My husband and I have been married almost 14 years, which is still novice territory compared to my parents’ 63. Nevertheless, every anniversary is a milestone of love, friendship and the doe-si-doe of living with the same human being now for 5,110 days in a row. Give or take.
Some of the rough edges have softened. Early in our wedded bliss, he pointed out that I did not do a very good job of vacuuming. It broke my heart, but I handed over the Oreck and every week suffer silently as he undulates it under the dining room table and behind the sofa. And while I consider myself a pretty good cook, we all have our days of misery, so when he jokingly said after a zero dinner, “You’re fired!” I jumped up and shouted, “OKAY!”
He quickly recanted. I am still the chief cook.
My husband loves football. I love birding. He likes to putter around the garage, I like to go for long walks around the lake. We give each other space, which has gone a long way toward our longevity as husband and wife.
But I have a confession. There is one area where neither one of us has budged since the day we met. He is on his side of the fence; I am on mine. We both refuse to change. We don’t even meet halfway. We do not even try to understand the other’s view. There is NO compromise.
Here it is: we are not bread-compatible. If our marriage depended upon gluten choices, we would not be able to stay in the room together for one hour. Ken loves white bread. Pretty much any white bread, but he is partial to the brand that sags like limp leather. When he does the food shopping, he picks up the plastic bags of the brand he grew up with. “It builds your body 12 ways!” he laughs.
Give me a nice, chewy semolina to dip into garlic-infused olive oil, or a thick slice of beery pumpernickel. Offer me a rich rye with caraway seeds clattering onto the plate. Or cinnamon-raisin toast for breakfast with melting sweet butter streaming over your fingers. How about a steaming sour dough roll straight from the oven, or a fat slab of a Russian black? Pull off a chunk of a crusty baguette to dip into a hot chicken soup and slurp it into your mouth. Now, that’s bread worth bragging about!
My daily answer to Ken’s styrofoam? Gluten-free Ezekial bread, which is made from sprouted grains. No wheat or sugar. It’s no soggy sack of sponges either, but a loaf of robust, solid bread that’s ready to make a commitment. I have found it in two flavors: raisin and sesame (my favorite). You will find it in the religious section of your local supermarket freezer. Try it toasted—don’t forget the sweet butter.