Have you ever had a moment where you felt like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, standing outside the window and looking in at something you really, really wanted?
Or like Tiny Tim in Dickens’ Christmas Carol, watching someone feast when you were starving?
These are classic examples of being excluded from something that is hoped for with great longing. Literature, film, and theater are all filled with examples of people who desperately wanted to be part of something. And you, like me probably brushed against this experience at one time or another during your life. It is the aching sense of loneliness in the middle of a crowd, wishing you could participate when you really can’t. More recently, this sense of longing spread out, generalizing to longing for all of life’s experiences. Popularly this is the “fear of missing out” immortalized in #FOMO on social media.
At it’s core, this feeling is the reason why I eat allergy friendly.
Let me clarify for a second here. I eat allergy friendly so that others will not need to feel this feeling. I want no one at my table to sit down and be limited to one dish or one plate, watching as friends savor variety from other delicious offerings.
And I do this, because I strongly believe that the actions we take, whether or not we mean them to, communicate a great deal to the people we are around. By offering a friend a place around a table where all of the food is safe and non-contaminated, I communicate to them that I care deeply about their safety, comfort, and enjoyment. I communicate to the broader group that everyone is “normal” and the different dietary needs are part of our diversity as human beings, and deserve honoring. I also set the stage for equal and enjoyable conversation. Everyone can grab a second helping or set aside their plate when they become full. There is no awkward silence after posing to the entire table the question “isn’t this good?” Everyone will have tasted the food, and will contribute their opinion to the conversation. These actions also communicate on a broader scale.
When we take the time to work hard for a friend or loved one, we establish a precedent of relationships deserving effort and intention around the differences that make us unique and individual. This is essential in an increasingly global society. I repeat, the willingness to put time and effort into honoring relationships with people who are different than ourselves is essential. Food is one very mundane and very manageable place to start.
In the comments, share with us why you choose to eat allergy friendly. We can’t wait to hear from you!
- 2 lbs ripe tomatoes
- ½ C brown sugar
- 2 gloves garlic
- ½ a small yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ C apple cider vinegar
- ¼ water (not necessary)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground mustard
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- Peel tomatoes. Watch this video to learn how. Once peel, remove seeds and excess liquid.
- Cut tomatoes into small pieces, set aside
- Heat a sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add olive oil.
- Finely chop the onion, add to skillet. Cook until translucent
- Mince the garlic and add to onions
- Add sea salt, pepper,mustard, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar. Cook until brown sugar has melted
- Mix in the tomatoes.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, the tomatoes will start falling apart. Stir occasionally
- If the mixture gets too thick, add some of the water
- Once mixture is the consistency you like, remove from heat. With a hand blender, blend the mixture.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
- Enjoy alongside parsnip fries!