jw615's Profile

Title Last Reply

Food storage Russian roulette: what's your riskiest food safety gamble that went okay?

I made a spinach lasagna. Used the leftover ricotta to make toasted sandwiches with ricotta, spinach, mozzarella, and red onion.

As I was making my last sandwich, I noticed that the ricotta had expired over 16 months before then. We had even moved to a new house in between that time - I somehow moved ridiculously old ricotta without noticing, and then used it without noticing either.

The lasagna and the sandwiches were delicious. I ate the last one, even after noticing the date, because at that point I figured that it didn't really make a difference.

Feb 26, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

On peanut allergies and peanut exposures and the joy of Bamba

Research has been tending to lean towards not delaying exposure for a while now. However, as someone with multiple food allergies, I worry that preventing a peanut allergy may just cause the allergic tendency to pop up with something else. Most of my allergens are not common ones (I can eat peanuts, and the only tree nut I avoid is walnut), but the things that I have to avoid will send me to the ER just as fast.

I'm expecting my first biological child in about three months. We're trying to figure out how we will safely expose the baby to the things that I'm allergic to without endangering me.

Feb 26, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

Only in America...

So, mildly funny story.

I didn't really learn to cook until I started dating my now husband. One weekend I decided that I would roast a chicken, and this was a big deal to me. (Sidenote: It was delicious.) However, I knew that there was supposed to be a bag of innards inside the chicken. I looked for that bag for probably five whole minutes. I was worried that somehow I had missed it. The whole time the chicken was cooking (and I slow roasted it), I was worried that the meal would be ruined when we cut into it and there was the bag that I couldn't find. Apparently not all chickens come with the insides - which was the case for this chicken.

Also, I'm pretty sure my grandpa would stab someone with a fork for any number of chicken gizzards.

Feb 11, 2015
jw615 in Food Media & News

I eat it my way

I eat chicken wings with a knife and a fork - I just really, really hate getting food on my hands.

Feb 10, 2015
jw615 in General Topics

Husband Coming from 3 months stay in China; What to cook .

Pizza was going to be my recommendation as well. I have a friend that lives in China, and one thing that she mentioned was that her kids think that it is a real treat when they have homemade pizza, because the cheese is so expensive.

Feb 10, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking
1

Would you buy your neighbors' home cooked food

Same here. I have severe food allergies, and I have messed up a few times, so why would I trust a stranger not to kill me accidentally.

And someone with the same dietary restrictions? Still no. First of all, with the foods that I'm allergic to, that's super unlikely, but that is not the point. But even within people with the same allergy or other restriction, there are greatly varying comfort zones - one person may be comfortable with a certain level of contamination, while another may not.

This is true even for myself. One of my allergies is soy. We keep soy products in our house, and I cook for my husband and step-daughter with them. This is a risk I feel ok with - I don't react to trace quantities of soy, and even if I do, I've never had a life threatening reaction to soy, just discomfort. Another of my allergies is apple. There are no apple products in our house at all, and barring a miraculous cure, I don't see there ever being any. The last time I was in contact with an apple product, I didn't even eat it, and I still got a ride in an ambulance.

When we moved into our first house (about a year and a half ago) my new neighbors brought us cookies. My husband did eat them, but I didn't touch them. Absolutely not going to pay for something that I don't know is safe to have in my home.

Feb 02, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking During A Storm

And if you don't open the freezer and it is reasonably full, things will stay frozen for a long time. We had a huge windstorm in the fall several years ago, and being that I was living in the middle of nowhere, I didn't get power back at my house for 5 days. Popsicles were still frozen in the original shape, so I didn't worry about anything in there.

However, if you live in the middle of nowhere, you may want to be extra careful about food safety until the power comes back on...because if you're on well water, you get to flush the toilet one time, and things could get ugly if a gastrointestinal illness strikes.

Jan 26, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking
1

Ad Takes Over Entire Page, Hijacks Chowhound

This just happened yet again - I was actually in the middle of reading through the page when it redirected.

I did not get a screenshot, but it is the same as before, and redirected from this link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1001556

Jan 12, 2015
jw615 in Site Talk

What are your home cooking goals for 2015?

I'd like to gain more experience making different types of Asian food. I don't do a whole lot of this at all, because I have a combination of food allergies that rules out a lot of it for me eating wise. But I made some an Indian dish, a Thai dish, and a Chinese dish when I was home visiting family, and it turns out that my step-daughter really liked them. I'd like to try to make one new dish a month for her, even though I'll have to make a separate dinner for her.

