friday feast: celebrating fall with yummy haiku + leetle baked pumpkins

It’s here, it’s here! My favorite season of the year!

Happy Autumn, Cutie Pies!

To celebrate, I’m sharing four haiku from that delectable harvest of foodie goodness, Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!: Americas’ Sproutings by Pat Mora and Rafael López (Lee & Low, 2007).

This mouth-watering collection features fourteen familiar foods native to the Americas (corn, blueberries, chiles, tomatoes, pecans, pumpkins). With choice sensory details, touches of whimsy, and a generous sprinkling of joy, Ms. Mora captures their very essence, illuminating how these foods have enriched our lives for centuries (hello, chocolate!).🙂

Each of the haiku is paired with a sidebar brimming with fascinating tidbits about the food’s origin, history, cultural significance and/or current uses.

Rafael López’s exuberant, color saturated acrylic on wood paintings leap off the page, incorporating wondrous narratives to feed the imagination via beautiful layers, textures, luscious details and a fetching cast of diverse characters.

What child would not love to reach for a piece of chocolate pie floating on a cloud, or ride atop a giant bird tossing blueberries? And wouldn’t it be fun to party with a giant peanut butter sandwich or dancing pineapple?

This scrumptious award winning feast of words and pictures is wholly satisfying — a fun and informative treat for all ages just perfect for perking up the Fall palate and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

Mr. Cornelius and the Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers picked these sample poems just for you. Enjoy. Qué Rico!

*   *   *

PAPAYA

Chewing your perfume,
we taste your leafy jungle.
Yum! Juicy tropics.

*   *   *

PECAN

We crack hard, brown shells,
family munching, story time,
crunchy taste of fall.

*   *   *

PUMPKIN

Under round luna,
scattered tumblings down the rows,
autumn’s orange face.

*   *   *

TOMATO

Round roly-poly
squirts seedy, juicy splatter.
Red bursts in your mouth.

*   *   *

🎃 TASTY LEETLE PUMPKINS 🎃

After reading the Pumpkin haiku, the resident bears were curious about tasting fresh pumpkin. Mr. Jama procured some mini pumpkins, just the right size for hungry little bears.

Did you know they’re called Jack Be Little pumpkins? Adorable! We get some every year for decoration but never thought to actually eat them.

After washing our little Jacks, we simply cut the tops off,

removed the seeds and strings with an ice cream scoop,

filled the cavities with about a tablespoon of butter, a teaspoon of brown sugar, and sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg,

replaced the lids, and then baked them at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Once they were done, it was fun to lift those little lids, scrape the pumpkin meat from the sides and mix it with the butter and brown sugar mixture. Yum! Growls of approval!

I’ve used mini pumpkins for table settings, but now that I know they’re actually edible (and tasty), I think they would make a cute first course for Thanksgiving.

You can eat them simply like we did here, or stuff them with pretty much anything — this Country Living recipe for Baked Stuffed Pumpkins calls for a mixture of Israeli couscous, apples, onions, cranberries and Italian sausage; and Whole Foods has a Wild Rice Stuffed Mini Pumpkin recipe with cranberries (sounds good).

These leetle pumpkin pots are a novel way to serve soup, puddings, chunky relishes, or a serving of your favorite veggies. They’re just too cute. Qué rico!   (Can you tell I like saying that?)🙂

*   *   *

YUM! ¡MmMm! ¡QUÉ RICO!
written by Pat Mora
illustrated by Rafael López
published by Lee & Low, 2007
Poetry Picture Book for ages 5+, 32 pp.
*Américas Book Award, ALA Notable Book
**Available in English and Spanish editions

♥ Visit the publisher’s website for reviews, an interview with the author, and a Teacher’s Guide.

*   *   *

poetryfriday180The lovely and talented Laura Purdie Salas is hosting this week’s Roundup at Writing the World for Kids. I wonder which of today’s featured foods is her favorite? Do you think it’s pumpkin?🙂

——————————

*Spreads posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright © 2007 Pat Mora, illustrations © 2007 Rafael López, published by Lee & Low Books. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

45 thoughts on “friday feast: celebrating fall with yummy haiku + leetle baked pumpkins

  1. So glad you posted this! I was working with a teacher yesterday and telling her about these haiku. I could picture the cover, but couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the title or author! (One of those classic senior moments!) You saved my life! And the little pumpkins look YUMMY! Thanksgiving or otherwise!

