Are We Becoming High Maintenance? Thoughts While Making Supper…

I love the movie, “When Harry Met Sally”.  In it, there is a scene where Harry is describing low maintenance and high maintenance women..

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.

Sally Albright: Which one am I?

Harry Burns: You’re the worst kind; you’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.

Sally Albright: I don’t see that.

Harry Burns: You don’t see that? Waiter, I’ll begin with a house salad, but I don’t want the regular dressing. I’ll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. “On the side” is a very big thing for you.

Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.

Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.
I was catching up on a few blogs while making supper tonight, and they really made me think. One was talking about really listening to those who are asking questions. If we do not listen to what it is they are asking, have we already created a wall that will prevent effective communication?  Is the consumer the Sally Albright in this situation? They just want it the way they want it?  Or are we? I just want to farm it the way I want to farm it.  

When we are the worst kind of listener – high maintenance, but think we’re low maintenance – do people stop trying to participate in conversations with us? Is that when we lose the consumer’s interest, like Sally does to the waiter when ordering a sandwich?  How do we ensure that we are low maintenance, like the cool character Ingrid Bergman played?

As I paused to assemble the ingredients for supper, another thought hit me…

Supper tonight was semi-homemade pizza. The crust was a frozen ready to bake crust from Schwan’s. The tomato sauce was made with fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market in our hometown and from my uncle’s garden. Since the sauce was a bit watery, even while reducing it on the stove, I added a can of organic tomato paste from my pantry. When the sauce was cooking, I diced some of our thick cut bacon that was left over from our dinner of BLT’s. I then sliced up some fresh mozzarella that was on sale at the grocery store. I’m not sure if that was the one I got free, or if it is the one that is still in the fridge. Anyway, it was a good deal on a food I don’t normally cook with. To top off the pizza, I picked a few basil leaves off of the herb planter just outside my back door, diced them up, and sprinkled them over the top.  The pizza was now ready to go in the oven.

Just by looking at it, it looks like a gourmet pizza…sort of.  If you look at the ingredient list, there is an interesting mix. Store bought (or delivered by the Schwan’s man in this case), organic, farmer’s market, garden fresh from a relative, one item I only bought because it was on sale, and something I grew myself.  When I added the heat, all those varied ingredients became one delicious pizza.

This pizza is kinda how I hope all farmers and agriculture professionals can be. We may be representing all types, but when we add heat (like participating in social media discussions), we can become one awesome pizza.  We need to be careful not to burn one part, or the whole pie will be ruined.

Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

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