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  1. #1
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Something wonderful
    I think that lately I've been posting mostly negative personal stuff. Well it's been a crummy year in a lot of ways. Some of the stuff that happened ended well and some of it ended badly. I've been kind of down in the dumps for a while.

    However, last week something wonderful happened. I went to the allergist!

    Let me explain a little.

    Eighteen years ago I had a very bad, prolonged allergic reaction to some chemicals at work that really messed up my immune system. When I had allergy testing done it turned out that I had become allergic to pretty much everything that could be tested for, including some foods.

    And you all know how much I like to eat and cook.

    So for eighteen years my diet has been limited by food allergies. The most restrictive and unpleasant to deal with was my allergy to milk.

    I had my six month check-up with the allergist last week and suggested, just for the hell of it, that he test me for food allergies. And...all gone! (Well, the ones he checked, anyway.)

    So today I went on an expedition in search of cheese. Oh, how I've missed cheese! I bought sheep-milk feta and imported orgoletti (sp?) and mozzarella. I would have bought more cheeses but I figured I should probably start off slow. After all it's been 18 years since I asked my digestive system to deal with milk protein!

    I also bought three kinds of imported olives, roasted tomatoes in herbs, a gynormous loaf of french bread, fennel pate and a head of romaine lettuce.

    Tonight we feast on feta cheese salad and french bread with mooz, tomato and fennel.

    Bliss!

    And I'm sorry that I've been a drip lately.

  2. #2
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Three Cheers For CHEESE!

    I'll bet PIZZA is on your short-list!
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  3. #3
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    I think that lately I've been posting mostly negative personal stuff. Well it's been a crummy year in a lot of ways. Some of the stuff that happened ended well and some of it ended badly. I've been kind of down in the dumps for a while.

    However, last week something wonderful happened. I went to the allergist!

    Let me explain a little.

    Eighteen years ago I had a very bad, prolonged allergic reaction to some chemicals at work that really messed up my immune system. When I had allergy testing done it turned out that I had become allergic to pretty much everything that could be tested for, including some foods.

    And you all know how much I like to eat and cook.

    So for eighteen years my diet has been limited by food allergies. The most restrictive and unpleasant to deal with was my allergy to milk.

    I had my six month check-up with the allergist last week and suggested, just for the hell of it, that he test me for food allergies. And...all gone! (Well, the ones he checked, anyway.)

    So today I went on an expedition in search of cheese. Oh, how I've missed cheese! I bought sheep-milk feta and imported orgoletti (sp?) and mozzarella. I would have bought more cheeses but I figured I should probably start off slow. After all it's been 18 years since I asked my digestive system to deal with milk protein!

    I also bought three kinds of imported olives, roasted tomatoes in herbs, a gynormous loaf of french bread, fennel pate and a head of romaine lettuce.

    Tonight we feast on feta cheese salad and french bread with mooz, tomato and fennel.

    Bliss!

    And I'm sorry that I've been a drip lately.
    You've been deprived far too long. Enjoy that meal Rhea! It's what I consider a perfect meal. Hope you're detoxed and ready to take on the world. And I haven't noticed that you've been a drip ... a klutz maybe, but not a drip. ;-)

    Life is on an UPSWING! Yeah!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  4. #4
    Canadienne extraordinaire Susan's Avatar
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    That's great news Rexanne! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy ;-) I can't imagine a better Christmas gift :-)
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Oh Rhea, how have you survived?! Those things are some of my most favourite foods, if it wasn't for bread and cheese I'd be about half my weight now (that would be worrying as I'm not twice what I should be!) - they're my two great weaknesses.

    One of my favourite meals is sundried tomato bread with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cheese of various sorts, especially soft ones such as feta and camembert (there is at least one advantage of living close to France) with olives, chorizo, vine tomatoes, roasted peppers and chillies (OK, I know - but I LOVE chillies).

    I can imagine what it would be like to go without all my favourite foods, so I can start to imagine what a bland diet you must have had - and how happy you must be!

