Although my love for technology is well-documented, I prefer to kick it old-school in the kitchen. My breakfast is untoasted and varies only with the season: Rye crispbread with almond butter from May to October, steel cut oats with almonds and cinnamon from November to April. Those steel cut oats? Soaked overnight to speed up stovetop time in the morning. Morning coffee? French-pressed. Although I enjoy and encourage cooking for leftovers, I do not own a microwave. It’s so suburban, so 1980s. Only very occasionally will I use the toaster oven for a toasted cheese sandwich (on homemade no-knead bread), as I generally prefer to get mine on my annual trip to the Borough Market in Southwark (while you’re there, do stop by Monmouth Coffee for their pour over; it’s brill).
Like you, dear reader, when Juliet first told me about her breakfast of choice, I had to Google “sandwich thin.” So I’m a local, seasonal, retro-artisanal food snob. Dealwithit.gif. But to each their own; I’ve always understood The Wheelhouse Review offices to be an equal opportunity breakfast zone. Even if/when I’m silently judging (really, Sarah? Processed white bread on that sandwich? OMG Ryan, $5 Buffalo Chicken footlong AGAIN today?), I keep my thoughts to myself.
Until that fateful day (RIP, lil toaster buddy!). Juliet had brought us to the brink of disaster with her “sandwich thins” and imported avocado. Tendrils of flaxseed smoke were wafting through the office. “You guys, I think this is a wakeup call,” I said. “Let’s step outside, maybe walk to the farmer’s market, get a round of green juice with local kale to revive and energize ourselves – we all seem too shocked to work.” Tommy the intern immediately agreed. For a guy who looks just like Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Nathan Adrian, poor Tommy catches a lot of flak in the office. Undeserved, IMO. Juliet muttered something about needing to “review the operating budget” to see if there were funds for an immediate replacement. Sarah heated up water in the microwave for her Irish breakfast tea and went off to the corner with her Kindle. Ryan had disappeared, leaving behind only a faint cloud of AXE body spray to indicate he had ever entered the kitchen. So Faith, Tommy and I set out for the local cold-pressed juice bar.
Honestly, like Faith and Tommy, I needed some energy – it had been another late night. “Faith, is that glitter in your hair?” Tommy asked. “You need to be more careful,” I told her, recommending a stand at the Brooklyn Flea that sold organic, local, edible all-purpose body wash/shampoo. “And you, Tommy – JNCOs, really? Who are you, Sasha? I haven’t seen that since the progressive trance days of the late 90s.” We stood there, drinking our $9 juices to the sounds of Skrillex on Tommy’s iPhone. “That was a close call,” Faith remarked, “Too close.”
So cute, the music kids listen to these days.
Back at the office, tempers were running high. Sarah was complaining about a scone that had been burnt in the toaster. It was officially broken. Ryan was crafting a post to sell it on Craigslist. “Small-batch rhubarb-ginger lollipop, anyone?” I offered, hoping to bring some zen (and artisanal desserts) to the moment. Crickets.
But I have hope. Honestly, I think the broken toaster is just a symbol of the deeper tensions going around the office. Sometimes it takes a tragedy like this for some real soul-searching, something that’s been needed around The Wheelhouse Review offices for some time. When folks are grieving, it’s traditional for friends & family to circle around them, bringing casseroles for comfort. I’m thinking about bringing in some steel-cut oatmeal for everyone for breakfast tomorrow. We’ll sit around the quiet, cool kitchen and enjoy it in one another’s company.