Road Trip with a Food Allergic Child ~ Part 3: Did someone call the Fire Department?
Cooking in a hotel room is not the ideal situation but as an allergy mom to a child with life-threatening food allergies, I was not taking any chances with restaurant food for my daughter. Breakfasts were easy as our daughter LOVES cereal but lunch and dinner warranted a hot meal and since the rest of the family was able to order off the menu and have their pick of anything they wanted, I had to make sure that the food I was whipping up on my hot plate was yummy.
Over the 4 days we spent in Ogunquit, on our dreamy beach location, I was cooking spaghetti with caramelized onions and pepper and organic chicken sausage, brown rice with chicken breasts and peas, and of course K's favourite....hot dogs. I was worried that passerby's would smell the aroma of cooking wafting out of my room and that I would be caught doing the unthinkable....cooking in my room!
Long story short (to save time and further embarassment to me)....I left the pan on the burner and it may or may not have been entirely turned off and next thing I knew, my sunbathing on the lounge outside our room was interrupted by my daughter informing me that some strange man was in our hotel room! I turned around to see that the fire chief was in there investigating a very burnt pan! Mortification!!!!
I apologized profusely and was relieved to find that the fire chief, fire fighter and hotel manager were all more than understanding of my need to cook for my allergic daughter and they told me not to apologize. I was asked if I carry an epi-pen for her allergies (to which I responded, yes -6 of them!) and they were more than sympathetic to her needs. It was surprising and helped to soothe some of my embarassment.
A few of the neighbours questioned me later (Are you the lady trying to burn this place down?)....
So far the trip has been good ...beautiful beach, great weather and the best part -time together as a family. I am not going to lie though- eating out every day is taking a toll on all of us....I never fully relax in a restaurant with my daughter and worrying about her touching the tables and chairs and getting hives from skin contact which she does from time to time. I feel guilty that she has to eat from her lunch box rather than getting to order off the menu like the rest of us and it breaks my heart even as I am telling her to stop complaining and to be happy that she is healthy otherwise and able to run and play and have a wonderful vacation with her family. My husband and I both agree that next time we travel, we will rent a cottage or somewhere with a kitchen so that we can cook for ourselves rather than having to eat out all the time. We are making it work but it is exhausting and takes some of the fun out of the trip.
Next stop: Bar Harbor (at least we will have a microwave in that hotel to use so I don't have to risk any more visits from the fire department!!!)