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Unread 12-07-2021, 11:50 AM
RCL's Avatar
RCL RCL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,305

Another off the ever-growing bleaching bone pile:

A Dinner Dance

Bedazzled by her dance across the floor,
I sense the rhythmic beating of her heart.
With restless energy, she makes a start,
glides smoothly to the pantry to explore.
A metal whisk in hand, she soon will pour
eight eggs with parmesan, the crucial part.
She tempts me with her culinary art,
sashaying to the oven’s open door,
hips shifting side to side, a lovely sway.
She slides in the frittata (sausage, eggs,
potatoes, peppers, onions), and I pray
that for dessert we too will cook, our legs
then dipping deep to stimulate romancing
with sweetly spicy after-dinner dancing.
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Unread 12-07-2021, 12:03 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 7,463

The Gal Cajoles Her Guy to Ingest a Vegetable

Were you a rabbit, you’d inhabit gardens, chomp a carrot,
live broccoli or celery — whatever — wouldn’t spare it.
You would be ever hungry, never fussy. Turnip, pea,
zucchini, squash, you’d keenly nosh them all with utter glee.

A bunch of mice would not think twice of munching week-old lettuce.
They’d not be picky. “Things you call icky,” they’d say, “have always fed us.”
Decayed bok choy would give them joy, but never soybeans, mind!
They’d gorge on sorrel, and have no quarrel with tossed-out pumpkin rind.

But you, my dear, have a foolish fear of veggies of all sorts.
Oh no, I don’t, I simply won’t eat anything that sports
a leaf or root or stem or fruit or seed or flower or ... wait!
What’s on my dish next to the fish? What is that on my plate?

I hope it’s not a veggie! Got to go now. See you later.

Hold on, my sweet. Don’t leave your seat! This object is a tater.
It’s topped with butter. Oh, don’t shudder. Eat it! Please, don’t go!
(He took a bite. They had a night of bliss. How did she know?)
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Unread 12-07-2021, 12:04 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 7,463

Weighing Plain Vs. Showy Veggies When Hungry

Unlike its giant cabbage cousin,
the Brussels sprout’s so small, compact,
you can tote them in your pocket. Fact:
one easily can eat a dozen.

Great taste (unless they’re overcooked).
One relative, though, looks ornate
as fractals — its most striking trait —
a vegetable that’s got me hooked

called Romanesco cauliflower,
whose inflorescence can enchant
me so, it is the sort of plant
I’d rather gaze at than devour.

How can I bite a life whose shape
is mathematics at its height?
I bless you, Brussels sprout. I might
well starve without you, mouth agape.
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Unread 12-07-2021, 03:01 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 7,463

The Ackee

My second cousin once removed, named Jackie,
purchased a ripened reddish-yellow ackee.
The fruit was gaping like an alligator
and luscious-looking. ’Twould invigorate her,
she thought, and took a little tiny bite.
The sweetness was so good, her appetite
grew like a cane toad. Gobbling all its flesh
she tossed away the big black seeds. So fresh
the taste, next day she hurried back and bought
another ackee. Nobody had taught
her anything about this foreign fruit.
That relative of mine was not astute.
This specimen was far from ripe, its rind
lime-green. She broke it open (was she blind?)
and had a healthy helping. Sadly, heaven
did not turn up to help. (She was eleven.)
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Unread 12-07-2021, 03:24 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 7,463

Green Fingers (Okra)

My lady’s fingers are as viridescent
as Kermit the green frog. They are not spicy
like jalapeños, though they’re just as long.
My lime-green lady’s fingers, while not pricey,
are so darn tasteless, they’re like a depressant.
Perchance they’ll make me healthy, slim and strong,
but they are trailing slime behind like snails
slithering forth. They don’t sport fingernails,
nor are they blessed with knuckles. No, these fingers
are hot where one might hear good Cajun singers.
Louisiana chefs can make them yummy.
Not me! I must have left mine undercooked.
I gagged on the first forkful. Oh, my tummy!
I don’t expect I ever will get hooked
on bland, gelatinous seedpods. Being a dumbo,
I’ll never get the hang of cooking gumbo!
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Unread 12-07-2021, 05:17 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 7,463

I wrote this one many moons ago.

For Lunch

For lunch, I often have an iceberg salad —
a shredded head of lettuce (nothing on it) —
and think of you, or have a bite of ballad
and miss you; or while noshing on a sonnet …
I hardly sleep and barely eat — doggone it! —
Since you had gone and vanished from my life.
When last I’d seen you, you had worn your bonnet;
you looked so cute! My heart then felt a knife
when you said you don’t want to be my wife
and ran away to live with that guy, Sam.
What happened, dear? We hadn’t had much strife.
But now I’m munching on an epigram
and thinking of that gal I met, Sestina,
who’s meeting me for brunch at the cantina.
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Unread 12-07-2021, 05:47 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 3,524

I'm having trouble keeping up — there are so many good ones here. Michael, the Aubergine poem (it's a beautiful word to hear) is stunningly seductively deliciously delicately dished. I don't know if I've ever read a food poem like it before. It would be good even if it were not an eggplant you were writing about but a woman named Aubergine. Maybe even better. (etymology:The French and the British (copying the French), call eggplants aubergine, which is derived from the Sanskrit word vatinganah (literally, “anti-wind vegetable”))

Martin, Yours are a vegetarian delight.

Ann, Much like Ben Gunn, I haven't had a good round of Camembert since the early seventies.

I'm looking forward to devouring the rest.

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 12-07-2021 at 05:57 PM.
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Unread 12-07-2021, 08:40 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA; Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 10,963

For André Lambion

I owe my life—at least the parts that count—
the cooking, eating, and creative times;
the fressing, noshing, snacking, stuffing, tasting
that make most days a minor festival—
I owe it all to André Lambion:
In three hours, in a tired restaurant in Liege,
halfway between Brussels and nowhere,
so long ago it was a time before time,
he grabbed my life and redirected it.

