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Allergy cooking our speciality!

All our food is home made and so making it allergy friendly is never a problem. We use our own meat and eggs whenever possible, and vegetables from Andrew’s father who lives in the village and at nearly 94 keeps us and the rest of the Finnemore really well supplied. We buy and use lots of local produce too- Cornish Orchards juice (you’ll find it at breakfast and to welcome you to your cottage) and Cornish shortbread (in your bedroom or cottage) and lots more besides. Read what a recent visitor has to say about her experience with her severely allergic child.

 

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Lucy says……

“I have been interested in cooking for as long as I can remember and have always enjoyed the challenge of coming up with ways of making food taste delicious even when only limited or unusual ingredients can be used. When I started cooking for the families that stayed with us (now 16 years ago, time slides by horribly fast!) it didn’t seem strange to be asked if I could avoid dairy or gluten when I cooked I just worked round it, and applied the same rules that my Mum had taught me as a child when preparing raw chicken (she has always had a thing about raw chicken and cross contamination).

“Then about 6 years ago I had a phone call from a Mum who had a toddler with severe life threatening allergies and who was in and out of Great Ormond street hospital. The family was desperate for a holiday where they  could have fun and hand the cooking over to someone else. It didn’t seem at all daunting as the Mum was so knowledgeable. I was confident that I could rise to the challenge and so my allergy friendly cooking began in earnest. The little girl who was the trigger of my determination to make food that all my guests could enjoy whatever their allergies, is now 9 years old and still stays with us every year.

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I cater for guests with or without allergies in the same kitchen and so the need to avoid cross contamination is paramount. I understand cross contamination as does everyone who works for me.

These are the steps I follow:

1. Hand washing

Hand Washing

I wash my hands before I start and constantly while cooking. I wear a clean apron for each allergy I cook for and am careful never to use a spoon or knife more than once. I ‘scrub down’ my worktops before, during and after each cook.

2. Use scrupulously clean utensils

Use scrupulously clean utensils

I wash everything in a dishwasher and then rinse again immediately before use.

3. Use clean reusable dishcloths and tea towels

Use clean reusable dishcloths and tea towels

I then wash them at 60c

4. Don't use any cooking equipment with a patina of food on it.

Don't use any cooking equipment with a patina of food on it.

I have baking trays exclusively for allergy baking. I clean my mixer thoroughly before use.

5. Wash down all surfaces with soap and water between allergies

Wash down all surfaces with soap and water between allergies

I use cling film as an extra precaution when rolling pastry or making biscuits and roll between two sheets of it.

6. Keep all other allergens away when cooking for a specific allergy

Keep all other allergens away when cooking for a specific allergy

I work an allergy at a time if I am catering for several different allergies and scrub down between each. I do all my allergy friendly cooking before I start the non allergy food and store in sealed boxes or cling film in a separate zone of the kitchen. If I can serve non allergy guests allergy friendly food then I do!

7. Store allergy friendly ingredients in a separate cupboard

Store allergy friendly ingredients in a separate cupboard

I store mine in kilner jars away from non allergy foods.

8. Never use butter, cheese, yoghurt, sugar, flour etc that may have been contaminated with a spoon or knife

Never use butter, cheese, yoghurt, sugar, flour etc that may have been contaminated with a spoon or knife

I use a new packet if there is any possibility that this might have happened. I also keep spread in labelled sealed containers in the fridge.

9. Never reuse cooking oil

Never reuse cooking oil

I never reuse cooking oil.

10. Check the label

Check the label

I always check every item I use for allergens, and traces of, even if  it was safe the last time I bought it (manufacturers seem to have a habit of changing things – you can’t assume it’s safe just because it used to be). If I am in any doubt, I ask the person I am catering for before I use the ingredient.

I cook my food from scratch, with food sourced as locally as possible (although some of my allergy friendly ingredients are not so local!) the meat we use use is usually our own, the eggs always are.

I enjoy specialising in cooking allergy friendly food for babies, toddlers and small children and their parents too and undertake not to use any ingredient that may contain traces of your allergen when I cook for you. I am very happy to welcome you into my kitchen to look, watch or help, anytime I am cooking for you. Please feel free to ring for a chat  if you are thinking of staying with us or feel there is something I have missed out here. We would love to have you to stay!

I meet with parents every morning in order to find out what their children will and won’t eat as well as what they can and can’t eat, this means I can always cook a meal that all the children staying will enjoy. Below is a selection of the most asked for meals, although some may not be suitable for your child.

I use sunflower pure spread, sunflower oil and vegetable stock (from the vegetables I am cooking) mostly to replace milk in savoury dishes. I use Doves farm plain and self raising flour.

I am very fortunate to be able to use beef and pork from the farm, and to have a father in law who, although over 90 years old, supplies me with fruit and vegetables from his garden regularly through the season.

I host a weekly twitter chat  #allergyhour we meet every Thursday from 8.30pm to swap recipe ideas, ask and answer questions about allergy management and to support the parents of newly diagnosed babies and children. We would love to see you  there. Just hop over to twitter and search #allergyhour to read what has been going on and to follow our live chat each week. We have guest experts answering questions every few weeks follow @allergyhour to keep up with who’s appearing next. Remember to introduce yourself and tweet with the #allergyhour each time so others can see you.

Thanks to ‘Yesnobananas’ who writes a brilliant blog on living with a food allergic child and who has allowed me to use some of her text and pictures (which she took whilst here on holiday last summer) for this page.”

Click here to read what she has to say about her holiday here last year.

allergy friendly food at higher lank farm