We were at a farmer’s market recently, when we passed by a vendor selling gluten-free baking. Not only was it gluten-free but also grain-free, sugar-free, egg-free, and milk-free. Personally, I get a little edgy when I see baking described with too many “______-free” adjectives, but the enthusiastic businesswoman behind the table insisted we try a sample. Beaming while she watched us chew, she eagerly asked our opinions.
“What do you think? Aren’t they delicious?” she prompted, while looking at Stan. If she was looking for someone to gush about her product, she picked the wrong client. Even at the best of times he measures his praise. Perhaps she didn’t notice his ambivalence or maybe she was just desperate–she’d already informed us this was only her third week in business. In any case, she had something more she wanted us to try.
Handing us tongue-depressor sticks with shiny, crimson blobs at their ends, she encouraged us to imagine the possibilities:
“This is sugar-free raspberry, beet, and basil purée. You can feed it to babies or serve it as a puréed soup.”
Even before Stan tasted it, he had a funny look on his face.
This time the vendor noticed and queried, “It’s just puréed soup. You’ve had puréed soup before, haven’t you?”
“No. No, I haven’t.” responded Stan, taking a few steps backward.
Now it was my turn to look at him strangely. “Yes you have, Stan. I make it all the time.”
But he was already moving on, and away from her wares. I swallowed the pungent, yet sweet, sampler and followed him to ask what he’d meant.
…He thought she was trying to sell period soup. And while he was sure it wasn’t actually made from human fluid, he was also sure he didn’t need it. One never knows what new fad might show up at a farmer’s market.
Belén and I made these grain-free cookies over the weekend. (I’m celiac, so I do appreciate some “-free” baking!) They’re super easy and the coconut-cinnamon flavour warrants eating a good portion of the dough before it hits the oven.
PS. Just to be clear, I love farmer’s markets. Especially ones like our local market, where old ladies sell hand-made doilies beside their old-fashioned, fermented sauerkraut.