Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Our house has been virtually wheat and gluten free for over a year now. I haven't had a bite of gluten since I learned of Baby Brother's wheat allergy via skin testing; that's what happens when you are nursing an allergic baby. Meals, snacks and and ingredients containing gluten made their departure from our kitchen rather quickly. Would anything containing gluten be able to stay? Crossing out family favorites and upcoming kitchen projects, such as the sourdough starter I had been looking forward to tackling, were more than agonizing for me. While I felt nostolgic and angry, I had to move on and make changes. I soon began baking the best gluten free, Thermomix foccacia every Sunday and almost suddenly stopped missing previous favorite breads. We all loved it, and Big Brother requested it for school lunch sandwiches. So no more worries, right?
Several months later Baby Brother and I learned that we both needed to avoid grains and potato in the same meal, specifically with a 4-6 hour window space between the two. So, gluten free foccacia on the back burner until I figure out how to swap the potato flour. In the meantime, I am back to preordering a loaf of sprouted whole wheat sourdough from our local Whole Foods as I used to prior to wheat allergy. But this time around, the bread would require strict allergy standards; crumbs would have to be carefully contained. I figured that as long as Big Brother were to eat the bread at school and out of the house, then the crumbs would remain elsewhere and not be a threat to Baby Brother's safety.
Can you picture all the careful attention that goes into being allergic? Should I dare throw another allergic whammy we experience at you? Remember, Big Brother is allergic to sesame, and like all allergies, there are safety issues at play. Basically, there is a whole process in order to get a safe loaf of bread for a sesame allergic child.
This is how I order it: I preorder the loaf from Whole Foods. I call them when I need a loaf and the bakery records on an order form that the bread is for a boy with a sesame allergy. This means that the bakery is to handle and store the bread properly and to not slice on the bread slicer . The goal is to reduce the risk of cross-contamination as much as possible. Does it make sense to you that it's better for me to slice the bread at home in order to avoid sesame seeds on the slicer even though wheat crumbs are a hazard as well?
This is how I slice and store it: After bringing the bread home, it sits until Baby Brother is tucked in at night. I need full concentration and elbow room to begin slicing and storing. Step one is making sure that I have a lot of counter space so that there is no risk of crumbs getting into places and things that affect Baby Brother. Once I have the proper space cleared, I place down on the counter a specific board used to cut this bread. I can now slice and freeze. After all of this, the counter is thoroughly washed. Then out comes the dust buster and I hope to not wake anyone with the noise.
I wrote this at 10:15 pm after going through this whole bread cutting process. Big Brother's lunch is in the fridge. He has a sandwich containing three of the foods his brother cannot touch: wheat bread, cheese and avocado. Sigh...