friday feast: le poème de la pomme

photo by Suburban Paparazzi.

Happy Autumn!

You look mahvelous! Did you know you’re the apple of my eye?☺

In honor of Johnny Appleseed’s 235th birthday tomorrow, I’m going all apple-y today. I LOVE apple season. Talk about a perfect fruit. “A” is definitely for Apple, and an apple a day keeps writer’s block away (hee).

I’m looking forward to gorging myself on apple cider, pie, muffins, crumble, fritters, dumplings, and pancakes. I love apples in fresh salads and relishes, and with a little peanut butter at snacktime. And don’t apples have the best names? I wouldn’t mind being called English Beauty, Kerry Irish Pippin or Empress (you may curtsy now). Can’t imagine the fun I could have with Rambo, Sops of Wine, Doctor Hogg. And I just learned there’s an apple called Hawai’i, a cross between Golden Delicious and Gravenstein. It’s a gourmet dessert apple with the fragrance and flavor of pineapples!

Yes, it’s going to be a very tasty fall. :9

 photos by Vicky in the Colour and ART by MAR.

But getting on with our birthday celebration, I think some apple cake would be just the thing. Marge Piercy’s poem is sure to make you smile; the narrator of this dramatic monologue sounds just like my mother, even though she doesn’t bake.  There must be some kind of genetic “mother teaching voice” that gets handed out along with that wallop of hormones. You gotta love it.

by Marge Piercy

Take some flour. Oh, I don’t know,
like two-three cups, and you cut
in the butter. Now some women
they make it with shortening,
but I say butter, even though
that means you had to have fish, see?

You cut up some apples. Not those
stupid sweet ones. Apples for the cake,
they have to have some bite, you know?
A little sour in the sweet, like love.
You slice them into little moons.
No, no! Like half or crescent
moons. You aren’t listening.

(Rest is here.)

Now for the really fun part of this post:

Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to make one of the following apple cake recipes in honor of John Chapman. If not this weekend, then sometime this fall. It’s your “American as apple pie” civic duty, and your family and friends will thank you for it. I wonder which one Marge Piercy would choose?☺

How do Upside Down Caramel Apple Tea Cakes sound to you?
(Scroll down — recipe is in the comments.)

photo by the-icing-on-the-cake.

Or maybe Dorset Apple Cake:

photo by wine_scribbler).

If you want to get French about the whole thing, Apple Cake in Cocotte:

photo by Mortimer?

Apple Raisin Cake:

photo by Amelia PS.

Apple Coffee Crumb Cake:

photo by you can count on me.

So how did you like them apples? These recipes should keep you pretty busy for awhile. Have a sweet and sumptuous autumn — you’re such a pip!

Check out all the great poems being shared today at the Roundup hosted by the lovely Susan Taylor Brown.



“And there never was an apple, in Adam’s opinion, that wasn’t worth the trouble you got into for eating it.” ~ Neil Gaiman.

Copyright © 2009 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

35 thoughts on “friday feast: le poème de la pomme

  1. Such a fun post! It gives me lots of ideas… We’re going apple-picking tomorrow.

    That poem is fantastic!! I can hear the voices of several of the women in my family. It all goes back to the debate my sister and I have: is cooking an art or a science?



  2. I am SO making that apple coffee crumb cake. I have an apple cake recipe I like a lot, but that one looks WHOA.

    I really need to dig out my fall leaves icon.

    Did you know you’re the apple of my eye?

    *points to user name* As a matter of fact, I did. 😀


  3. Oh this is way too much fun! I’m loving this post, the theme, the poem, and all these great eye candy pictures. Thanks for making Poetry Friday such a fun day. Enjoy!


  4. Apples, apples everywhere

    I am in love with this poem and you’ve convinced me that I need to bake this weekend. I do make a mean apple pie but I think I’ll try one of these recipes instead.Thanks for this great post!


  5. Friday Feast

    Elaine M.

    I love the last stanza of Piercy’s poem!

    The pictures of the apple delights are making my mouth water–but I can’t stop to read the recipes. Remember…I’m trying to lose weight for my daughter’s wedding.


  6. That poem is perfect! What a great voice! And I thought it was just my mother who cooked (or baked) that way!! It’s taken me over decade and many, many, long distance calls (that sound exactly like the poem, except with curry recipes) to get anywhere near that good. Thanks for this feast of apples!!!!


  7. I tend to think baking is more scientific because of the precision of measurements — but overall, I like to think of cooking as an art, because the love a cook adds to any dish, an extension of him/herself, is what makes it special. Have fun apple picking!!


  8. Tanita Says 🙂

    Egads, that recipe sounds like the way my Dad gives directions. Thank God for cookbooks and Google Maps.

    I’d LOVE to make one of these cakes! It’s Pink Lady season, but we’re not quite to the best baking apples yet (Pink Ladies are for EATING, thankyouverymuch). I’ll try the Dorset Cake, methinks. No, wait. That caramel thing looks good. Or…


  9. Oh,man. I have such a taste for apple pie now.
    Love the poem. My favorite line is “A little sour with the sweet, like love.”
    I have an apple motif in my kitchen. I stenciled apples along the ceiling for a border and found some cute apple decorations. I also had plenty already being a former teacher!
    Have a fabulous weekend, Jama!


  10. I like this assignment! Will it be Upside Down Caramel Apple Tea Cakes or Dorset Apple Cake? Mmm.

    I have GOT TO get some Marge Piercy poetry collections already! She impresses me every time.



  11. This poem is hysterical, Jama. This is exactly how my aunt makes her famous brownies. I think it’s recipe sabotage. Thanks for the apple recipes. Those upside down cakes look amazing.

    Laura @authoramok


  12. Yummers!!!!

    Well, we’ll all be baking and thinking of John Chapman, and thinking of this blog post – such scrumptious recipes. I’m going to make that apple raisin cake for morning after Thanksgiving when I have a house full of family who spent the night and wake up ready to sit back down at the table and continue all the talk from the night before. Yum – that recipe has rum and Empire apples (and I have a tree of Empires in my yard!) Thanks, Jama.


  13. It’s been a rough couple of weeks and I’ve missed coming here for wit and photos and inspiration. I got all three today! LOVE LOVE LOVE the poem! That’s not YOUR mom’s voice, it’s MINE!!!

    The slightly too-tart-for-eating-out-of-hand apples I got at the market the other week are going to be baked with brown sugar, cinnamon and heavy cream…as soon as we finish the peaches that ripened on the counter and the strawberries that were on sale at the grocery store today!


  14. Sorry to hear you’ve had a rough time recently. Isn’t it funny how almost everyone’s mother has the same voice? Oh wait — if you’re a mother (which I’m not), you have that voice, too! 😀

    I can almost smell your baked apples — brown sugar and cinnamon is definitely the way to go!


  15. Oh, yum! First, love, love, love this funny poem. Reminds me of several sitcom episodes where people “accidentally” leave out ingredients to family recipes.

    I’m being seduced by those caramel apple thingamabobs. I don’t see where the recipes are, but maybe that’s just as well. Doesn’t fit in with the Weight Watchers plan, I’m sure!

    I used to make a mean apple cheddar bread with fresh-picked apples when we’d go to the orchard. Mmm…griddled with real butter. Oh. My mouth is watering. Better go eat my Honey Ohs.


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