The Urban Farmer is in a doughy funk. She’s been tossing and turning, turning and tossing.
She’s been processing rejection. Her staff of life, her bread line, her connection to earth mother, her 100% whole wheat sourdough loaf, which she weekly bakes with pride, has not been well-received.
Until recently, last night in fact, she has been a smug believer in her sourdough’s superiority. She has shook off her co-habitator’s ho-hum appraisal, his “preference” for non-sourdough. She has kept tongue in check when he has availed himself of the inferior rice cake sandwich. Passed it off as an idiosyncrasy of a 9-to-5er who simply doesn’t know any better, who can’t handle bread with a real crust, who prefers ease of chew to the full-bodied taste and texture of real bread. Eventually he would come around. If not, she could learn, over time, to live in a household with bread compatibility issues.
That the Urban Farmer’s sister, the professional cake froster, has consistently declined all her sourdough offerings over the last one, perhaps even two, years has likewise not perturbed her. The Urban Farmer has taken her professional froster sister at her word that she had plenty of bread already, that, oops, she had some going in the oven as we speak, and look! She’s just discovered that half loaf of Essential Bread Co.’s olive loaf to get through.
Last night was the real test. The Urban Farmer was a dinner guest. The meal was to consist of salmon and cauliflower kugel. The Urban Farmer arrived with a kale and carrot salad embedded with dried sweetened cranberries and sunflower seeds. And bread of course. The Urban Farmer even had the foresight to pre-slice it. Also she brought a jar of jam.
The ladies sat for their repast. Salmon, perfectly baked, festive green and red and orange kale and carrot salad, the drab-colored kugel. The Urban Farmer’s robust sourdough.
A bit of each was set on each plate. Dining commenced. The Urban Farmer’s host remarked on the pink salmon, the green salad, the kugel and sourdough’s shades of brown. The Urban Farmer was asked her opinion on the kugel. She really couldn’t say. She had only taken one little bite. Certainly the homely kugel wouldn’t be anything remarkable. Possibly it wouldn’t be palatable. But the Urban Farmer kept those thoughts to herself and simply revealed that she hadn’t yet decided.
At this point there was nothing to indicate the host was anything but satisfied with the Urban Farmer’s contributions. The Urban Farmer was still smug, confident in their palatability as well as most certainly their superior nutritional content.
Her host lifted the bread by its corners and brought it towards her lips. A twinge of doubt struck. Was the Urban Farmer detecting a slight grimace, something approaching a frown?
She let the doubt go. Chocked it up to poor eye sight or her imagination.
She herself took another bite of salmon. Still excellent. Moist, tender, perfectly cooked. She had feared it might be a tad underdone when she first brought it to her lips, but her host had once again cooked everything to perfection. The Urban Farmer took another bite of kugel. She was warming to it. Her like for it was accelerating. She was ready to praise it without reserve. She breathed a sigh of relief. How fortunate. Her earlier hesitancy with regard to the kugel was nothing to be alarmed by, just a cautious response to something untried.
She noticed her host was not reaching for a second slice of sourdough. In fact, she seemed quite pained at the prospect of eating the rest of her first slice.
Her host proposed an exchange. The Urban Farmer would take home the leftover kugel. The kale salad would remain at the host’s. The U.F., eating the kugel with gusto now, gave her assent, but with the caveat that she might not be able to wait that long. She might need to eat the rest of the kugel now.
Feeling bold and strong and looking as ever for closure, the Urban Farmer inquired as to her host’s thoughts on the bread.
“Is it all whole wheat?” Her host asked.
“Yes.” The Urban Farmer waited. Again she noted that her host had yet to reach for slice no. 2.
“I don’t suppose you’d like to keep the rest of it?” It was a difficult question, but the Urban Farmer needed to know. The question of what to do with the remaining ¼ loaf loomed. Her subconscious thrummed with other memories that her beloved sourdough was considered inferior by others, signs she had heretofore dismissed, such as the co-habitator’s son’s announcement that he was going on a gluten-free diet. Maybe it was a ruse to get out of eating her sourdough?
“No,” the host admitted. She supposed she didn’t.
The Urban Farmer swallowed hard and did her best not to be offended. But was it possible to continue a friendship with a sourdough disser? No. Get a hold of yourself. The Urban Farmer could be an adult about this. She could accept that sourdough dissers were people, too. She wasn’t going to take this to the extreme and plaster a Real Eaters Eat Sourdough on her bumper.
The Urban Farmer consoled herself. She was thankful she had thought to bring jam and that there was extra salad. At least she had those things to offer her host.