26 January 2011

Shucking PEANUTS for Alexander's Big Day

I can barely believe it myself but in a few hours Alexander will get to EAT A PEANUT!  
Click here to see prior post regarding treatment delays

In preparation for this momentous occasion I was instructed to arrive for our weekly appointment at Dallas Allergy Immunology with my one whole peanut.
I asked "what kind of peanut?" Do I buy a jar of Planters roasted peanuts and use one of those peanuts?

If so, what size? Peanuts vary from small to jumbo sized. Of course the Planters option would have been way too easy. Unfortunately Planters peanut brand is cross contaminated with almonds. Alexander's blood test leads Dr. Wasserman to think my son may have an allergy to almonds therefore roasted peanut that is in a shell. That turned out to be quite an endeavor.

Last week I bought a bag of roasted peanuts in the shell.

I did not want them in the house but the garage was not an option due to the temperature. I placed the bag of peanuts in a gallon size freezer bag and then into 2 layers of plastic bags. I wanted to seal off the peanut fumes. I stashed the peanut package in the back of the closet where it loomed undetected for a week.

Tonight I shucked peanuts or is that called shelling peanuts? (I think corn gets shucked).
Either way I thought "what am I doing? I am endangering my child with the fumes alone."

I sequestered myself behind closed doors in the laundry room and removed the huge bag of peanuts from it's wrappings. I opened the bag of peanuts and the fumes were strong. In order to minimize peanut debris and peanut dust from escaping into the room I used a large plastic shopping bag and proceeded to shell the peanuts at the bottom of the bag. That proved difficult.

Carefully shelling at the very bottom of a large bag

It took a lot of shelling to result in only a few whole peanuts

Shelling was an challenge. It's not easy! The shells crack and send pieces of shell everywhere. Extracting a whole peanut intact has a success rate of 25%. Just when I thought "yes I got a whole peanut" it split in half.  And so does the next peanut and the next....Seriously!  I need Whole peanut.

It was actually quite comical. Picture a scene from the I Love Lucy Show.
The peanut dust is flying everywhere! My hands are covered in peanut dust. The dust had lodged itself under every fingernails. I should have worn gloves! I then creep out of the room to retrieve the plastic gloves from the kitchen, touching nothing along my path. Of course I find an empty glove box!

I am totally contaminated. Where is the lent roller when you need it?  I want to burn my clothes. I wore the wrong clothes for the project. Black corduroy pants and a black sweater which probably sucked up peanut dust. I have a broken wrist and I realize my black Velcro brace probably smells like essence of peanut.

I am a walking danger zone for my son.   Next time I'll wear a hazmat suit!  
There must be a better way.

Click here for Peanut Oral Immunotherapy FAQ'sVery informative.

Share your food allergies stories. Email your stories to salt.light.truth@gmail.com and 
I will post them on the blog. 
There is a world out there waiting for information, help or encouragement.

Here is my meager whole peanut "harvest"


JulieBeiersdorf said...

Steph-- it was nerve wracking to shell peanuts in our house. Peanuts = Danger.
At the same time my extreme measures at safety turned out quite comical. Imagine me in your hazmat suit.

Reynolfoliveros said...

what was that? can you check styrofoam peanuts? this is great! quite shocked somehow..