When the word “allergy” comes up, one usually thinks of the local weathercasts when they report Dr. Jeffrey Adelglass‘s ragweed count vs. elm. And this time of year, that’s important as watery eyes, scratchy throats and sneezing are making life and looks miserable.
But what about allergies that can kill? What about allergies that can kill children? No, not the bee stings but rather the food allergies? Imagine the mother who serves up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that results in her child going into convulsions. Or a youngster trying something grownup like crawfish etouffee and being rushed to an emergency room.
Research is proving that more and more certain foods are as poisonous as arsenic with first signs appearing in childhood.
For instance, Rachael and Bob Dedman admit that they only became aware of the situation when their now- 10-year-old daughter Nancy suffered a severe reaction to peanuts and eggs. After a lot of research, they not only discovered that Children’s Medical Center annually treated more than 560 children with food allergies, but they provided CMC with the Food Allergy Center at Children’s Medical Center, a $2.35 million center dedicated to food allergies.
To support the research and treatment of food allergies among children, Alicia Wood is chairing “Celebrity Chef Luncheon.” And, no, there will be not lap dancing or food tossing. That season is way past.
Instead, if you’re a foodie, you’re going to immediately know that Alicia has arranged for a star chef with a good-old-gal personality to be the headliner — red-haired Ree Drummond, aka ”The Pioneer Woman.” She hails from Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband and four kids on their ranch. And, no, she doesn’t wear a bonnet and square dance. But she does have the kind of sense of humor and talent that has made her “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl” the #1 best-selling cookbook, not to mention a success for her 2011 memoir, “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels — A Love Story,” which debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller list for nonfiction hardcover.
Ree’s style is not exactly along the lines of Martha Stewart or Julia Childs. Here are a couple of her blog posts:
- BIG STEAK SALAD (Signature salad with sliced prime NY strip mesclung greens, caramelized pecans, stilton cheese, dried cherries, granny smith apples and grape tomatoes with balsamic dressing) — “There are few things I love more than a big green salad with sliced grilled steak on top. Whenever Marlboro Man and I land at this steakhouse or that, I’m always drawn to the steak salads on the menu because they’re the best of both worlds. Juicy medium rare steak. Girlie green salad. And usually, plenty of adornments ranging from freshly fried bits of peppered bacon to sauteed mushrooms to different kinds of grated cheese. I repeat: I love a good steak salad. I’ll take the dressing any old way, too. Blue cheese is a mainstay, and probably my first choice if all things were equal. But for this one, I went for more of a vinaigrette with just a little bit of sweetness.”
- BUTTERY ROSEMARY ROLLS — “I had some rolls like these in a restaurant once. Just after I placed an order for a ribeye steak and macaroni and cheese (excessive much?) the waiter brought a small iron skillet of bread to our table. They were warm, soft dinner rolls with the most delectable rosemary flavor and I couldn’t control myself. Within seconds, the rolls were gone and I was frantically scanning the restaurant for our waiter so I could request some more, which I eventually did. Three iron skillets of bread later, I was wishing I could cancel the steak and noodles. I’d eaten so many rolls, I smelled like rosemary for days. People kept stopping me, asking which Aveda product I was wearing.”
- POTS DE CREME (Rich chocolate topped with fresh whipped cream) — “Okay, first of all, here’s how you do NOT pronounce Pots de Creme: “Pawts deh Creem.” Here’s how you DO pronounce Pots de Creme: “Po de Krehm”, or, if you want to get really technical, “Po de k(insert phlegmy, back-of-the-throat crackly French sound) ehm”. Okay, now that we have that life-altering issue under control, let’s talk about this delightful dessert! Folks, I can’t begin to express to you how monumentally easy this Pots de Creme is to prepare, and how truly delicious it is. Short of sticking a spoon in a pint of Haagen Dazs and throwing it at my dinner guests, this is definitely the easiest dessert in my arsenal. Let’s make Pots de Creme! It’ll make ya feel reeeeeeal fancy-like.”
Ree will be bringing her wit and wisdom on food to Brook Hollow Golf Club on Thursday, November 1, for lunch to raise funds for the Food Allergy Center At Children’s Medical Center and the Food Allergy Initiatives.