Ragnorok Cookies

The end of days has begun and the first sign was a bakery. There is an adorable bakery near where I work and I always look through the window as I pass by on my lunch break. It’s brightly lit, with high ceilings, cheerful little tables, and shiny white padded diner chairs with pink accents. The lady behind the counter has a frilly 50s style apron and pink hair that matches their pink and mint sign. The counter always has these perfect cakes on it with the missing slices toward the window so you can see the sugary seduction inside. It’s a cross between Stepford wives creepy perfection and Portland hipster irony.

I have this issue with gluten trying to make my brain explode, so I don’t generally go into bakeries. I just stand outside and try to inhale the soul of the baked goods as they waft past on the wind. This week, I found out that this bakery has gluten free baked goods, so, after an unfortunate episode at work, I stalked over hoping that their GF goodies would be not-sawdust. All the other stuff looked so good, maybe the ‘specialty’ stuff would be at least tasty.

I asked the lady in her perfect apron which things in the case might be edible…All of it. Everything they sell is gluten free: the cakes, the cookies, and (squeeeee) the lunch food. Right then… I’ll have tacos on blue tortillas for lunch and a chocolate cookie sandwich for dessert. I sat in the sunlight on a cream and pink bench listening to spritely music, waiting for my lunch and a cookie sandwich that I was already calling ‘my precious’ in my head.

The red plastic basket with the tacos looked so good. Fresh avocado slices on top of the salsa with a wedge of lime on the side. I picked up my taco and there were beans, salsa and cilantro, fine, but why was the rest of the filling green and orange? I did some discrete archeology with my fork (because glaring at the nice people who brought me what looked like a tasty non-poisonous cookie seemed like a bad idea). I uncovered sweet potatoes, broccoli florets and no meat. None. Who does that?! Ooooohhhhh…. Oh no. I looked at the menu again. It’s not just vegetarian, it’s a completely vegan and gluten free diner decorated like a place with real food. Quietly sobbing in my heart a little, I figured: I’d already paid for my food and if I didn’t eat lunch before going back to work, I might try to gnaw a coworkers arm off before the day was over. That would probably be bad. So…time to try new food.

Here’s how I know the end of days have come. I ate the tacos and enjoyed it. Ok, I did take the broccoli out of the second taco, but it was because my brain couldn’t accept broccoli not being awful, not because it tasted bad. And the cookie sandwich… well… there might have been a foodgasm. Vegans don’t even use butter to cook. How is it possible to make tasty enjoyable food, not just grudgingly edible baked goods without butter?

I don’t think it is. I think, the pink haired lady behind the counter is a harbinger of the end of days. She created the bakery and filled the food with Ragnarok magic to make it tasty because she needed a way to cope with being a bringer of destruction. That totally explains the frilly apron and perfectly coiffed pink hair. And if it’s Ragnarok magic, it can’t really be vegan. Yep, that must be it. Problem solved. The world is the way I expect it to be again. Honey, will you make me steak for dinner?

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Vivien NicUldoon

Vivien lives in Portland Oregon with two cats, a smart dog, a happy dog and a brilliant husband.