friday feast: legume loving ladies

Well, we’re really in the thick of things now. When I first extended my invitation for peanut butter poems, little did I realize just how many of you nuts were actually out there! Nice to know I’m not the only one who likes to munch, crunch, slather and rhapsodize about America’s favorite spread!

Before we get to today’s poems, wanted to congratulate the one and only Joyce Sidman for receiving the 2013 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children!!! WooHoo! So well deserved. Love love love her work and it was such an honor to serve as a Cybils Final Round Judge the year we selected Red Sings from Treetops (Houghton Mifflin, 2009), still one of my favorite poetry picture books of all time.


You probably know Joyce’s most recent book, Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature (Houghton Mifflin, 2011), has earned a galaxy of *starred reviews* among many other cool accolades. Let’s all have a Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl cupcake in Joyce’s honor! (Just for today, you may twirl as you swirl.)

Georgetown Cupcake Peanut Butter Swirls

Since Joyce is extra special, let’s have TWO . . . or THREE! . . . or . . . .

Wait! Even though we’d love to have ten cupcakes, we should save our appetite for today’s tasty menu, which features five (count ’em, FIVE) lively legume-loving ladies, all former Poetry Potluck guests: Carol Weis, Tabatha Yeatts, Diane Mayr, JoAnn Early Macken, and Robyn Hood Black!

Time to go nuts!

Flexibility, beauty, ingenuity — thy name is woman. Think you’ve seen it all? Today’s poets have cooked up some very clever takes on our subject. It’s delightful how among other things, their poems and peanut butter preferences reveal their true selves :). Who knew haiku-loving Diane had a crush on Mr. Peanut? Or that Carol likes to switch up her Oreos? I can just picture JoAnn with her favorite PB companion, Tabatha creating yet another cool drawing or painting, and Robyn jamming in her kitchen. Since Robyn’s from Georgia, the largest peanut-producing state in the country, she knows of what she speaks (and eats).

Get out your big knives, folks. To spread or not to spread — is that even a question?

* * * * *


I prefer Teddie Unsalted Old-Fashioned All Natural Peanut Butter, Smooth or Super Chunky, depending on my mood or its purpose . . . I was always a big fan of Oreos (manufactured in my childhood state of NJ), but have found them a little too sweet for my taste now. So, I’ve switched up this confection using a healthy version of PB. Here’s a poem about my creation:



Prying apart an Oreo
paring knife in hand
I scrape off its sugary
white filling that most
do with their teeth then
slather each crisp chocolate
biscuit with peanut butter
the grand dame of childhood
snacks. Squishing them back
together I let the nutty paste
ooze out the sides licking
as it squirms over edges
of cocoa confection
finishing my creation
in two luscious bites.

Copyright © 2012 Carol Weis. All rights reserved.


Carol Weis Official Website


* * * * *


Set the table, set the scene. Tabatha, who likes both creamy and crunchy, does it best.

My kids and husband have forbidden any peanut butter that requires stirring, so I usually get Planter’s Natural, Jif Natural or Skippy Natural.

© 2012 Tabatha Yeatts


Tabatha Yeatts Official Website
The Opposite of Indifference


Mr. Cornelius Tip: To make natural PB easier to stir, turn the jar upside down for 24 hours. 🙂


* * * * *


For the record, I like chunky — the chunkier the better. I’ve been eating Planters since it’s been on sale (and I’ve always had an affinity for Mr. Peanut). Otherwise, I’m not too particular, as long as it isn’t sweet. I’m definitely not a honey and peanut butter person. I’m not even a peanut butter sandwich person — I like my peanut butter on a spoon, and occasionally on toast. One of my worst food memories is of my elementary school cafeteria, where they served peanut butter and butter sandwiches! (That same school also used to make one of my all-time favorites — porcupine meatballs!)

© 2012 Diane Mayr


Diane Mayr’s Official Website
Random Noodling
Kids of the Homefront Army
Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Kabinet
Kurious K’s Kwotes
The Write Sisters


You’re really driving me nuts.

