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To serve the cake I want

(44 Posts)
Sundayspilot Tue 04-Apr-17 17:26:08

I'll start with a bit of history to avoid a drip feed. A large number of people in my family have serious food allergies. I have a milder one myself. My mother has had a life threatening food allergy for the past 25 years. I am not unaware or unfeeling towards the numerous issues and health concerns of those with serious allergies.

I have three teenaged cousins, all with serious peanut allergies. All three carry Epi-pens. Two of these cousins have been raised to be sensible young women who view their allergies as a fact of life. They see it as something to be aware of, but not afraid. The third, a young man, has been taught that the world is a scary place full of toxins waiting to kill him. At our last family BBQ he was not allowed to eat anything. He drank water provided by his mother.

I am planning my son's first birthday party. Funds are a bit tight as I have been on maternity leave for a year. I had planned to bake a vanilla cake with raspberry jam. I am an avid home baker and home canner. There would be no nuts in the cake or jam. I maintain a tidy kitchen and clean all my baking materials after each use. I do have a sealed jar of peanut butter in the home, but it would be nowhere near any of the ingredients or tools. This is more than sufficient for the two girls, who have been happy to eat at my house before.

My concern is with my male cousin. I am not sure that he will feel confident, or even be allowed, to eat this cake. I had initially planned to go ahead as planned, but a part of me feels like a bad hostess serving something that I know a guest won't have.

There is a nut free bakery in town, but they are very expensive and out of my price range. Also, my mother bought cupcakes from there last year and my cousin still wasn't allowed any. This is a reputable bakery with a huge following so we have no reason to doubt their nut free status.

Is it wrong to serve my own cake, knowing he will be left out, or should I order the expensive cake, with a high likelihood that it won't be deemed "good enough" anyway?

WonkoTheSane42 Tue 04-Apr-17 17:28:43

Make your own cake.

Softkitty2 Tue 04-Apr-17 17:32:10

You try to accomodate as much as you can.. You have to draw a line somewhere

RedDogsBeg Tue 04-Apr-17 17:33:08

Stick with your own cake, you know how to ensure no cross contamination as you already do it. As you said at the end of your post no matter what you do it will be deemed unacceptable so stop trying to square an impossible circle.

5foot5 Tue 04-Apr-17 17:33:11

Well given that he will probably not be allowed to eat anything that you serve anyway I would say go ahead and server what you like

MitzyLeFrouf Tue 04-Apr-17 17:33:34

I was going to say you could buy a nut free bun or slice from the specialist bakery for him to have while everyone else has the homemade cake. But if he's not even allowed eat from the nut free bakery it seems a bit pointless. Definitely make your own cake for everyone else though.

DesignedForLife Tue 04-Apr-17 17:36:09

Sounds like he wouldn't be allowed to eat it anyway. Bake your own cake.

PosiePootlePerkins Tue 04-Apr-17 17:37:20

Bake your cake and suggest he might like to bring his own.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 04-Apr-17 17:38:35

Tell him/his mother what the circumstances around making the cake are and let them decide and bring their own if they want to. I can't eat gluten. Having glutened myself because I also use flour in the kitchen I have practically given up on baking for myself because it's not worth the risk. Most other people who don't eat gluten probably could eat one of my gluten free creations because it is always in a clean kitchen with clean utensils but I can't so I opt to eat out of a packet. Not as fun or yummy but safer. Don't get something just for him though. It's not necessarily to do with seeing the world as a scary place (although it might be), it could just be he is on a different place on the spectrum.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 04-Apr-17 17:40:56

Definitely make your own though.

WorraLiberty Tue 04-Apr-17 17:41:01

Is he really going to care, do you think?

SparklyUnicornPoo Tue 04-Apr-17 17:42:30

If he's not allowed to eat cupcakes from the well known nut free bakery he probably won't be allowed a big cake from there either so just go with your own cake, you are making it nut free enough for the other two so everyone will know you have made the effort to cater for their allergies.

Would he maybe eat it if he saw one of the other cousins with epi pens eating it first?