Other goal is to get my deep freezer organized and fill it with some freezer meals (lasagna, marinated meats, ingredients for soup that can be thrown in the crock pot) before new baby comes in May.

Jan 10, 2015
jw615 in Home Cooking

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

The theory on which this is based is that by eating the honey, you are exposing yourself to tiny amounts of pollen and building up a tolerance. Same general idea as allergy shots.

The problem with this is that the type of pollen in honey isn't the type of pollen that the vast majority of people with pollen allergies have issues with. The type of pollen that causes allergies is from plants that are pollinated by wind - that's why it causes issues, because there is so much in the air. The pollen in honey is from plants that are mechanically pollinated by bees or other insects - it doesn't really get airborne, so it doesn't cause people problems. It might work if honey had the right allergen in it, but it just doesn't.

Does make a great cough reliever though.

Jan 03, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food
1

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

I'm not saying it isn't possible. It is definitely possible. But it is a horrible idea, especially given the ridiculous rate of false positives in the absence of symptoms, and it is definitely not best medical practices. That doesn't mean that you can't do it - there are plenty of doctors that don't follow best medical practices.

Jan 03, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

That is what I generally say. But the forms don't have a place to put that, so they just put it in the allergy section. The next time I go back to the doctor, and they review everything with me, they will restate it as an allergy.

It's just not worth it to me to argue it at that point. I have a great understanding of how allergies work, but I am a frequent flyer at the doctor's office, and it just isn't worth it to explain every time.

Jan 02, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

I'm nastily allergic to a decent amount of foods and pregnant now - my allergists advice is not to change my diet at all. I probably won't be able to breastfeed because of meds, so the same allergist advised starting to introduce allergenic foods as soon as possible after future baby shows tolerance to a few less likely to be allergenic foods.

Jan 02, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food
1

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Agreed - I have a number of allergies, and would never think of asking at the last minute to change something. At family functions, I might ask ahead of time if the switch is simple so that something can be safe for me. (Common thing is to ask my MIL to make mashed potatoes with regular butter instead of the margarine she typically uses.) If the main dish is something that I totally can't have, I usually just ask if I can bring a side dish to share that I am willing to make a meal out of.

Plus, there is always 'emergency' food in my bag.

Jan 02, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

With the drug allergies, it doesn't help that usually docs don't have a way in their information systems to indicate a medication that you can't take but aren't truly allergic to. I've had allergic reactions to a few drugs, I'm quite intolerant of others, and there is one that they are just not sure about, but at this point, none of the allergists that I have seen have been willing to test it because of the severity of the reaction. Right now, all three of my main doctors have just told me to tell medical folks that I'm allergic to all of them, because the reactions are too severe to take any of them.

Jan 02, 2015
jw615 in Not About Food

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

As of last year, avoiding introducing foods for two years is no longer the recommendation from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. In fact, their studies found that waiting to introduce foods increased the incidence of developing allergies. They recommend introducing pretty much all of the major allergens one at a time, starting at around 6 months after an infant has tolerated several other less likely allergens. While you wouldn't want to feed whole nuts other things that could be choked on, they recommend peanut and nut butters spread thinly on toast and soft or pureed fish and other things be introduced before a year to reduce the risk of developing allergies.

I've been doing a lot of research into this recently, seeing as I'm pregnant and have life threatening food allergies myself - obviously I would like to reduce the chance that baby has any. From reading the studies and talking with my allergist, I'm convinced that introducing early is the right thing to do. The only thing left for us to figure out is how to logistically introduce things to future baby that I am contact sensitive to. (Because if the baby ate them and then spit up on me, that could mean ER, which is never fun.)

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

To answer the question - specific allergies have never been proven to be inherited. What is known to be inherited is a general tendency towards allergic disease. (Food allergy, environmental allergy, asthma, eczema.) If one or both of the parents have one or more of those conditions, the children will inherit the tendency to develop an allergic condition, but not necessarily the same one.

An example: My mother has environmental allergies and eczema, my father has environmental allergies. My brother had food allergies and eczema as a baby, and now has very mild asthma and environmental allergies. I've had severe asthma and environmental allergies since childhood and added food allergies and eczema in adulthood. My food allergies are completely different from the ones my brother had - there is no overlap at all.

