Bruises and a Fresh Fruit Tart

Arnica cream with a surprise ingredient: peanut oil

Our son is walking now, and his worst enemy is a tiled floor. During the last couple weeks, they’ve been battling it out. Unfortunately, the floor often wins. I try staying near him constantly to make sure his teetering body stays upright, but I’m not always fast enough. He’s sustained several large bruises on his tiny forehead, and every fall breaks my heart.

His evolving bruises—changing from purple to yellow and green—get a lot of attention when we’re out. Several mothers have recommended arnica cream to help clear them up. I hadn’t heard of this before, but arnica is an herb used in homeopathic remedies. Another fun fact about our newly adopted country—the Swiss are apparently fond of homeopathy.

So, I visited our local pharmacy and picked up my 19 CHF/$20 tube of Pommade à l’Arnica. When I got home, I checked the fine print to make sure the cream didn’t have any allergens—something I should have done at the store(!). I discovered it contains arnica in an “ointment base of hardened peanut oil.” Since we still haven’t done the skin test, but we have a blood test indicating a likely peanut allergy for our son, I had to forgo the miracle bruise cream. This serves as another important reminder that food allergies can have an impact that goes beyond mealtimes.

Allergy-Friendly Fruit Tart

On a completely different topic, I made a fresh fruit tart this morning with farmer’s market produce—fresh figs and apricots. It’s a vegan recipe from Princess in the Kitchen, which I adapted slightly. I added a little wheat flour to the crust and used wheat starch instead of cornstarch or custard powder. Also, I drizzled some honey cream over the fruit, which made it a little sweeter. My food-allergic son would hardly try it, but he hasn’t fully embraced fresh figs yet. I’ll have to make this again with some of his favorite fruits, like raspberries and blueberries.

I’m not vegan, but I love vegan baking recipes. Which reminds me… Don’t forget to mark your calendars for National Bundt Day on Wednesday, November 15, 2012. I usually make 3 bundt cakes to celebrate this glorious holiday. This year, I will be featuring all allergy-friendly cakes.


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