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Cold war erupts in lieu of highly localized cream of mushroom shortage

MINNESOTA – The quilting club at Peace Lutheran Church has lost a ranking member after an uproar in the church basement during fellowship after last Sunday’s 9:30 A.M. service.

Gladys, the unofficial recordkeeper of Kwilts for Kiddos at Peace Lutheran, was ousted following what appears to be a kerfuffle over the hot dish she brought.

It all began when Kwilts for Kiddos vice president Marlis and her daughter, Grace, took the hot dish out of its tote and uncovered the 9” by 13” pan. As the savory fragrance of Minnesota staple tater tot hot dish began to waft through the confines of the kitchen, a note of something off caught their noses.

“Is that…not cream of mushroom?” Grace asked Marlis under her breath.

Marlis, her jaw clenching, nodded as more women began to gather around the bastardization of such a beloved entree. Since the pan had the name of its owner etched into the glass on all four sides, she knew who she was going to shame for all to see – and she was going to send the most evil of all the church women to do it. Nodding at her henchman, it was time to pounce on poor Gladys.

Amidst the chatter of hungry parishioners clamoring into the basement, famished and salivating from a non-communion Sunday, a shrill and nasal war cry caused even the most taciturn of Norwegian-Americans to drop their plasticware.

“GLADYS!”

Gladys whipped around to face her attacker as she topped off everyone’s coffee.

Tiptoeing forward, she composed herself as only a woman who listened to Pastor Torkelson’s fire and brimstone sermon 30 minutes prior could – a real woman of the Lord, don’t you know.

“Yes, Karen?”

Karen seethed, “You know gosh danged well what you did.”

“I used cream of celery in my hot dish because the HyVee was out of cream of mushroom,” Gladys explained as she began to cower.

“Gladys, you KNEW that the Aldi in the next town over has cream of mushroom. Your Buick still runs the last I knew,” Marlis jeered as the other ladies began to surround poor Gladys like a pack of wolves.

“Cream of shroom is tradition. You don’t mess with tradition,” Grace said. (Note: she really wanted to say “you don’t f*ck with tradition” like a total millennial but she was in church and the f-bombs would have to wait.)

“Think of the children,” Janet said because she wanted to be involved but really had nothing else to contribute.

Karen piped up from the back of the kitchen and said coldly, “Don’t you worry about coming to quilting on Thursday, Gladys.”

Gladys picked up her hot dish and slipped out the door, feeling the eyes of the congregation on her hunched back as she started up her Buick to drive home and cry as she ate that hot dish all by herself.

WSYS caught up with Gladys at her home on Tuesday after her tears had dried. Eyes red and nose snuffled, she quietly recounted to us what had happened in her own words and had a couple of things to reiterate for the ladies at Peace Lutheran, particularly regarding Kwilts for Kiddos.

“I was so hurt. I don’t think I can go back there anymore. They really aren’t that different, cream of celery and cream of mushroom. The sodium content is very similar,” Gladys said. “And who else is going to do all the recordkeeping and bookwork for the quilting club? How are we supposed to know how much floral fabric we went through compared to flannel and animal prints? Who’s going to know when Hobby Lobby has the best sales on yarn without my coupon clipping?”

Before collapsing into sobs at having lost her one sense of doing good by sending insulated blankets to children in tropical countries, she had more words of advice for whoever was going to fill her very big shoes.

Church and Campbell's (1)

“Think of the children,” Gladys said. “And don’t f*ck with tradition.”

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