poetry friday roundup is here!

“In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.” ~ Salman Rushdie

Hello, Poetry-loving Friends!

Hope you’re feeling a little chipper today, because it’s National Chocolate Chip Day!

Thought we’d serve up a little comfort and levity to brighten your weekend. Please help yourself to as many warm-from-the-oven cookies as you like and a tall glass of milk — you certainly deserve it!

A few weeks ago, I received a nice thank you email from New Hampshire poet Jeff Friedman. You may remember that I featured his awesome “Poem for Ross Gay” back in December. I’ve never been quite the same since reading how Ross ate four Athena melons, an entire book of poetry, and all the eggs in the house, while refusing chocolate chip cookies and King Arthur chocolate onyx wafers (cause his body is a temple).

 

 

I didn’t need further convincing that Jeff is my kind of poet, but after he mentioned that chocolate chip cookies are the mainstay of his diet, there is simply no doubt.

So today, another Jeff poem — and yes, there’s chocolate in it. I’ve always wanted to work in or own a bakery. But the narrator in the poem and I just happen to be allergic to the same thing. Wrap your lips around this one, but save me an éclair. 🙂

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“Pastry Chef” by Chaim Soutine

 

WORKING IN FLOUR
by Jeff Friedman

When I walked into the bakery at my usual time
asking politely for two marble cookies,
a fudgy chocolate drop rising from the chocolate swirls,
Ida Kaminsky, who came from strong Russian stock —
a hearty vegetable stew, spicy meats rolled in
cooked cabbage — winked and asked if I wanted a job.
She offered me two bucks an hour,
half off on the marble cookies, and anything
not sold at the end of the day might also be mine.
I put on an apron, pushed through
the swinging doors to help the bakers.
The smell of flour was thick
and tree pollen spotted the windows.
Tall and freckled, Max, the other assistant,
squeezed my hand, “I’ll show you what to do.”
He taught me how to use the cake decorator,
how to prepare the éclairs and put them in their doilies,
then pointed out the brooms and mops, the industrial
strength cleansers, the double sink
with rubber hoses coiled in it. “You don’t want
paste to harden in the bowls.”
From across the room, where he scooped chocolate chip
cookie batter onto a baking tray, Julius, the baker,
snapped, “Make sure you tell him: Everything
has to be spick-and-span.” The flies heard him
and flew off the lip of the sink toward the light fixtures.
Soon I began sneezing, my hapless ahchoos
running down spotted walls, glistening
on my face and hands as I pumped the custard
through a nozzle into the delicate éclair rolls.
Later, when I worked on cleaning the floors,
Max yelled at me for spreading the dirt
in circles with my mop.
I stepped back, kicking over the bucket of lye.
All in a day’s work, I thought.
The next morning, Ida Kaminsky cornered me,
“I liked you better as a customer.”
I folded my apron neatly without arguing back
picked up my bag of cookies
and walked out into the bright spring air,
where now I understood my mother’s comment,
“You’re allergic to work” and where, for a moment,
I stopped sneezing.

~ from Working in Flour (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2011).

 

Marbled Chocolate Chunk Cookies via The Monday Box

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Now, please leave your poetry-related links below with the charming and debonair Mr. Linky. Take some chocolate chip cookies with you, and enjoy your little foray around the blogosphere as you savor all the wonderful posts. Happy Poetry Friday, and thanks for joining us!

 

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More cookies for the road compliments of the resident bakers:

 

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“I love watching keep-fit videos while munching chocolate chip cookies.” ~ Dolly Parton

“If I had any choice in the matter, I’d stay in my comfy bed and eat warm chocolate chip cookies all day.” ~ Simone Elkeles

“I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.” ~ Nora Ephron


Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

85 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. Oh, Jama….that is a funny poem. And, I do like how the baker is Julius. Once upon a time, I once fantasized about owning a bakery. I wanted to make baked goods for people to make them happy….never did I imagine cleaning, washing dishes, lye…oh my! A delicious post today. Thank you. I did have a chocolate cookie (or six today)so I’m extra happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The idea of owning a bakery loses its appeal once you consider how much work it would be. And you have to get up so early in the morning to bake everything! I guess I’ll just patronize bakeries instead, my strong point. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nom.
    We can depend on you for drool-worthy photos that are paired with perfect (sometimes snort-worthy) poems. That ending!
    I’m headed in a food direction this week, too! Stay tuned!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your cookies, Jama. I baked dozens of different chocolate chip cookies over the past weeks & froze them but guess what, I’m eating them. When I saw it was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, I had to have a few more. LOL! I sent out your choco-luscious blog with my cookie tray out on Twitter with the link to this blog. The poem made me laugh-allergic to work! Thank you for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re allowed to eat more cc cookies today for sure. Better bake some more, because National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is coming up on August 4 (today is National Chocolate Chip Day). Thanks for sharing the link!

