(Dear reader, if you’ve been keeping up on Neighbor’s North, the following may be familiar to you. Or, perhaps you were amongst the lucky few who heard me read this live at Ballard Public Library’s December 2013 edition of It’s About Time: Writers Read.)
Last night the Urban Farmer dined at a friend’s house. She arrived with a kale and carrot salad embedded with sunflower seeds and dried sweetened cranberries, a jar of homemade raspberry jam, and a half-loaf of homemade sourdough.
Dining commenced. The Urban Farmer’s friend remarked on the pinkness of the salmon, the festive green and red and orange kale and carrot salad, the cauliflower kugel and the sourdough’s browns.
They both took a bite of salmon. Most excellent. Moist, tender, cooked to perfection. Her friend began on the salad; the Urban Farmer sampled the noodle bake. She wasn’t expecting much, she was just eating it out of charity.
Her friend brought a slice of sourdough towards her lips. A twinge of doubt struck. Was the Urban Farmer detecting a grimace, something approaching a frown?
She let the doubt go. Certainly the sourdough would be superior to the homely-looking kugel.
But she was wrong on the kugel. Soon she was warming to it, eating it with gusto.
But her friend wasn’t reaching for sourdough slice no. 2. In fact, she seemed quite pained at the prospect of finishing slice no. 1.
A cloud was hanging over their otherwise happy meal. Tentatively, the Urban Farmer solicited her friend’s opinion on the bread.
The friend hedged. “Is it all whole wheat?”
“Yes.” The Urban Farmer’s subconscious thrummed. She recalled her co-habitator availing himself of the inferior rice cake sandwich; the co-habitator’s son’s recent announcement that he was going gluten-free. Might her beloved sourdough not be universally beloved?
“It’s kind of heavy,” her friend said.
The Urban Farmer remained composed. But was it possible to continue a friendship with a sourdough disser? No. Stop. Be the big person here, Urban Farmer! Sourdough dissers can be people, too. Don’t start in on a Real Eaters Eat Sourdough campaign.
The Urban Farmer grabbed the kugel dish and lifted it high. “Here’s to kugel!”
“To kugel,” cried the friend.
“To kale-carrot salad!” the Urban Farmer cried, lifting that.
“To kale-carrot salad!”
“But here’s not to sourdough!”
“Here, here,” cried the friend.