by Barbara D'Amato
Ah, the aroma of roasting turkey! The spicy scent of bubbling cranberry sauce. Baking squash with cinnamon and brown sugar. Rich gravy. Buttery mashed potatoes. The family gathered round.
But wait. One is a woman who is lactose intolerant. One is a man who won't eat meat on principle. One is boy who is gluten-sensitive. One a woman with reduced gall bladder function who has to drastically limit fats. One an older man who has to limit fats and salt. Another on a strict low-cal diet. And so on. A few [bless them] who can eat anything.
There are solutions to the menu dilemma. Fresh turkey, unlike frozen, is not injected with salt water. Put out veggies. The big fruit platter looks beautiful.
And then I think about plot uses for all this. You want to make a witness to the crime less alert? He is lactose intolerant and someone has slipped him milk in what looks like innocent coconut pudding. Gluten? It is almost impossible to taste wheat in what purports to be all-cornmeal bread stuffing. And this is not even getting to the really serious intolerances like peanut allergies.
Sabotaging food is a fine and rarely used resource for fiction writers.
But don't try it at home.