Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A New Independence Day Tradition?

As I explained in yesterday's post, our 4th of July traditions center around the actual history behind the 4th of July.  However, we're not such history nerds that we don't add in some food and some fireworks.  But yesterday's food contained something new.

A few days ago, my son announced that he had decided that he was no longer allergic to dairy and eggs.  Now, he has been testing allergic to those things, along with many others, since he was a baby.  (It was really bad when he was young;  as I told someone recently, I made the frosting for his first birthday cake out of mashed sweet potato because he was allergic to dairy, corn, and soy--basically all the butter and butter alternatives available at the time.)   And ever since he was really young, he has been very good about not eating the things to which he is allergic, or complaining that he couldn't have ice cream or pizza or other things that his friends could eat.

However, in many cases, allergies change as part of all those physical developments in adolescent.  Sometimes, allergies get better or disappear altogether, although the opposite can also happen; in my case, my allergies got worse when I was about 12....come to think of it, when I was about my son's age.

We had noticed that my son's skin problems, which is where his food allergies seemed to have manifested themselves, had been doing much better recently, and discussed whether maybe he had outgrown his allergies.  But, unknown to me or my husband, my son had been doing some experimentation by eating some of the cheese we had for other family members, and sometime or other, cooking and eating an egg, which we keep for his father to fix omelettes for himself when we aren't around for a meal.  And he seemed to be doing OK after eating those foods.

So as part of our Independence Day celebration, we made something that there is not really a good dairy-free substitute for--a Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake.  We used the ingredients that he had traditionally been allergic to--real cream cheese and eggs, as opposed to soy cream cheese or tofu and Egg Replacer.

However, not throwing caution (or health) to the wind, we made ours with coconut milk and minimal sugar, and decorated the top with red and blue fruit in its natural state:

So we are waiting to see if any health problems occur after eating such formerly forbidden foods.  But I hope not, for my son's sake.  It would be wonderful if we can celebrate this holiday as a day where he declared his freedom from his dietary restrictions.  If so, we may make this dessert a new addition to our Independence Day observances.

Sometimes these physical changes that our middle schoolers are going through can bring about some positive changes.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that will be the case for our son.

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