Lately, the issue of "nut-free" baking has been cropping up in my life. Specifically, people without nut allergies in their families who volunteer to do nut-free baking for my child, (for a party or dinner.) My daughter recently attended a party that featured two adorable summer cakes: a sand castle cake and a watermelon shaped cake. The mom who made them is a wonderful lady and she offered to make them "safe" for my daughter. But I told her not to worry--I'd bring a treat. I felt a little bad, but I know they have peanut butter in their house. So I skipped it.
I did an entire post on "nut-free baking for the non-allergic" awhile back and in theory, it can be done. But, deep down, do we, as "nut-free moms" trust other people to "get it?" I've been examining this idea and I'm sorry to say, I'm not sure that I do.
There are just so many variables. Do the bakers use peanut butter--is it in their house? Did the spoon they used to mix the batter previously touch peanut butter? Were the baking tins washed thoroughly enough to remove all traces of allergens? How about the oven? The cooking surfaces? The cutting boards, mixing bowls, etc. The other ingredients--did someone stick a knife in peanut butter and then a knife in the butter? And on and on it goes.
There's a scene in the episode of the PBS series "Arthur" where Binky Barnes had nut allergies. He has a nightmare about dealing with his food allergies and, when questioning the cafeteria lady (I forget her name) about a food, she says: "It was made with an egg from a chicken who once dreamed of a peanut." I sometimes feel like that's how I'm coming across, but I really feel like I have to be completely satisfied with how someone prepared something before my daughter can get a bite.
I personally feel squeamish when someone else bakes something that my daughter ends up eating--though she has done so, without incident, such as homemade (so good!) pumpkin pie during visits to my in-laws at Thanksgiving. VERY occasionally she'll have a piece of homemade birthday cake at a party of a close family friend who has been over all the details with me. But that's pretty rare.
What about all of you? Do you trust informed people to bake for your kids? Or just skip it all together? I'd love to hear your feelings on this.
BTW, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in my tag. It was fun!