      Like

  4. Following on from last week’s comment about not eating many bickies… I do have a rather divine recipe from a friend featuring milk, dark and white chocolate chips – in huge quantities. When I try to make it healthy, I halve the chocolate chips and add cherries and almonds (or pepitas) – which can’t really combat the sugar of a whole can of condensed milk(!) but sure does make them taste good!!

    Thanks for hosting today, Jama. ‘Working in Flour’ was a fascinating read. So many delicious details neatly folded into the mix!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps you should open a poetry bakery sometime? Love the idea of little poems tucked inside with each order. If you have seating, there could be someone going around reciting your poems to the customers.

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  5. Oh, I love “Working in Flour” and “I liked you better as a customer.” is delightful. Does Jeff have numerous “sweet” poems? I had a neighbor long ago who grew up with parents owning a bakery. She did not have particularly happy stories, getting up in the middle of the night to go do prep, the extreme cleaning. Of course we all thought it was heavenly that she could eat pastries all the time! I believe I might have to do a bit of baking tomorrow! The pictures are wonderful, Jama, but that chef painting is really special. Thanks for hosting on this special day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the wonderful post, inspiring so many to bake chocolate chip cookies (which I admit I did already last week!) But there’s always room for more: what could be better?!!! (And yes, while warm out of the oven is best, post-baking I actually microwave them for 10 seconds or so before eating for that out-of-the-oven effect!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CChip seems to be the only cookies that don’t taste as good the second day — of course that doesn’t stop me from eating them. But yes, reheating in the microwave does help! Nothing beats warm from the oven fresh, though . . .

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  7. Jama! Now you’ve cinched it. We were talking yesterday about how we haven’t made cookies in a long time. Today…it’s chocolate chip! Thank you. I got a good giggle out of this poem, perfectly needed right now. You always know. I hope you and yours are well. Thank you for hosting! xx

    Liked by 3 people

  8. What a delicious post! As a once-upon-a-time pastry chef, I can appreciate this post on so many levels. I love “I liked you better as a customer.” Thanks for the introduction to Jeff Friedman, for sharing the perfect painting. and for hosting this week.

    PS Those marbled chocolate chunk cookies look amazing and are vigorously shaking my no-sweets resolve!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been drooling at those marbled chocolate chunk cookies too. They remind me of fudge ripple ice cream, which I also love. Something about chocolate swirls. Didn’t know you were a pastry chef!! I’m impressed!

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  9. Thanks, Jama–in the cookie of my life, you are a large and tasty chocolate chunk. Off to explore Jeff Friedman and thoroughly delighted to find my neighbor at the NIH Dr. Fauci here to delight our eyes. Yesterday at dinner the family (56, 55, 21, 17) were discussing the general topic of eye candy, and I was outed as a “sapiosexual”! Our preferred chocolate chip cookie is the Quaker Oats oatmeal raisin with chocolate chips instead of raisins. The fiber totally counteracts any ill effects of the chocolate chips…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the new word: sapiosexual. I think I’m one too, only didn’t realize there was an actual term to describe it. 😀 Like the idea of using the Quaker Oats recipe (since I don’t like raisins anyway). Of course the oats totally counteract the ill effects of chocolate chips.

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  10. What a perfectly hilarious poem. We’ve been baking many more cookies than usual around here. We’ve been alternating between chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. I had no idea my husband liked chocolate chip cookies so much and or that my oldest was such a fan of oatmeal raisin. Come to think of it, maybe I’ll make a batch later today.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Dear Jama, you are the perfect cookie! Thank you. And how great is that Dolly Parton quote?? Thanks for all. And I will share that our middle son we have long called the Cookie Monster… lots of chocolate chip, and also peanut butter cookies with Hershey kiss stuck on top. xo

    Liked by 3 people

  12. You are definitely a chocolate nugget in the cookie of my life, Jama. (Are you sure you want one of those eclairs?) I’d like Kat’s cookie recipe and to know what kind of cookies Carol has been freezing. Thanks for sharing some lazy levity today and for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kat’s cookies sound chock-a-block full of goodies, don’t they? Nice to know I’m a chocolate nugget in the cookie of your life, Tabatha. Yes, I want that eclair. 😀

      Like

  13. Thanks for the chocolatey delicious post, Jama!

    Friedman’s poem is so funny when viewed from a BC (before Covid) perspective. As I read it I couldn’t help thinking what if someone started sneezing in a bakery kitchen NOW? Could you imagine?

