for Kids with Allergies

Cooking for kids with allergies can be a challenge.  I sent my oldest son to Boy Scout Camp this week.  I was very nervous.  You see, we home school and honestly my kids are generally with me 24 hours, seven days a week.  That is the way I like it.  I know what they are doing and who they are doing it with.  My son loves scouting and he has aspirations to advance rank.  Looking back to Cub Scouts he has many wonderful and positive experiences with scouting...I question if we ever would have started.  Don't get me wrong.  Scouting has a lot of positive...but me letting my son go away for a week was not an easy decision.  It is only because I have known his leaders for years and I believe he is truly ready to fly.  He has also has aspirations, at 12, to be a minister or to work in missions.  I realized I can't clip his wings forever if I want him to fly with the Lord.  God really put me at ease with the decision.  I believe He will protect my son from harm.  His experience will be great. 
So after the shock of deciding he could go wore off I went into a whole other realm of panic...What will the camp do about his diet?  Drew has a dairy allergy.  He can have NO dairy.  We discovered this fact a little over a year ago after listening to a speaker, Diane Craft, at the Indianapolis Home school Convention.  I had gone to the session because she was speaking on ADD/ADHD and some dietary changes that could be made to help.  She mentioned that sometimes kids with "asthma"  sometimes simply have a dairy allergy.  She suggested we take him off ALL dairy for 6 weeks.  We did this.  About a week or two later we were amazed.  This is a kid who had used an inhaler since he was 4.  After we discovered the allergy I immediately became a label reader.  I had to dissect everything.  I had to quiz everyone when we were eating at someones house.  Wait staff found them in the kitchen asking questions to the chefs before we could order.  Favorite food recipes had to be changed.  How do I make pizza, cookies, and even casseroles without cheese, butter and milk?
I have had over a year to figured this out and now I had to brief the head of the kitchen at camp Maumee in about 15 minutes.  I must say she was a dream.  She sent me a menu.  She answered questions.  She read labels.  She even changed her recipes.  For things that were not easily changed I cooked them at home and sent them in disposable containers.  I started the process 3 weeks before camp started.  I spent the last two weeks researching recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts we hadn't already tried in the last year.  Then last week I started cooking and baking.  I made bread, waffles, apple crisp, brownies, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cookies, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, bread sticks, biscuits and gravy.  What an adventure.  My son was going to Boy Scout Camp and I had baking boot camp. 
Some may wonder why I didn't just have him skip the dishes he couldn't eat.  I wondered this myself from time to time.  Then I reminded myself of what the camping experience is all about.  It is about being part of a group.  Doing what the other guys do.  Eating what they eat.  When on a diet to loose weight I often feel deprived and I fail unless I treat myself from time to time.  I can't imagine being a kid with a food allergy and not being able to have my favorite foods and watching others eat them.  So, I do the best I can to figure out substitutes so he can have treats too.  I also imagine they It also provided him with comforts of home since he has never spent over a night away from home at one time. 
He thanked me before he went for all the trouble I was going to just to be sure he would have the same things to eat.  That was enough.  To be appreciated, to be thanked, and to be loved by a 12 year old boy.  Is there anything sweeter for a mother?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Company Came

I love having company.  I don't always love getting my house ready for company!  I tend to over stress about things.  Last night we hosted the committee members of my youngest son's cub Scout pack.  I made homemade pizza and bread sticks.  My daughter made a pan of her famous brownies.  After we ate and the meeting was over, the kids weren't ready to go home.  So, I kept them.  Four extra children, for a total of 7.  They were great.  They played together so well.  They stayed up late and slept in accordingly.  I made waffles!  They were awesome.  The kids scarfed them down.  I was excited because I used soy milk and no one noticed.  It was a relief because my oldest has a dairy allergy.  I froze the left overs and will be able to have a quick breakfast prepared for tomorrow or Friday.  We then had more guest.  A friend's power went off and she called to see if she and her boys could come over.  They did.  She brought over her partially cooked grilled cheeses...the power went off in the middle of cooking.  Her boys shared the left over pizza and bread sticks.  All the kids played in the puddles left from the morning rains.  I LOVE hosting company.  I love fellow shipping with close friends.  I LOVE having a home filled with children and laughter.  I LOVE being at home.  I am thrilled with SIMPLE DAZE!  I will post the recipe for waffles on my recipe for the day blog! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Fair Cometh!

     Well, remember how yesterday's post was all about taking it easy?  My, my how things change around here.  It all started when I looked at my calendar!  I realized something scary was coming my way...the 4-H fair...dunt, dunt, duh!  So guess what, oh yes, I went to full on panic mode!  So after the kids got their morning chores accomplished.  We were off to Grandma's to start the first of like 15 or 16 projects.  Why did we go to grandma's you say?  Well, because of course my daughter would pick 3 sewing projects...and ...ummm....I DON'T SEW!!! Praise you Lord, and I mean this sincerely, that my mother is a sewing goddess and my daughter seems to be a child prodigy!  Not really, she just cut the pattern out very well!  So we got project one started.  Project two was with my niece.  I had so much fun.  All my nieces are growing up fast and I don't get enough time with them.  She is in year 5 of many of you know what that means...THE DREADED YEAST ROLLS.  Well, we made cinnamon rolls, breadsticks, a loaf of bread, and dinner rolls.  She did great!  She enjoyed milling the wheat and working the dough.  Last but in no way least, I took my 12 year old son around the county to take pictures for photography.  He got some good shots.  I am too 4-H pooped to go on!!!!  I will update more tomorrow!  There will be more 4-Hing because...the FAIR COMETH