Special Needs


If you were born in the ’80s, chances are either you have some dietary restriction, or you have a close friend who does.  If you were born in the ’90s, dietary restrictions are the rule rather than the exception.

I exaggerate.  But not much.

Senior year of college, I lived in an on-campus apartment with three other people.  One was a life-long vegetarian (except for when she was vegan), one had all sorts of allergies (peanuts, uncooked soy, something about fruit… (skins?  uncooked? the wax on commercial fruit? it was never entirely clear)), and one was normal (but disliked onions, olives, and coffee).

And me?  I’m just Lactose Intolerant.  Lactose intolerance is common enough these days that when I tell most people that, they have a friend who just can’t eat ice cream, or can’t have more than 6 ounces a day, or takes a couple lactaid and is fine.  I’ve known people who just can’t have cow’s milk, people who drink lactaid milk and can then have whatever they want….  I’ve known people who claim to be lactose intolerant when they don’t want to eat what they’ve been given, but as soon as ice cream comes along, well, they can manage (or so they say).

I’m Lactose Intolerant.  I can have a teaspoonful of aged parmesan cheese every couple of days.  And that’s if I’m super careful, and am cooking for myself entirely.  That’s roughly equivalent to eating at restaurants, friend’s houses, and dining halls, and getting things with No Dairy.  Oh, except for the small amount of butter used to saute that..  and the splash of milk in the eggs…  People will remember these things belatedly.  So I tell people I can’t have Any Dairy At All, that way my system can often handle the small amounts that sneak in anyway.

At least my boyfriend is also lactose intolerant.  This means that we only buy soy milk, when we go out we can try each other’s food, it’s easier to make dinner.  Of course he doesn’t like any seafood, and he has a few other food sensativites (it’s gotten better recently, it’s wonderful).

This summer, we didn’t cook much.  The kitchen would regularly get into the upper 90s on the days we would cook, so we avoided it as much as possible.  I’m just now readjusting to cooking, and cooking for two lactards who still eat meat.  I keep forgetting all the meat based dishes that I can make regularly now, the pot pies and stews I didn’t make last year!  It’s very liberating.  Of course, it means I’m saving money since I still think about making tofu dishes instead.


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