Thanks to Katia Hetter and CNN.com for publishing "Don't Kill the Birthday Guest," an article on hosting allergy-friendly parties that draws on tips and experiences I discuss in Don't Kill the Birthday Girl as well as this list on hosting allergy-friendly parties for kids and this one on hosting allergy-friendly gatherings for adults. I love that Katia's last article for CNN.com was on the rising-star "bedtime" book Got the F**k to Sleep. (What author doesn't dream of creeping up the bestseller list before the book is even out?) Anyway, here is the opening of "Don't Kill the Birthday Guest":
The job of a children's birthday party host seems straightforward: Thomas the Tank Engine or princess theme? Traditional yellow cake with icing or ice cream cake? Jelly beans or arts and crafts in the gift bags?
To which we suggest a modern twist: Don't kill any of your guests.
For the gracious host, it's simply good etiquette. Sandra Beasley, author of the upcoming "Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales From an Allergic Life" (Crown Books, July 2011), had to refuse most childhood birthday cakes because they could have killed her.
She stood on the sidelines at her best friend's 10th pasta-making birthday party when she saw that the ingredients included eggs, which make her throat swell shut.
"One of the biggest misconceptions is that people with food allergies want the whole event to accommodate their allergies," Beasley said.
"We will martyr ourselves rather than eat anything. A lot of people don't consider how socially embarrassing it can be. When I get hives around my eyes, people think they've made me start to cry. It doesn't make for a fun picnic."You can read the complete article here.
In a related post on CNN's Eatocracy blog, I share the "Chocolate Love" recipe that made it possible for me to share in the cake experience at a friend's wedding despite my allergies to egg, dairy, and soy. This vegan recipe comes from Sticky Fingers Bakery, an amazing locally owned business here in DC. You can find them in Columbia Heights, around the corner from the plaza with jumping fountains. They catered my friend's wedding, and owner Doron Petersan (shown here) was super-helpful in sharing her recipe when CNN came calling; she even recalled the specific ceremony. You might know them from the season finale of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars--they won!