One other thing to mention: Fish and shellfish allergies are actually very uncommon in infants and young children. For whatever reason, that particular allergy is typically (but not always) developed in adulthood. The most common allergens in infants and young children are milk and eggs.

Dec 25, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
1

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Without any symptoms of an allergy, a doctor who knows anything about food allergy will not do an allergy test. It's not considered good practices - while negatives on a skin food allergy test are almost always right, the rate of false positives is ridiculously high - some studies say 50% or more. This doesn't stop GPs or pediatricians from ordering them, but blood or skin allergy tests are really not something you should get from a regular doc.

I'm a member of a pretty active food allergy community - we get new folks all the time who have either no or vague symptoms, and were diagnosed based on an ill-informed doctor running a skin or blood test for allergies. I have a number of allergies to foods (of the severe type - I have injected myself before) and I have a ton of things show up positive on screens that I can eat with no reaction. I actually show up positive for shellfish and eat them with no problem - a false positive for shellfish is relatively common in people with a dust mite or cockroach allergy, which is a really common allergy.

Dec 25, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food

Dish poaching

Eh, there's almost always a person that pulls crazy or awkward shit at any social gathering.

At least you know in advance who it is going to be.

Dec 23, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
2

Our loves we will not admit

I think that for the vast majority of people, as long as they knew what to expect going in, they would be appreciative of 'comfort' food. Sometimes I want to make something more modern or fancy, but sometimes I just want my Mom's sausage gravy and biscuits, you know?

Dec 23, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Slow cooker 101 question

I have cooked akwardly shaped things that stuck up a little bit at first until they cooked down some - I covered the top with aluminum foil for a couple of hours until I could get the lid fully on. But there was still a significant amount of empty space in the pot, it was the shape that is the problem. If your pot is stuffed full, you will be much better off cutting or cooking in a larger pot in the oven.

Dec 20, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Unrefrigerated cheesecake safe to eat?

As long as it isn't ridiculously warm in your kitchen, it should be good to go. I tend to get in baking moods late at night, and with my eggless cheesecake recipe, it does best if it cools in the oven. I usually turn the oven off, crack it for about an hour, then close it and go to bed. I stick it in the refrigerator the next morning.

Dec 20, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

What did you/would you eat the morning of your wedding?

I just had a few crackers. We were eloping, and driving through an area that was sure to make me nauseous, so I didn't really want anything in my stomach. However, I also had just broken my foot three days before, so I needed something in there to keep the painkillers down.

It wasn't necessarily the ideal breakfast, but we have great memories. Totally would have bought a different dress if I had known that I was going to be on crutches.

Dec 20, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

Need help for Christmas menu

It seems like you have a lot of things that don't necessarily go together, but that are important to different people.

Are you going to be together for the whole day? Could you split things up into three meals so that everyone gets what they want but you don't get bogged down with a bunch of heavy foods all at one time? You could do the eggs for breakfast, a lunch of fish, a side and dessert, and then a smaller dinner of soup and some crusty bread.

Dec 19, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

TUMS at a dinner party?

The great thing about prematurely whipping out an epi-pen, is that is communicates that not only do I not trust you to feed me without killing me, but that I am also stupid enough to eat it anyway.

Dec 18, 2014
jw615 in Not About Food
2

Reluctance to buy online?

I know Illinois charges sales tax on food - it is at a lower rate than other items, but still taxed.

I buy a lot of food things that my Mom can't get in her area, and then bring them to her (in IL). She is always trying to add tax to the price to make sure that she is being fair.

Dec 16, 2014
jw615 in General Topics

How many days ahead can I make a soup with dairy?

I make soups (dairy based and not) ahead a lot of the time - that time frame should be fine. One thing that I do is always reheat dairy soups on the stove - they don't fare well for me in the microwave.

Dec 16, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

Reluctance to buy online?

For me, for cookware, I totally buy online. Not going to the local home goods store, it smells like a candle factory threw up.

As for ingredients, I generally will not buy online unless I absolutely cannot get it anywhere local. I have food allergies, and more than once have bought something and found that the ingredients statement that they provide online hasn't been complete, and I'm left with something useless.

We don't eat meat, they don't eat fish.....

I made some vegetarian tacos with a filling of roasted corn and zucchini and black beans, with sliced avocado about a month ago. Went over really well with my meat eating family.

Dec 15, 2014
jw615 in Home Cooking

ElC's Pete Peeves re: Resto Service

Garlic seeds?