  6. #6
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan_ShareResults
    That's great news Rexanne! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy ;-) I can't imagine a better Christmas gift :-)
    Thanks Susan but that was meant for Rhea. She's gonna have a good Christmas now, able to eat all that glorious cheese again. :-) I wouldn't want to live without brie or imported parmigianno.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  7. #7
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    It's amazing how you miss something when it's suddenly off the menu...I'm still praying that my little girl will outgrow her peanut allergies (not a likely thing the allergist says - only 1 in 5 outgrow them) - in the meantime, a simple 'pleasure' like going to birthday parties is fraught with anxiety...you know you've kinda 'ruined' it for the supervising parent when you dish out the adrenaline and say, 'in case she comes into contact with any peanuts, she's going to need this'.

    So Rhea I can imagine the isolation you would've felt having all those allergies and the freedom you will now experience from being able to eat all those things again. Congratulations!!

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  8. #8
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Today really is my lucky day.

    I stopped in at the nearest "Tuesday Morning" (discount outlet chain) to shop for stocking stuffers today and found a 10-piece set of Cuisinart copper cookware at 2/3 off! Happy holidays to me!!!

    Then I had fun sampling cheeses at our favorite Italian deli and the health food store. I found a 2 kilo JUG of imported kalamata olives, too. Oh, and the roasted tomatoes in herb vinaigrette...just shoot me!

    Dinner was amazing. We were little piggies trying different combos of cheeses, olives and toppings on our garlic bread. I'm so full I could burst.

    And now...finally...after waiting for weeks...hubby just told me that The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is on TV tonight.

    I can't wait to see what happens next!

    I haven't told you the best part yet.

    The reason I asked the allergist to retest me for food allergies is because hubby and I recently discussed taking a trip to Italy. He felt that it would be a bad idea because of my food allergies. He was concerned that it would be too difficult for me to eat safely in a country where neither of us speaks the language. So I figured the only way I could get him to agree to go would be if I didn't have food allergies. I figured I had nothing to lose by being retested (other than the discomfort of the tests).

    Now that we know the food allergies are (probably all) gone away, we've decided to start saving for that trip to Italy and we're going to take Italian lessons, too.

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and good wishes. I'm happy to see this year out on a positive note.

  9. #9
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    In about 2 hours i will order some extra cheese on my pizza in your honor

    Italy is great, you'll have fun there.

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Isn't cheese just wonderful? One of my favorite cheese shops has over 100 kinds of cheese, little sample containers of each, and a sign suggesting that people should know the difference between samples and a buffet.
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  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Today really is my lucky day.

    I stopped in at the nearest "Tuesday Morning" (discount outlet chain) to shop for stocking stuffers today and found a 10-piece set of Cuisinart copper cookware at 2/3 off! Happy holidays to me!!!

    Then I had fun sampling cheeses at our favorite Italian deli and the health food store. I found a 2 kilo JUG of imported kalamata olives, too. Oh, and the roasted tomatoes in herb vinaigrette...just shoot me!

    Dinner was amazing. We were little piggies trying different combos of cheeses, olives and toppings on our garlic bread. I'm so full I could burst.

    And now...finally...after waiting for weeks...hubby just told me that The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is on TV tonight.

    I can't wait to see what happens next!

    I haven't told you the best part yet.

    The reason I asked the allergist to retest me for food allergies is because hubby and I recently discussed taking a trip to Italy. He felt that it would be a bad idea because of my food allergies. He was concerned that it would be too difficult for me to eat safely in a country where neither of us speaks the language. So I figured the only way I could get him to agree to go would be if I didn't have food allergies. I figured I had nothing to lose by being retested (other than the discomfort of the tests).

    Now that we know the food allergies are (probably all) gone away, we've decided to start saving for that trip to Italy and we're going to take Italian lessons, too.

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and good wishes. I'm happy to see this year out on a positive note.
    Rhea, I speak Italian and know the country well ... take me with you! :-)

    Tuesday Morning is a great place. It's my twice-a-year obsession, always before Christmas.