* * * * *


I’m a big fan of crunchy peanut butter. I eat it on organic brown rice cakes and add it to banana breakfast smoothies.

(click for Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie recipe)




She hovers while I spread the peanut butter.
She lingers in the kitchen at my feet.
She knows the sound of knife against the bottom.
She listens for the scrape that means a treat.
She watches me pour milk and grab a plate.
Her nose is in the air. That’s how dogs are.
We settle in the dining room together.
I eat my sandwich. She licks out the jar.

Copyright © 2012 JoAnn Early Macken. All rights reserved.

JoAnn Early Macken’s Website
JoAnn’s Blog


* * * * *


So, what does the Georgia peanut have to say?

Peter Pan was what Mom bought growing up, so that was my fave. And, I’m a woman who likes chunky PB – but I preferred creamy as a kid.


I remember life underground
in that red Georgia clay —
rain seeping down, sun seeping in . . .

Til one day we were pulled up and out

left to dry, old enough to come out of our shells,
join the daily grind.

skipping right into something smooth and sweet,
creamy and dreamy.

Just like that — in a jiffy! — I was
jamming with some strawberry jelly
slathered this way and that
between slices of Wonder

Mmmm, mmmm . . .

listening to promises of Neverland.

Copyright © 2012 Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Robyn Hood Black’s Official Website
Robyn’s Blog: Read, Write, Howl


PBJ by Pohuski Studios

* * * * *

Did you catch all that oozing and slathering and licking and sliding? Legume love at its finest! Thanks so much, Carol, Tabatha, Diane, JoAnn and Robyn!

Our favorite Peanut Cluster Candy maker Mary Lee is hosting the Roundup this week at A Year of Reading. Check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere, and be sure to join us here next week for the Peanut Butter Poets Finale. Still time to slip in a last minute peanut butter poem — send it to me by Sunday and I’ll add it to the menu! As always, don’t forget to


P.S. I gotta get me some porcupine meatballs . . .


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.


52 thoughts on “friday feast: legume loving ladies

  1. Wow, Jama, you’ve got some delicious poems featured today! Thanks for including mine. I look forward to one more week of creamy, crunchy words.


  2. Jama—How do you do it? Another delicious combo of food, poetry, great images and just plain fun. I loved this post. My favorite–Tabatha Yeatts. Clearly you are an inspiration.
    Have a wonderful weekend and even though Thanksgiving has past, I’m thankful for this blog.
    (Love the dog and rolling pin pic)


    1. Aw thanks, Margie! Was tickled that Tabatha dedicated her poem to me — her words so carefully set out and arranged, like the prettiest of tables :).


  3. Thanks for including me in this tasty line-up, Jama! I like how Robyn took us all the way back underground, and the way JoAnn brought a faithful friend to the peanut butter party. Carol has a good idea (never thought of that!), and Diane makes peanut butter sound soothing, like a return to normalcy after tough times.


    1. Precisely so — you’ve summed up today’s menu in a nutshell (sorry, couldn’t resist). Thanks again for your lovely contribution!


  4. Jama,

    Many, many thanks for the shout-out. I loved these lucious peanut butter poems! Hooray for these poets, and for George Washington Carver, who helped make PB such a ubiquitous food. And hooray for you, Jama, for sharing all these riches with us.


    1. Thank YOU, Joyce, for the ongoing gift of your beautiful words and books. You continue to amaze, delight, and astonish us all with your artistry!


  5. First, huge congratulations to you, Joyce! So well deserved.

    Jama, thank you for these deliciously sticky poems, and for including mine! I love Tabatha’s comments about each poem. What a fun series this has been.


    1. Loved seeing the evolution of the peanut in your poem,and of course the very clever allusions to the most popular PB brands. Thanks for playing!


  6. Jama what a wonderfully yummy, lipsmacking collection of peanut butter poems. Perhaps you need to create a peanut butter poetry anthology for us all to enjoy? I need to see if I have a peanut butter poem in me. I have long been a fan of peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. 🙂

    And whoohoo! for Joyce!