Nocabbageinmyeye Tue 04-Apr-17 17:43:42

I think you are over thinking it, are you sure they will even be there? Not sure I know many teenagers that would want to go to their cousins child's first birthday to be honest. Just bake whatever your son will like

wonderingagain21 Tue 04-Apr-17 17:47:31

If you have a sainsbury's locally they sell a boxed tray bake cake for £3-4 covering in buttercream & sprinkles that is completely nut free. It is covered in nut free labels. I would buy it & leave it in the box totally unopened & let the super cautious mum decide. Then make the cake you were planning to make for everyone else. It's hard but as a parent of a highly allergic child it is often safer for them to just eat nothing even if risks offending the hosts.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 04-Apr-17 17:49:04

Make your own, tell him/his mother what you've done to ensure it's nut free, they can make their own decision

HelenaGWells Tue 04-Apr-17 17:56:09

Bake your own cake. It's his choice.

zeeboo Tue 04-Apr-17 18:07:15

Most people with severe nut allergies wouldn't dare eat a cake made with flour from a mill that may have ground nuts, packaged in a factory where nuts are likely to be processed so I think he and his mother would be totally right to not let him have a slice. My friend buys her flour from a local nut free certified mill and bakes her own bread.
If it were me, I'd buy a nut free cake from Sainsbury's and M&S who are the best shops for their allergen info and tell him you know he can't have the home made one, so you've bought this. That would be the easiest and most thoughtful.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:09:52

How old is the male cousin?

dancinfeet Tue 04-Apr-17 18:11:57

As the parent of a severely peanut allergic / epipen carrying daughter I would suggest that you serve the cake that you want to. You haven't been unreasonable and suggested a Snickers cake with peanut butter frosting and nut sprinkles knowing that someone is allergic! My daughter is trace allergic to peanuts (as in, even being in the same room as a peanut can cause an extreme reaction) but I think that your female cousins have the right idea and approach to their allergy. I would never expect someone to purposely buy from a nut free bakery at huge expense to themselves on my daughter's behalf. Don't put yourself out for the boy if his mum won't let him eat anything. I do understand her fears for her son, it is terrifying watching your child have a severe allergic reaction but it is her job to provide an alternative, not yours.

How about asking his mum to bring him a box of what she considers 'safe' food/ cakes so that he is still participating in the party but she gets to wrap him in cotton wool the way she wants to? I know it goes against the usual norm of good manners to bring your own food to a party, but if it would help to keep the peace / keep everyone happy? I have never done this with my daughter btw, but I know other parents with highly allergic children who have.

PinkHeart59156816 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:15:51

It's a 1 year olds party is male cousin really going to be upset and sob in the corner of he can't eat the cake? How old is this man?

Personally I would bake the cake I wanted in my nut free kitchen and he can eat it or not. Or he can bring his own cake.
If the nut free bakery near you does individual cupcake just buy 1 and he can have that? If he isn't allowed to eat it you can always eat it as hard as it would be to eat cake

I am all for making allowances for people with allergies but this sounds daft, I mean only allowed water at a BBQ his mother allowed him to not eat 1 thing all she will achieve is frightening him about this allergy

ovenchips Tue 04-Apr-17 18:23:15

From the info you've given (ie that he won't be allowed a cake from your nut-free kitchen or a cake from the nut-free bakery) I don't think there's even a dilemma to be had.

Make your cake and he (or his mum) can make his (her) choice. If the mum brings all his food that is entirely up to them.

Enjoy the birthday party. I really fancy a slice of your home made cake now!

chipsandpeas Tue 04-Apr-17 18:24:08

if he declines not to attend based on a home made cake dont take it personally he maybe doesnt want to go to a 1yr olds birthday party so this is an excuse

Sundayspilot Tue 04-Apr-17 18:30:28

Wow! Amazed at all the responses. Just popped out to check the labels on my ingredients. They are supposed to be from a nut free mill.

blush embarrassed to have done the math. Young man is in his early 20's. Now I feel really old!

I guess my problem is being a people pleaser in a dramatic family. My son is very ill and I so badly want his party to be "perfect".

MiddlingMum Tue 04-Apr-17 18:35:18

Your little and poorly son needs to be the focus at the party, not other people, whatever their issues. As others have said, get your cousin to bring along whatever he can safely eat and leave it at that.

Not sure why your cousin's food is still being organised by his mother if he's in his 20s, but maybe I've missed something here.

PinkHeart59156816 Tue 04-Apr-17 18:37:57

The man is in his 20's he can eat your nut free cake or bring his own, his 20!

The focus of the day should be your poorly sod not an adult who's mummy won't let him eat anything.

Do you cake and post us a picture to drool over

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