‘Tis the season of apples, pumpkins, black cats and twisted tales, so we’re getting our Fall on this week with a three course meal of old favorites.
I suppose one could say this post is equal parts miao, morbid, and mmmmm. 🙂
PRIMO: THE SONG OF THE JELLICLES
I love cracking open my Edward Gorey version of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Not only does it remind me of when we saw Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Cats” in London many moons ago (I’ve been licking my paws and prancing about ever since), but of the pleasant after dinner walks Len and I used to take around our old neighborhood.
You see, two streets down and around the corner we were usually greeted by a Jellicle Cat. A fine fellow he was, all tuxedo-ed up for the ball under the bright moonlight. He was both sleek and adorable, having washed behind his ears and between his toes (he knew we were coming). A Fred Astaire of cats, we think of him still.
I love this reading by T.S. Eliot himself:
THE SONG OF THE JELLICLES
by T.S. Eliot
Jellicle Cats come out to-night
Jellicle Cats come one come all:
The Jellicle Moon is shining bright –
Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.
Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats are rather small;
Jellicle Cats are merry and bright,
And pleasant to hear when they caterwaul.
Jellicle Cats have cheerful faces,
Jellicle Cats have bright black eyes;
They like to practise their airs and graces
And wait for the Jellicle Moon to rise.
Jellicle Cats develop slowly,
Jellicle Cats are not too big;
Jellicle Cats are roly-poly,
They know how to dance a gavotte and a jig.
Until the Jellicle Moon appears
They make their toilette and take their repose:
Jellicles wash behind their ears,
Jellicles dry between their toes.
Jellicle Cats are white and black,
Jellicle Cats are of moderate size;
Jellicles jump like a jumping-jack,
Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes.
They’re quiet enough in the morning hours,
They’re quiet enough in the afternoon,
Reserving their terpischorean powers
To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.
Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats (as I said) are small;
If it happens to be a stormy night
They will practise a caper or two in the hall.
If it happens the sun is shining bright
You would say they had nothing to do at all:
They are resting and saving themselves to be right
For the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball.
SECONDO: SOLOMON GRUNDY
Now, for a touch of morbidity, Nick Bantock’s version of the traditional nursery rhyme Solomon Grundy. I’ve had this little pop-up gem forever in our library cabinet where I keep miniature books. The other day it called to me, wanting a little attention in this season of the wily and wicked.
Mr Cornelius was a little afraid of the pop-up faces; it’s a good thing the doctor and nurse were close by. He felt sorry for Solomon, who had a very short life.
1. Solomon Marmaduke
born on a black and
Christened on a
stark and stormy
2. Married on a
grey and grizzly
3. Ill on a
mild and mellow
4. Worse on a
bright and breezy
5. Died on a
gay and glorious
6. Buried on a
This is the end
of Solomon Grundy.
DOLCE: CRANBERRY APPLE CRISP
Mind you don’t dance too long on Solomon Grundy’s grave — we’ve got apple crisp!
While drooling my way through Susan Branch’s Autumn book, I found her recipe for Cranberry Apple Crisp. Seemed like a nice idea to give it a try. I do like toppings that call for oatmeal, and for all the years I’ve made apple crisps, I’d never thought to toss in some cranberries. It’s like a little teaser for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we enjoy fresh cranberry sauce and cranberry muffins, and strings of cranberry garlands grace our Christmas tree.
Nothing could be easier to make or more satisfying on a cool autumn day — that sweet crunch of buttery brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, juicy Granny Smiths, the occasional tart bursts of cranberry, and melty vanilla ice cream. More please!
SUSAN BRANCH'S CRANBERRY APPLE CRISP
- 4 large green apples, peeled and sliced 1/2″
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/3 cup softened butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a square baking pan. Place apple slices and cranberries in the pan. Mix remaining ingredients well and sprinkle over fruit. Bake 30 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream or cold with whipped cream.
Jama’s note: I used an 8″ x 8″ pan.
~ from Autumn: From the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch (Spring Street Publishing, 2004), as posted at Jama’s Alphabet Soup
“A black cat dropped soundlessly from a high wall, like a spoonful of dark treacle, and melted under a gate.” ~ Elizabeth Lemarchand
🎃 POMEGRANATE WITCH GIVEAWAY WINNER! 🎃
Little did we know (though we should have guessed) that Monsieur Random Integer Generator is good friends with the Kindly Lady. He was so thrilled when he heard there was a new picture book with her in it, that he dashed over to her house (all the way from Christys’ London, where he had just purchased a Fur Felt Melusine Top Hat), to personally congratulate her.
She welcomed him with a warm cup of Pomegranate Tea and Pomegranate Orange Scones. After chatting about how excited they were that Halloween is only several days away, the Kindly Lady tossed all the entrants’ names into M. Generator’s new top hat. After scarfing up his tenth scone, M. Generator picked the winner, who is:
*boogie boogie shake*
Your prize is on its way to you even as we speak, and will be delivered personally by the Pomegranate Witch via her power broom. 🙂
Thanks, everyone, for entering. Not to worry, there’ll be another giveaway this coming Tuesday!
The charming and gifted Brenda Davis Harsham is hosting the Roundup at Friendly Fairy Tales. Tiptoe over with your magic wand and check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week. Happy Weekend and Happy Halloween!
This post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking. Put on your best bibs and aprons, and come join the fun!
Copyright © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.