Not so long ago, I found myself staring at my autumnal avocado toast, pondering its ingredients.

For the base, I had sliced Walnut Bread from the Companion Bakeshop and toasted them. I’m not the only one who likes this hearty, solid, no-frills whole wheat loaf because they ran out at the farmers market the other day. I had such a hankering for it that I felt compelled to travel clear across town to get one. I even called ahead to make sure that they would have a loaf on hand.

This yearning is a positive sign. Radiation to my mouth and throat did quite a number on my taste buds and saliva glands. This part of my “cancer journey” was anything but fun. For the longest time, starches turned to straw; only recently have I begun to enjoy them again. While my flavor profile has improved, it remains oddly distorted and muted. Thankfully, after much trial, error, and elimination, I can focus on what tastes good.

Back to my open-face sandwich: After I mashed the avocado, which came from my friend Stef’s garden, I topped it with salsa made here in town and bought at the local hometown grocery, pomegranate seeds from one of my neighbors, and radish sprouts from the farmers market, which is also where I picked up the pepper.  

The sprouted pumpkin seeds are the only out-of-town ingredient.

Knowing where my nourishment comes from doesn’t alter how anything tastes, but it gives great comfort and helps me savor the victuals on my plate.

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  1. I love your food tour. My Saturday morning bakery/farmer’s market run has been sustenance through the pestilence, especially during full-on isolation, my only in-person human contact of the week. Ah breakfast! sourdough bread sloppy with ghee, home-brewed kefir with the milk from my goat lady, and the only non-local but wonderful very best fine tea from a company that’s building worker-owned and woman-owned tea farms. I’ve even met a few of the people on Zoom and seen how they plant this marvel. May your taste buds flourish, Larry. Food deserves your rich appreciation ‘-).