Celiac Disease

You Can’t Please Everybody, or, That Time I Almost Poisoned a Dinner Guest


food allergy fuck upI had the pleasure of joining a group of ladies last weekend on a birthday trip out of town. I was the “new girl” which meant I wasn’t used to everyone’s stuff. Personal, medical, and food. Normally not an issue except for the fact that I was preparing dinner for the group first thing Friday night.

As I’m exploring on my side project, Bake Sales Are My Bitch, you can’t swing a cat without hitting someone with a food allergy/issue/whatnot. Of course I’m including myself in that cat swinging activity. Naturally when the call went out we had a fairly long list of food issues, well, for only 8 ladies. Again, I’m the celiac, and not blameless. And also super sympathetic, obvs. Still, the allergy to capsicum peppers was to be my Achilles heel.

I already have a friend who has a serious reaction to garlic and onion related foods, so it’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. But, unlike dairy, gluten, red meat and your basic veganism, I didn’t check my ingredients list as carefully as I should have when preparing the evening meal. Or rather, I didn’t check my head closely enough since there were no actual capsicum peppers on any menu I used, and I forgot that I love to throw red pepper flakes on things as a seasoning any chance I get. Doh.

So when I found this Tasty Yummies/Love and Lemons butternut squash risotto (also vegan using Earth Balance!) I knew I’d nailed the main dish for the party. NAILED IT. As seen above. The issue is, when I roast my butternut squash—which is exactly what I did, ignoring the first part of the recipe and adapting it as my own—I use olive oil, salt, black pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. It’s my go-to squash roasting situation. Sadly, I promptly forgot I’d done that when we sat down at the table to dine. Yep. I’m an asshole.

The tip off should have come when the guest in question asked if the red sauce surrounding the meatballs had red pepper flakes. I had no problem saying yes, as I made a side of meatballs that included pork, beef, red pepper flakes and were therefore off-limits to many guests. I thought of it as an “extra” and not a main dish and I announced it knowing not everyone would indulge. So, yes, red pepper flakes in the marinara sauce is totally a thing.

It wasn’t until the allergic bit into the risotto and asked, “Oh, hey, does this have red pepper flakes?” That I remembered. Oops. Yes. It did. It does.

Which is why when I’m working up my recipes for Bake Sales Are My Bitch, I’m going to add a “Well, That’s Random” category. And probably a, “Oops, I ‘effed up!” tag. It happens people. It happens. Even to the most vigilant, food issue obsessed of us. Mea culpa. And let this be a warning to us all. And never forget your EpiPen (which was not required that night, thank you Jesus).

What’s the weirdest food allergy you have/you have heard of?

10 thoughts on “You Can’t Please Everybody, or, That Time I Almost Poisoned a Dinner Guest

  1. Years ago when working as a nurse passing meds, a patient told me she was allergic to water and could only take her pills with juice!

  2. That’s a hard one because, as a celiac usually eating bland food, I add red pepper flakes to everything. My friend’s husband is allergic to sage. Definitely one of the weirdest that I’ve heard of and I, too, cannot eat onions or garlic. 🙂

  3. One of my best friends is allergic to green tea, certain legumes, soy, peanuts, and certain tree nuts. And not like, spending the night in the bathroom allergic, but take me to the hospital now allergic with green tea and peanuts. I have always found the green tea thing to be totally bizarre.

  4. I have a strong reaction to sulfur, but it’s all by concentration. The biggest thing is with eggs. I can’t have anything that has too high a concentration of eggs, like omelettes, quiche, scrambled eggs, or mayonnaise, but I can have egg nog, custard, and I use a lot of eggs in gluten free baking. Try explaining that to someone!

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