Capturing my love of whole foods, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the center of my home.
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Top to bottom: grilled lemon miso scallops with spring veggies, vegan pea pesto stuffed portobello mushrooms with asparagus and microgreens, grilling scallops, making pea pesto, dehydrating cocoa coconut balls, steamed spiralized beet/carrot/sweet potato with veggie stock, vanilla glycerite in the making, one of the recipes I developed for the Winter Issue of TEND Magazine (deadline soon! eep! go go go!) , first batch of herbal tulsi hibiscus iced tea of the season.
The past week and a half have been a little rough here. My 11 year old has had repeated additional allergy testing (skin prick, oral test, and blood test) at the allergist plus an electrocardiogram on his heart at the children's hospital (it was fine - woot!). He will have additional testing in a few weeks. I know testing and medical stuff is hard for all kids, but particularly so for him. He has extreme sensory issues and really does not like changing our daily routine. At all. It is extra hard when he has not been feeling that great lately. Put that together with changing seasons, a dad with an intense work schedule, guests in town, and getting some work done on the house that was LOUD and had people in our space for a whole day...wow. That would be a lot for extroverted non-sensory types - and we are all pretty much introverted highly sensitive people here. I am always in awe of his humor and good naturedness while in the thick of it, even if the struggles later at home are epic. He is such an amazing kid and I am crazy about him.
One good thing from all of this additional testing is that we found out his tree nut allergies are gone. Poof! Zero skin, zero blood, zero on oral food allergy challenge. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc. Yep. I'm still terrified, funny enough. It makes me nervous to even type this here and tell you all. Knock on every type of wood imaginable. I observed him again closely at home after he ate some almond crackers. I can't help but think what if they are wrong? What if he has a reaction? I know some people outgrow certain allergies and not others and we don't yet know exactly why. He can't believe it either. For a boy who follows strict rules and guidelines for every single thing (he likes things to be *just so*), to change his eating habits is scary for him. He asks repeatedly are you SURE I can eat that? We feel like we are letting our guard down. I am afraid to even mention his peanut allergy. We think he might have outgrown that too. His tests were negative on blood and skin and the Doc tested and re-tested on his back after the blood tests were negative. Let's try again to be sure. Let's try one more time to be sure. We have to do a supervised oral allergy challenge to verify verify verify before we know 100% for sure, but he is scared, and I'm not in a rush to make him do it until he is comfortable. Of course this doesn't change a whole lot as his other allergies are still here and are still serious - he still cannot eat any gluten, and he is still severely allergic to all dairy and seemingly all red meat furred mammals (their meat, milk, and dander). We tested some additional animals and meats to see if it was ALL, and yes. Rabbits, pigs, cows, bison, rabbits, sheep, goats, horses, cats, dogs, mice. Yes, yes, yes. His levels were even higher for meat and dairy too, so we need to be extra diligent for all of those pesky hidden/undisclosed animal by-product ingredients and will still need our epi-pens and be on the lookout for severe reactions. But almonds, cashews, and pistachios? OH MY!
So with all of this our meals for the past 10 days have been green. A lot of peas and asparagus and microgreens and lettuce and eggs. Quick and simple. I have also been warily dusting off my almond and cashew cracker dehydrator recipes. It is a relief as well as stressful. If that makes any sense. I am afraid of making an error with our changes, and I am excited to be able to add another protein source into his diet (not to mention I have not eaten a single nut myself in ages). We have about 4 weeks before his next round of appointments, so he gets a break for a bit. Time to relax, work in the garden, get out of town to enjoy warmer weather, and make some cashew cream and almond crackers. Gulp! Anyone have a child that has outgrown nut allergies? How did you transition a child from STOP, that can kill you to HERE, have another bite?
And for those of you who have children with severe peanut and tree nut allergies. Breathe. Breathe again. I know that feeling. Every time I have read someone saying their child just got back from the allergist and outgrew their nut allergies and I thought - can it be? No way. Will that be us? BIG GIANT HUG to you and your wee one.
Now that my sub rambling is over. Ahem. Whew!! I can't wait to pour my iced tea and go visit all of the other blogs on this blog hop. Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Be sure to visit Heather at Beauty That Moves for a listing of all the links in the blog hop!
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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