Andre was Director of European Sales.
He was a man of tailored suits and walls of shirts
so white and starched they crackled as he moved.
The office rumor mill advised of ties
to the royal family. He drove a vintage Porsche
and spoke French, Flemish, English, German.
His wife was an ex-Olympic swimmer.

And me? I was a schmuck from the Bronx:
an achingly young engineer assigned
for a year to our new Belgian subsidiary.
I had never even been on an airplane
until I flew to Brussels for this job.
But I had no wife, no kids, no family,
no relocation costs – I was a bargain!

We sometimes made sales calls together;
me dragging bags of samples and catalogs,
and André holding a crisp leather folder
in his long and manicured fingers,
as he disdainfully translated my English
into precisely manicured Francaise.
We had visited a customer in Liege,
and missed the train back. Three hours to wait.
We settled into a nearby restaurant,
and André ordered food and wine for us,
without bothering to ask what I wanted.

Within minutes, steaming bowls of mussels
were placed in front of us. I hated mussels—
their stench, their dull, dumb bottom-feeder-ness.
I’d been in Belgium for almost two months,
and every week the Chief Engineeer
and his wife took me to a popular
seafood restaurant, where they devoured
cauldrons of mussels on the company dime,
and tried to persuade me to try the same.
“I don’t eat seafood” I explained repeatedly.
After a few visits they stopped pestering me.
I always had the veal parmesan,
buried at the bottom of the menu
and often served still partially frozen.

André saw my look. “It’s a seafood restaurant.”
“I don’t eat seafood. Do they have fried clams.”
“Enjoy the bread. You do eat bread, don’t you?"

Hours and hungry hours until the next train.
and then the long ride back to Antwerp.
Andre stared at me across the mussel bowl.
“You don’t speak French or Flemish, do you.”
I shrugged. He knew perfectly well I didn’t.
“And you don’t really know where we are,
or how to get back to Antwerp.”
Another shrug.
André just sighed. He stared at me and through me.
“Try a mussel or I will leave you here.”
It wasn’t necessary to add “to die”.
He was a cousin of an uncle of the King.
He went to parties at the Royal Palace.

So I tried a mussel. And another.
And a third. And all of my bowl and half
of André’s, and we had one more each after that,
And several bottles of a modest but intriguing
Muscadet that André recommended.

In just three hours that man had changed my life,
and set me on a path to not just bivalves,
but the exotic and the challenging.
By the time I was assigned to head up
a new joint venture headquartered in Tokyo
a few years later, I established myself
with our stone-faced Japanese partners
by devouring live shrimp and a carp’s eyeball
at the launch party with practiced panache.

I’d like to think that André saw inside my soul,
and sensed the inner man beyond the Bronx,
but I suspect he was simply bored and annoyed.
Either way, he made a different man of me

Last edited by Michael Cantor; 12-08-2021 at 02:54 PM.
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Unread 12-07-2021, 11:50 PM
Brian Allgar Brian Allgar is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 5,219

(Another response to Chesterton's remark)

xxxxxxxxxxxxSay Cheese!

O poets! Eloquent on birds and bees,
On love and death, on daffodils and trees,
Why shun you so the noble theme of cheese?

Mysteriously silent, poets lost a
Rewarding subject; Byron might have tossed a
Stanza or two in praise of Double Gloucester.

No Scottish Cheddar (mousetrap with a kilt on)
From Robert Burns? No elegiac Stilton -
The favourite cheese of Lycidas - from Milton?

No ode to Wensleydale or to Caerphilly,
No cheesy hymns, delectable or smelly,
From Tennyson or Browning, Keats or Shelley?

I speak, of course, of proper English curds’ worth,
And not that foreign muck, barely a turd’s worth,
Unless from sheep - in which case, where is Wordsworth?

Last edited by Brian Allgar; 12-07-2021 at 11:58 PM.
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Unread 12-08-2021, 04:42 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 6,124

I was thinking about Michael Cantor the other day when I made ramen, scratching it up from what I had to hand. I had in mind this scene from one of my favourite films.

I gathered leeks and garlic, onions and mushrooms, some snack-squares of crispy seaweed and a not-quite-hard boiled egg. I used vermicelli in lieu of noodles but the broth was the real McCoy – or rather the real Yoshihiro, from a carton at the back of the fridge. The pork was three horizontal slices of the subject of the old poems below. I dipped it mindfully and whispered to it as reverentially as Yoshi Katō in the film but it still tasted very much like …

Beautiful Spam, so nearly meat,
You came about as a wartime treat
With a pinch of pork and a hint of ham
And a whiff of austerity, beautiful Spam!

Beautiful Spam, who then would wish
For Snoek or any funny fish
Or flesh of billy, bull or ram?
Oh, meat of the multitude, beautiful Spam!

Beautiful Spam, your pale pink prism,
Plonked on a plate with Platonism,
Stands for the grandeur of Uncle Sam.
Gift of America, beautiful Spam!

Beautiful Spam, I thee exalt,
Sodium nitrite, fat and salt,
The fair foundation of all I am.
Feast of obesity, beautiful Spam!

* * * * * * *

See it slide from the confines of its tin;
it is Milo of Croton, poised and greased
for combat. See the first slice, unwiped, hung
from thumb and finger. Watch it as it slips,
still in its jelly, between eager lips
where its pink dampness will be welcomed in,
held for a moment like a lover’s tongue
pressed hard against the palate, then released
to lie, resigned, a sacrifice beneath
the rhythmic strokes of reverential teeth.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 12-08-2021 at 05:44 AM. Reason: I had missed a macron. Michael would have noticed.
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