    Your dinner sounds perfect. Yummmmmmmm - you're gonna love Italy. You won't ever get a bad meal, everything is delicious no matter where you go. The small, mama pop restaurants to the bigger, touristy places. The people are wonderful, too.

    So Happy New Year early! Life is just gonna get better. And while you're galavanting through Italy, your site will be making money. Gotta love that!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  12. #12
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Andiamo!

    Lucky for me Italian is a lot like French. I just have to rearrange most words I know in French to get the Italian equivalent. Of course my French grammar stinks but I've found that as long as you get the nouns and verbs right (and the syntax isn't too screwy) most people are very happy to decipher your improper conjugations.

    Where do you recommend we go in Italy, Rexanne? I'm thinking Florence, Venice, Rome and I'd love to get to Sicily too.

  13. #13
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Andiamo!

    Lucky for me Italian is a lot like French. I just have to rearrange most words I know in French to get the Italian equivalent. Of course my French grammar stinks but I've found that as long as you get the nouns and verbs right (and the syntax isn't too screwy) most people are very happy to decipher your improper conjugations.

    Where do you recommend we go in Italy, Rexanne? I'm thinking Florence, Venice, Rome and I'd love to get to Sicily too.
    Florence, Venice and Rome would be my choices, too. Sicily is beautiful (Taormina especially), Milano is pretty cool although more modern than other cities. I'm partial to Rome bacause I was raised there but Venice is unreal gorgeous. The energy of that city is amazing and it's so beautiful and unusual. Florence has the best art and a lot of it. You'll eat well in every city. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  14. #14
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    OMG Rexanne, you're an Italian-Italian! lol!

    Great, now when I need to find out how to spell something I can just ask you. I hear Italian phrases from the in-laws all the time but they have no idea how to spell them. I'm aware that some of them have no equivalent in Italian as they're a mixed-up Italian-American pastiche., e.g. goobelini.

    Speaking of which, I could swear the guy in the deli told me the cheese I bought was called orgoletti, but I looked it up online and can't find anything. What I bought is a hard grating cheese, just like parm or romano, but sharper. Not as sharp as gorgonzola though. Do you have any idea what that cheese is called?

    I gotta get some ricotta this week. I want lasagna!

  15. #15
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    OMG Rexanne, you're an Italian-Italian! lol!

    Great, now when I need to find out how to spell something I can just ask you. I hear Italian phrases from the in-laws all the time but they have no idea how to spell them. I'm aware that some of them have no equivalent in Italian as they're a mixed-up Italian-American pastiche., e.g. goobelini.

    Speaking of which, I could swear the guy in the deli told me the cheese I bought was called orgoletti, but I looked it up online and can't find anything. What I bought is a hard grating cheese, just like parm or romano, but sharper. Not as sharp as gorgonzola though. Do you have any idea what that cheese is called?

    I gotta get some ricotta this week. I want lasagna!
    I was born here but lived in Rome from 10 to 21 so I'm American but all my grandparents were from Italy. I don't speak American Italian. LOL 'specially not New York or East Coast Italian/American whatever it is. Pastiche is a good word for it.

    I don't know what the cheese you're talking about is. Never heard of "Orgaletti."

    Oooooo lasagna ... I make killer lasagna. My ex hubby's birthday is tomorrow and he's begging me to make it for him. Nah ... doesn't come with the territory anymore, or the territory doesn't come with lasagna anymore, whatever. LOL - I always make lasagna for Christmas Day though. It's an event but so worth it. Have you ever had pasta with gorgonzola sauce? It's awesome. You'll be going cheese crazy for a while.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  16. #16
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Both Florence and Venice are absolutely superb places. If you go to Venice take a trip to the two islands Morrano and Burrano (spelling might be wrong) they are super. One of them I forget which, has an old Russian village with the most beautiful pastel colored houses, it is very very well worth seeing. The other is the main glass blowing area and they let you get right close up to the glass blowers to watch them work their magic. This also is a fantastic place to visit.

