Sunday, December 26, 2010

An ode to a pistachio

There was once a time that I consumed pistachios, with all of their salty goodness, by the bowl full. Every so often I would encounter one with a closed shell. The one that said, "Oh, no! I do not belong to anyone. Move along. Not worth the trouble." And then I would. If anyone would would ask me what my favorite nut was I would say without hesitation, a pistachio.

That was, until I discovered that my daughter is dreadfully allergic to them. What once brought me so much joy is now giving me nightmares. If I were to eat one and then kiss her, she could die. Her allergy is "off the charts" according to her allergist. "We have never seen a person this allergic to pistachios." After we found this out, I threw out my stash. And have not eaten even one of them, since.

But I would be lying if I said that I do not miss them. A friend of mine and I were at one of my favorite restaurants recently and the featured special was a salad with heirloom tomatoes and pistachios. She ordered it. I wanted it. She offered me a bite. I refused. And gosh darn it, I have been craving it ever since.

I think about pistachios often. For a foodie, it is an ingredient that is almost impossible to resist. But I have to. I often think about folks in my position. Parents who love peanuts or almonds or dairy and can no longer "go there" for fear of endangering our little ones. This is a rough spot to be in.

There is an ice cream joint in Hollywood called Mashti Malone's. They are famous for their rosewater and pistachio ice cream. It is heavenly. Believe me, the temptation to pop in there is very strong. And I constantly pass the place as I head down La Brea, multiple times a day.

Maybe it is the Catholic in me. Sometimes a gal just needs to feel guilty. And suffer. I say this all, very tongue in cheek. But there is some truth to this yearning.

When I was looking up images to attach to this post, I stumbled upon the photo above. It seems that some woman in Ohio found what appears to be the image of Jesus on her pistachio. If you were to ask me, I would say that the face looks more like the weird preacher guy from "Poltergeist." (But I am sort of intrigued by the chipped red nail polish.) Anyway, she found this amazing and special nut on Christmas Eve, of all days.

Coincidence? I think not.

Yesterday, I happily celebrated the birth of Jesus with my family as we consumed massive amounts of "rich" and tragically unhealthy food. There were no pistachios. But it must be said that I am thrilled at the end of each day that we have made it through without visiting the ER. I am willing to do anything that keeps my daughter safe.

As she told me recently, "I love you, Mommy. You are my whole world!" Guess what, kid? You are my entire universe.


The Hultman's said...

I really, really, appreciate this post. My husband I were just talking about missing peanut butter and how we would NEVER risk even a taste for fear that our son would somehow come into contact with it. I HATE that I can't kiss my child if I eat eggs, wheat, peanuts, oats, or treenuts. I am not willing to give up the kisses so that means I am more than willing to give up the other stuff! Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Growing up we ate alot of nuts, especially at holiday time. Pistachios and almonds are my favorite. My daughter's pistachio allergy is severe. Her almond numbers are lower. I have eaten almonds on a rare occassion (not with her home ofcourse). However, pistachio is one that I cannot go near. I'm somewhat afraid of them now. Maybe one day if she outgrows all of this (my biggest wish).


Michelle said...

You are reminding me of the time my mom came to visit, opened my cupboards, and freaked out because I had a packet of sesame seeds on the shelf. I had no intention of the sesame seeds going anywhere near her, but she was pretty upset that I would eat sesame seeds even when she was hunreds of miles away.