Mom came to visit for the winter to hide from the frigid Montreal temperatures.  She has been with us for just over three months. It took some getting used to being back under mom’s wing. Although as we age, roles often become reversed. My mom has always cooked for me and adjusted recipes for me based on my dietary restrictions. Being allergic to eggs, nuts, mushrooms, shellfish, garlic, soy, sesame, celery and most fruits can be challenging. Yet both my parents always fed me well.  I have lived more than forty years with food allergies.  Recently my mom was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and a dairy intolerance. Being diagnosed with food restrictions (forgive me mom) so late in life can be challenging. She can cook for me with her eyes closed but yet she “forgets” about her own restrictions. Always a mom I suppose!

Allergy friendly menu

The food on the left is egg free & mushroom free. The food on the right is dairy free & gluten free,

Eating with mom

Mom and I had to learn to re-navigate the kitchen. No longer was I the only one in the house with food allergies. This was tricky at first. It meant making 2 dishes, a gluten free pasta dish and a regular egg free pasta dish. This meant triple reading all the ingredients for my allergies and hers. It also meant that after a while it felt like it was harder and harder to become creative or innovative in the kitchen.  What did I learn? Well to begin with, my husband is a true sport. He ate along wherever he could and sometimes, he would even just skip a meal. He was always mindful of both of our restrictions and never complained about the limitations put on him. The next thing I learned was that it was about time spent with mom in the kitchen, not the food. Food is always nice but it will never replace the sound of my mother’s laughter, the steady gaze she gives me as she listens to my day or the advice she still dispels as if I am a young teenager!!

I am looking forward to her visit next winter. I will be better prepared with more recipes and more jokes to tell.


Author: Tarah Jakubiak

After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 25 countries and 34 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.