    1. I just recently heard about those PB and pickle sandwiches! Sounds like a very unlikely combo, but since you’ve vouched for it, I must give it a try sometime. Maybe you could write about that? 🙂

      Hope it was easier for you to comment here today. Any technical probs?


  7. Oh Jama, yum, yum. What deliciousness is served up here. I am a fan of PBJ with crunchy and those peanut butter cookies with a kiss in the middle. So many great poets featured here.


  8. Another terrific post, Jama! Once I was able to get my eyeballs to stop drooling at the Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes, I was able to enjoy the poems. And I’d like to welcome Robyn to Charles Ghigna’s and my Peter Pan club!


    1. I confess I’m still drooling at those cupcakes, too. Haven’t been to Georgetown Cupcake in awhile because it’s always so crowded, but these chocolate pb swirls might be a good reason to go soon. 🙂


  9. Peanut butter Love and a grand celebration of Womanity – thy name is Beauty! 🙂 I love seeing all of our fabulous friends featured here with so much affection and luscious fillings, soo sexy! While I love love love all the poetry here, my absolute favorite would have to be Tabatha’s poem with the lines:
    “the sun
    wraps itself
    around cupped leaves
    and they fall together”
    I can just hear the hushed sound it makes.


    1. It’s been a blast this month seeing all the different poems. Tabatha’s poem is indeed beautiful, a nice example of her aesthetic sensibility.


  10. Cornelius is a genius. Thank him for his tip on stirring natural PB. This is such a delightful post, Jama. Wonderful photos, right down to the peanuts coming out of the ground, and I loved every one of the poems. Thanks so much.


    1. Glad you enjoyed the poems, Kathleen. Cornelius hopes you’ll try his tip sometime. Can you believe he only just told me about it last week? For years I’d been stirring the hard way, hating that layer of oil on the top of a new jar.


  11. I always love your posts, but these peanut butter ones have been especially yummy. What are you going to do for December?


  12. Congrats to Joyce Sidman! So well-deserved. And congrats to all you legume-loving ladies! I enjoyed the poems and treats. And thank you, Jama, for a yummy post, as always!


  13. OK, now I’m craving peanut butter! I’ve been making PB2 lately, a dehydrated, defatted peanut butter. It’s a decent lower-fat substitute for pb in many cases, and there aren’t any weird ingredients…just roasted peanuts. But still not as good as regular peanut butter (creamy, thank you very much).

    Thanks for all the delicious poems!


  14. The peanut butter in my cupboard is positively euphorious, having been featured so deliciously on your blog Jama. These poems are giving me all kinds of ideas for how to try peanut butter! Thank you, thank you!


  15. Love these, Jama – and I think you’re still collecting peanut butter poems for next week, right? November seems to have gotten away from me, but I’ll put my mind to PB&J now. Let’s see – butter, flutter, cutter, sputter, shudder, gutter, mutter, putter, stutter……


    1. Okay Tim, you must join the Peter Pan Club with Matt Forrest, Robyn Hood Black and Charles Ghigna. A small but exclusive group. Meetings held in Neverland every other week. BYOPB. 🙂


  16. Yowza, this post is packed full of (pea)nuts indeed! Love the wonderful variety of poems, as different as chunky and smooth. But I have to say I was won over by Robyn’s sly references…:)

    So let’s see…I still have a couple hours to meet the PB poem deadline…will I make it? Who can tell? 🙂


  17. I’m late in joining this yummy parade of comments. Thanks so much, Jama, for including me with these talented ladies. I look forward to next weeks nutty gathering. 😉 And congratulations to Joyce!


    1. Thanks for the PB Oreos love, Carol. I’m sure the ones you make at home with your natural PB is way better than the Nabisco ones. I actually didn’t know they made them until I saw your poem :).


  18. Hi, Jama. Who knew peanut butter would inspire such peaceful poems as Tabatha and Diane’s contributions today? I’ve been doing fibonacci poems with students. I will have to get “Swirl by Swirl.”


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