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    1. What a nice coincidence! This is one of those wonderful books I’ve been meaning to feature for many years and I’m glad I finally got around to it. A perennial favorite🙂.

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  2. Oh yummy indeed! I am buying this (both) book/s immediately becuase a) it proves there are never too many food poetry books and b) it is the Total Package. Wow! Thanks, Jama.

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  3. I didn’t know blueberries are native to the Americas. This sounds like a fascinating and delectable picture book. And that pumpkin recipe — I’ll take one of your mini pumpkins over a fake-pumpkin flavored latte any day.

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    1. It’s a great concept to feature foods native to the Americas — kids would probably already be familiar with most of them, and learn about a couple of new ones (prickly pear, pecans ?).

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  4. I like the description of pumpkins as “autumn’s orange face” and the roly-poly seediness of tomatoes. Had no idea that you could eat those little pumpkins — I buy them every year but have never tried!

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    1. Same here — who knew those little guys were edible? I read on a blog that the ones you get early in the season are sweeter. Not sure how these would taste if you tried to eat them after they’ve been sitting out for a couple of months.

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  5. The perfect way to celebrate “Autumn’s orange face” Jama! The poem’s just burst with flavor and texture – and the illustrations are just as joyous. I never knew those little pumpkins, which sit as decoration on my dining room table at the moment, were edible. Dinner!

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  6. The illustrations are so action-packed and full of color. What a lovely package for poetry! The Country Living recipe has me drooling…

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  7. So colorful and fun! Like Tara, I love the image: “autumn’s orange face” – :0)
    And those mini pumpkin pots (& yummy contents) are a glorious idea. Must steal.

    Happy Fall to you & the bear bunch!

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  8. This book is so wonderful. Concise, skilled haiku and gorgeous art–what more could I ask for? “Chewing your perfume” is my favorite line of these four. But pecans would be my favorite of these foods—candied pecans. Yum!

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  9. Que rico! My sister-in-law is from South America, and she’s a fabulous cook, and when she posts photos of her dishes on Facebook, often there is a whole chorus of comments saying, “Que rico!” This book looks lovely — I should get it for her!

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  10. Food and haiku–a winning combination. I especially love thinking about pumpkins as “autumn’s orange face.” AND knowing that you can bake those cute little guys! Great idea to serve at the start of Thanksgiving dinner.

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    1. Since it sounds like most of us didn’t know those little guys were edible, they may be in trouble now — all these years they were spared from being eaten — but not anymore🙂.

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  11. Itty bitty poetry + itty bitty pumpkins = treat for all! Love Mora’s haiku, especially the line: “Chewing your perfume” – exactly how a papaya tastes! And now I see you can eat those tiny pumpkins – I’m trying this recipe! Thanks, Jama! = )

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  12. I love any kind of squash-tasting vegetable, so you recipe sounds wonderful, Jama. And I think everyone must love “autumn’s orange face”. What a gorgeous book, just right for a class studying all kinds of food. Pat Mora’s haiku are wonderful too. Thanks for every bit, especially showing that chocolate page first. That smile is worth a lot!

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  13. “What child would not love to reach for a piece of chocolate pie floating on a cloud, or ride atop a giant bird tossing blueberries?” Are you kidding? Not if I get there first! Will have to try those little pumpkin pots… those I’ll share with the kids, though.

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  14. Yummy poems and Yum! Gonna try some of those mini pumpkins cooked that way asap!

    One of our favorite fall quick dinners is to halve, seed, and bake acorn squash, then fill with crumbled/browned sausage + as many frozen mixed vegetables as you like, heating again in the oven until hot through and through with a bit of shredded cheddar on top to melt in.

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  15. Good golly, Jama! How did I ever miss this book? Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention with this post. I am off to procure a copy of my own. I am also heading to our nearby farmer’s market to see if they have any mini-pumpkins. Love your blog!

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  16. Pat Mora! I had the luck of hearing her speak at the US Board on Books for Young People conference last October. She was fearless and articulate! I’m very happy to see one of her books pictured here🙂
    I’ve never tried to eat mini pumpkins either, but I love preparing acorn squash with exactly the same combination of butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon!

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    1. How cool that you got to hear Pat in person!

      Now I’m craving acorn squash — I like all squashes (acorn, butternut, spaghetti). Tis the season!🙂

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