Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nuts


Valentines Day

If you are one of the chosen then you are hosting your child's class Valentine's Day Class Party, this instead of getting your dirty swerve on in the late afternoon, like you really should be

In the old days, if you were in charge of bringing a snack to school you'd just fold nuts into some gluten, infuse it with dairy products, tint it with a little red dye, dust it with powdered sugar and call it a party. But no more. Because today if you do that, someone will die. And nothing says 'love' like inadvertently prompting anaphylaxis in your kid's classmate.

We parents follow the guidelines, all formed in the negative. No red juices, No wheat, No dairy. This child over here has a chocolate allergy, this one inflames at the sight of strawberries, that one hives with latex. But where are the helpful suggestions, the lists of what's left to be consumed in festive environs? Air-popped popcorn, dry, not because it wants to be, but because it's parched surface cannot bond with salt and simply shakes it loose like a dress on your wedding night. A little water to wash it down? Not if you're bringing it in plastic bottles.That's just wrong. Even I can see that 24 plastic bottles thrown to the Pacific Gyre is shameful, if quenching.  And no juice. Juice is now considered a junk food, and a delivery system for harmful dye and instant diabetes.

God help the bearer of Nuts, for you shall be called Murderer.

Here's what I miss: a brownie with walnuts. Banana bread, also with walnuts. Peanut butter and anything. Dry-roasted, salted, spiced, sugared, blanched, in shell or out, crumbled as a topping, folded into batter, sprinkled on cereal, in a muffin, in a cookie, raw, toasted and tossed, offered in a bowl - NUTS!

Long ago there was the bake sale where you could choose a nut-free option if you were one of the unfortunate ones. Now nuts are a dirty, besmirched food, relegated to secret pantry forays.  Take me out to the ballgame.  Not if you want a peanut in a shell. Now it's pretzels, even when you flying the friendly skies. Or worse, pita chips in tiny bags. I never thought I'd miss the airplane peanuts, wiping the salt from the corners of the bag with my licked wet finger.

Healthy snacks that a kid will eat and feel cheerful about?  Happy Valentines Day, you're each getting a handful of lentils and an Epipen.