Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thoughtful Gage

Last week when we were making out birthday party invitations Gage said he wanted to invite Matthew, a kid from his class, to his party. I told him that would be great. We know Matthew from Gage's Kindergarten class and he is a really nice boy. Gage was always concerned about him in Kindergarten, and now again in 2nd grade, because Matthew is allergic to milk. In Kindergarten each kid brings a snack for the day for the entire class, and rotate through the month. Since Matthew is allergic to milk, many times Gage would talk about how Matthew wasn't able to have the snack that day because it had milk in it. Matthew's Mom always sent a snack with him to have if this happened, so he wouldn't be without one. When it was Gage's turn for snack, he always wanted to make sure what he took didn't have milk in it so Matthew could eat it. How thoughtful! Now, in 2nd grade, everyone brings their own snacks. Gage commented to me the other day that he and Matthew are the only ones in his class that bring healthy snacks. Anyway, I told Gage that for his birthday we could make a snack for him to take for the whole class, which will be this Friday. My plan was to make the delicious, healthy, Pumpkin muffins that Kara gave me the recipe for. I made them last week for Emma's snack day for the entire class and they were really good. When I mentioned this Pumpkin muffin idea to Gage, he was all excited about it and then asked, "Does it have milk in it Mom?" I looked through the recipe and it calls for 1 cup of vanilla yogurt, so I told him that it did. He said he wanted to take something that Matthew could eat, so I told him I would see if I could substitute it with something else. (I'm no good with these kind of trivia questions, so I always refer these "cooking questions" to Emily.) Before I had a chance to get in touch with Emily, Matthew's Mom called me today to RSVP for Gage's party. She said Matthew was thrilled and was planning to come. She also said that she would send cake with him since he's allergic to milk. I told her about Gage wanting to make sure that what he had for a snack would work, and then told her I would make a cake that he could also eat. She was very nice and said I didn't have to do that, but I insisted because Gage really wants something Matthew can eat. Since I was making a box cake, I asked her if those contained milk, and she told me that typically the generic brand of boxed cake mixes don't contain milk and she told me how to read the label. I hadn't ever really noticed that at the bottom of the list of ingredients, it lists allergen information. I also asked her about the Pumpkin muffins and told her that it called for yogurt and asked her what I should use as a substitute for that. She suggested Soy yogurt. I didn't even know that existed, but I told her I was happy to use that instead so that Matthew could eat them. Anyway, I went to the little Dan's grocery store not far from our house and of course they did not have any and told me I needed to go to the north or south Dan's. I needed to run to Walmart anyway, so I thought I would run up north to Walmart and check there, then if they didn't have it I could stop at Dan's north on my way home. Walmart didn't have it. Or at least not that I could find, and then trying to find someone to help you in Walmart is pretty much useless. SO, I got what I needed there, then headed to Dan's north. They didn't have any in the dairy section, so when I asked the person working in the dairy dept. he sent me up to the front of the store where they keep their soy and organic products. I did find some soy yogurt, but no vanilla of course, which is what the recipe calls for. So, once again I had to ask for help and she had to go find someone else to help me, and it was the same person I had already talked to. He didn't know why there wasn't vanilla and then said he would look in the back. No vanilla soy yogurt. He asked if I wanted to special order some. No, I don't! I explained to him that I only needed it this once for a kid coming to my son's birthday party. I asked him where he thought I might find some and he said sometimes the south Dan's carries things they don't. UGH! As I leave Dan's, I'm getting frustrated that I can't find what I need, and decide to go to Central Market, since it was closer. No vanilla soy yogurt. They did have every other flavor; however. I again asked someone for help and he was actually very helpful. First of all he wanted to know if I wanted to special order some. UGH! I had to explain the story again. I figured since he was a younger guy, it would be useless to ask him what I should use to substitute for vanilla, but I did anyway. He was very helpful and suggested strawberry or peach. I decided to try strawberry, then later when I talked to Emily she said she would have chosen peach. OF COURSE!! I thought on my way home I should have gotten peach, but decided strawberry would have to do. I was already wore out on this whole situation. I was also thinking about how difficult this must be for Matthew's mom, to ALWAYS have this problem! I certainly take for granted the little things, like my children not having any allergies! I'm glad this whole scene played out the way it did, because it helps me to open my eyes a little and realize that I need to be thankful for what we have. So, now my plan is to make a batch of Pumpkin muffins with the strawberry flavored soy yogurt AND a batch with regular vanilla yogurt and compare them and see how much the strawberry soy yogurt alters the taste. I'm sure they will taste a little different because of the soy yogurt anyway, but I want to do a taste test. If the soy yogurt muffins don't turn out too great, I'll send the whole batch home with Matthew! :-) I also found a cake mix AND frosting that do not contain milk so I will be making 2 cakes as well. I was planning to make 2 anyway, because I never know when I might lose one to the sneaky canine that is just waiting for me to turn my back when there is cake on the counter!! If you can remember, I had a horrible time with that back in February, with Emma's birthday.
I hope I didn't bore you to death with my story, but that was my day, running around to 4 different grocery stores in search of a product I could not find.

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