Did you ever stop and think about how different foods go with different memories, emotions, and experiences?
Homemade waffles taste like a comfortable day. I’ve been eating them ever since Laura and Abby were on the same soccer team in Kindergarten, and Abby would come over for lunch every Saturday after their practices. It’s funny because I think I’ve eaten so many waffles with the two of them, and then so many waffles without them, over the years, that I don’t even think of Laura and Abby when I eat waffles. Waffles just make me feel at peace.
Whereas Ginger ale makes me want to cry. It tastes like watching some useless college sports game on television with somebody special, somebody who used to be crazy about me, but then disappeared from my life. Ginger ale tastes like having your heart broken.
And when I make dinner? Dinner tastes like That Egg-Free Life, because I know how to make approximately two things with eggs in them that are dinner foods — everything else is epic and egg-free. What I don’t think most people understand about allergy-aware cooking is that if you actually know how to cook, then it’s not about what ISN’T in your dinner. It’s about what IS. It’s about knowing how to cook the food that you like to eat.
Remember, I don’t have an egg allergy. Mark does. But because I spent most of my evenings cooking dinners with and for Mark, most of the truly delicious things I know how to make are free from eggs. Because I was eating all of those dinners too. And so were Ben and Arlene. So most of the things I cook for dinner are so legit that it wouldn’t occur to anyone to miss the eggs. Which was the entire point, when I was figuring out how to make them awesome back in the day, because Mark is a person with food allergies. The word “person” comes before “food allergies” for a reason. Those of us who live with food allergies want the exact same thing as all of you guys without any food allergies: something satisfying for dinner. Because we’re people, and we’re people who need to eat, so might as well eat something awesome.