    As for the food, wow it is out of this world, it is far far better than the crap you get in France. It also tastes different from what you might get in an Italian restuarant.

    Just one piece of advice do NOT overdose on the art galleries and museums etc. They are really good but it is so easy to overdose on them.
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  17. #17
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    I can live without milk, but life without cheese would be like life without chocolate..... I am soooooooooo glad to hear your food allergies have abated. Enjoy!
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  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I am absolutely, totally, gloriously happy for you!!!!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  19. #19
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Here's something amazing...I'm not hungry yet!

    I'm always hungry. There must be some magical property to cheese that I'd forgotten about. Usually when I wake up in the morning I'm soooo hungry and can't wait to eat breakfast. Well I've been awake for an hour now and I'm not hungry yet.

    This cheese stuff is miraculous!

    However, if I'm going to continue eating the stuff I better get serious about exercising.

    Rexanne, truthfully, I don't like gorgonzola, uncooked anyway. Does cooking it tame the bite? If so I'd be willing to try the gorgonzola sauce. Got a recipe?

    BTW, I'm not abandoning soy milk, soy margarine or soy "ice cream." I do believe that soy is a healthier choice than milk. However since soy "cheese" is well, disgusting, I'm deliciously and deliriously happy to be able to eat real cheese.

  20. #20
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    There must be some magical property to cheese that I'd forgotten about.
    Yeah! It makes you constipated!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    Oooooo lasagna ... I make killer lasagna.
    Care to share your recipe?

    I've always wanted to suggest a recipe forum here on ABW, but I think we have enough off topic forums. With 21,000 members, there have got to be a few good recipes, though.

    Maybe I'll start a recipe thread.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; December 13th, 2005 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Linked to thread
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  22. #22
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Congrats Rhea!!

    Remember the old Christmas commercial -

    The Power of Cheese!!

    Ebudae


  23. #23
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    That's a real cause for celebration Rhea!

    I was diagnosed as allergic to everything in my youth as well. The worst was that they said I was allergic to everything Dairy. No milk, eggs, and of course cheese. That also meant no chocolate and jsut about any kind of dessert that tasted good. Cold water on Corn Flakes really sucks!
    The No Dairy also meant that my teeth got stained permanently when I had braces, and my "Friends" at school would snitch on me to my mom if I had mashed potatoes in the school lunch cafeteria.

    Like yourself, I got fed up with this limitation - for me it was when I left home for college and became a new me. I challenged the doctor to re-test, and lo an behold, no food allergies. That was a day of real celebration, so I know how you must feel.

    As to Italy, I just spent a month there last August. If you spend time in the Tuscay area, try to include Lucca and Siena in your trip (.5 to 1 day each). I also REALLY liked Assisi - it's not so touristy, and a really important spot in the history of western civilization. Be careful when taking routes off the main highways - two lane roads become one lane roads become dirt roads snaking through mountains with drop offs that will make you wet your pants.

    Here's some italy pics to wet your appetite:
    T A Campbell's Italy Pictures
    Tom C.
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  24. #24
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Congrats on outgrowing your food allergies, Tom. In retrospect I should have had retesting done every five years since the "accident." Happily I was never allergic to chocolate. If I wanted a chocolate snack I'd buy a bar of sweetened dark baking chocolate and munch on that.

    Great photos, thanks for sharing them. Hubby is a photog, too. This year he bought a Canon semi-pro digital camera and is loving it. Of course now he wants all the lenses and filters for it. Photography is an expensive hobby!

    I'm hoping we could swing three weeks in Italy and I don't see how we can fit Tuscany in if we're going to do Rome-Florence-Venice. We are museum people and will want to see as much as is humanly possible. We'll also want to spend some time in the countryside as we're both nature nuts. I think Tuscany will have to wait until a subsequent visit (assuming there ever is one). Europeans are so lucky. Hop on a train and four hours later you're in an entirely different country!

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