It makes sense to use Christmas to test out your tolerance in some way. Test what you really like as, if you are lucky and tolerate it, you will have a treat you really like even if you are careful about other foods. Or you can test one type of food chemical and see how much you can manage. For salicylates test some of the just beautiful fruit available. Mangoes and nectarines and watermelon are lower risk, then work up to other stone fruit and cherries, then Christmas cake and Christmas mince pies, maybe just having a bite. Remember the quality of the taste affects your tolerance, and remember there is often a build-up effect so you don’t get symptoms until after five or seven days eating the foods.
The important amine to test at Christmas is off-the-bone ham. It is often reported to produce bad crampy gut pain. For those who are very careful test just ripe bananas or really exquisite red paypaya. Make sure you cut it and remove the seeds and refrigerate it for a few hours for the amine smell to go away.
Testing MSG often happens accidentally when you have fish and chips while on holidays and forget to remind the staff that you want only plain salt on the chips.
Following is a pavlova recipe that works because it uses the volume of egg whites as the measure for calculating the amount of sugar, and the oven temperature measurement. Enjoy!
Number of serves: 16 Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
Flat oven tray (35cm x 40cm) Electric mixer
Large spatula Serving platter (35cm x 40cm)
200mL egg whites (approximately 6 eggs, separated)
400mL sugar (measure exactly double the volume of egg whites in a separate dry jug)
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
300mL cream for whipping
Tolerated fruit suitable for pavlova – e.g. 2 large bananas, 1 passionfruit, 1 mango, 6 strawberries
Turn oven on to 190°C. Line baking tray with baking paper.
Whip egg whites until soft peaks form.
Add half of the sugar slowly while whisking.
Add remainder of sugar and continue until stiff and smooth.
Reduce mixer speed and add cornflour and vinegar.
Spread to from a flat plateau on oven tray. Use a large spatula to smooth the surface.
Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 140°C.
Bake for one hour. Allow to cool in oven for up to 12 hours.
Remove from oven and invert onto a serving platter.
Peel away baking paper. Whip cream and cover entire pavlova.
Top with sliced fruit.
Notes: Egg whites may be frozen until required.
Egg yolks can be covered with a little water and frozen until required for other cooking.
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