Friday, May 3, 2024

Bread & Butter

"Oh my gawd," Todd cursed, in between spitting the substance out of his mouth and wiping his tongue with his shirt sleeve. "What the fuck was that?"

"Butter," Em said.

"What the hell is butter? And don't ever give me that shit again."

"It's made from milk -"

He interrupted her, "Milk?"

"- which comes from a cow." She paused to see if he would interrupt her again, but he just shook his head in disgust.

"I found a recipe book in the archives and was trying it out," she explained. "Although, it was really hard to replicate milk cuz cows have been extinct for like a hundred years now."

Todd stuck out his tongue, made a gagging sound and spat one more time. 

"Seriously Em," he said, after satisfying himself that the taste had dissipated, "I wouldn't even feed that to Rover."

"I know, right? It's crazy the stuff that these old recipes used. Butter, and things called cheese and sour cream, all of which are made from milk."

"Geezuz." Todd shook his head for not having seen or heard of any of those ingredients before.

"And flour, which we use all the time. But apparently way back when it came from a grain called wheat that they basically pulverized and bleached to make something they called 'white bread'."

"Please take me off your taste testers list cuz that stuff sounds as nasty as the -"


"- butter you just made me choke on."

"But wait," Em held out a plate, "try this first before you go off to work. She looked sideways between him and the plate.


"C'mon, it won't hurt you to take just a tiny bite." She waved the plate under his nose, and his multiple sniffs gave her a whiff of hope. "Be brave," she whispered.

"What is it?"


"Doesn't look like it," Todd said as he picked up the slice and held it for a moment. He weighed it, peered at it, sniffed again, then pushed a finger into it.

"Oh," he said, and then, "oh oh oh!" as he squashed the bread in both hands, rolled it into a ball, then tossed the ball into the air and caught it one-handed. He looked up, tempted to toss the ball higher to see if it would stick.

Em rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Please don't, I just cleaned after making all this stuff. Which, by the way, was considered part of a healthy and beneficial meal back in great-granna's time."

"Uh uh, no way," he said, fingering the ball in his hands, "although, if you make this a bit softer maybe I can use it to patch some holes in our insulation blanket." He laughed and tossed the ball back to Em. "And now I've got to go find something else to use for repairs cuz that stuff ain't beneficial for anything."

Em watched Todd walk out the door, and considered the ball of bread in her hand. Then, she took a bite and quickly spat it out.

"I can't believe anybody ever thought this was edible." She tossed the bread and butter into the composter, which beeped several times before determining that the items didn't meet food safety standards and were worthless for reuse with any other recipe.

There was a quick flash of heat that turned the contents into ash, and a whooshing sound signified that the ashes had been jettisoned out into space.

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