We had a visitor last weekend who is seriously gluten-intolerant, which meant I stocked up on rice crackers and corn pasta. She is not a gluten-intolerant wannabe—she actually gets physically sick if she ingests wheat products. I suppose she is the envy of a new kind of hypochondriac: the gluten-free-for-no-reason club at one end, and the vegan-because-I relish-the-cure-being-worse-than-the-disease at the other. I believe the only reason (besides mild masochism) for folks to aspire to a restrictive diet is for bragging rights, unaware that the brag is incomprehensible to most rational people. I don’t mind their fantasies of dietary superiority at all; I just wish they could be brief about it.
“They” say allergies are rampant these days because children lead such protected, antiseptic lives. This could be true: I know as a child I ate dirt and played in muck and came in contact with unimaginable contamination by today’s standards, yet suffer no allergies at all. Still, a friend I played with in the muck is lactose-intolerant, and also vegetarian, but since she eschews bragging rights I know her preferences are either necessities or have justifiable reasons behind them. She and I once hitchhiked to a campsite, and one of our rides was in a cattle transport truck which stopped at a stockyard, where cattle prods were used to hustle the animals out of the truck. That was unpleasant, and she says the start of her vegetarianism. Understandable, yes?
Meanwhile I am enjoying a plethora of sesame rice crackers, deliciously crunchy morsels that go well with the cheeses my vegetarian friend gifted us: pesto cheddar, chili pepper cheddar, and smoked paprika gouda. With some cabernet Italian salami, a few plump olives, and some gently pickled cucumber ribbons we have ourselves a summer afternoon feast.
I think Covid-19 serves as a reminder to appreciate those small, more intimate moments with friends and family. And of course the family dog, or in our case, giant toddler puppy with no manners. … But that’s another story.
May I now present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which is related to today’s prompt, “sesame”?
As always, stay safe!