    “Soon I began sneezing, my hapless ahchoos
    running down spotted walls, glistening
    on my face and hands as I pumped the custard
    through a nozzle into the delicate éclair rolls.”

    Crazy how the lens we view things through has forever been changed. Happy Poetry Friday! : )

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes — very astute observation, Bridget. Sneezing or coughing in a bakery would be a disaster for sure during these times. But then, the bakeries aren’t even open, so . . . 😦

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      1. They’ve kept the stand alone bakeries open here in Switzerland the whole time. It is considered an ‘essential service’. Don’t stand between a Swiss and their Gipfli (croissant)! hee hee 🙂

        Like

  14. A lip-smacking post all around, dear Jama. And some welcome humor in these challenging days. I might just have to bake a batch of cookies later to honor the day, though they won’t be quite as good as yours and Mr. C’s. But, yay for chocolate chips and melt-in-your-mouth poems! XO
    (PS – Joining with Irene in the Dolly quote praise.)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Well… there is always chocolate in my house! I haven’t been without it in years! It is the season of sneezin’ here in NJ, so I don’t know if it’s the work I’m allergic to, or the blooms… but today I suspect the blooms. Anyway… thanks for this fun post! I love the poem. I am allergic to posting today, I think…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s allergy season here too — both trees and grasses make me sneeze. I must say chocolate does help, though (medicinal qualities). 😀

      Like

  16. What a delightful post! Thank you (and thanks for hosting Poetry Friday, too). I love all the yummy images and the poem by Jeff Friedman made me laugh. And I didn’t even know it was National Chocolate Chip day–hooray!! I recently found a recipe for gluten-free (important for us celiacs!) chocolate chip mug cookies. I just had one a couple days ago and I think I’ll have to make another one today.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes–made in mugs, baked in the microwave, and single serving, too! It’s my new favorite way to get dessert. Although it’s not exactly cookie-shaped, it tastes really good! I’ve tried chocolate and vanilla mug cakes, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for introducing me to this poet! I loved the poem/story and especially the fact that he mentions a marble cookie – one of my very favorites growing up! But, now I want to know what King Arthur chocolate onyx wafers are. They sound delicious! Thanks for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, hooray! FYI, Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is August 4. Today is plain Chocolate Chip Day . . . but cookies are called for to celebrate both!

      Like

  18. This was just the sweet treat I needed today, Jama. What a sweet narrative poem! It takes me back to the bakery in my home town when I was a kid — filled with delights!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Chocolate chip day, who knew? I phoned daughter to share the news. She’s making a giant chocolate chip cookie to accompany tonight’s dinner. We’ve been watching the grand boys today so she could work on the quilt she’s making for Jack. And now, thanks to you, dinner at her place will include chocolate chips delivered in a giant cookie. If I had known about this day in the am, I would have made cc pancakes, a favorite of my son.

    Like

    1. Oh, a giant chocolate chip cookie! Wow!! I’m sure your grand boys will love it! CC pancakes would have been good too — but tomorrow is another day. 🙂

      Like

  20. Thank you for hosting, for a wonderful poem, and for those almost-equally wonderful quotes at the end! I can’t decide if I want to watch a fitness show or stay in bed all day, but chocolate chip cookies definitely see the way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you for hosting this week, Jama, and for this delectable post. What is there not to love about a poet who celebrates bakeries? I’m off to read more of Jeff Friedman’s poetry and to bake some cookies!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Delicious post as always, Jama. I’m reading it as I finish a fresh Funfetti donut from my favorite donut shop. I could never work in any kind of bakery–I’d weigh 200 pounds. I’m not allergic to work, but I have no willpower around sweets. Thanks for the funny poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A tad late this week, but so glad I did not miss this delectable post. I am now making some keto style recipes and adding a few choc chips in combo with other goodies. How I miss delectable choc chip cookies. You are such a talented and creative blogger, photographer, creator!!! Thank you for all you do to brighten my days when I get to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for visiting, Janet, and for your kind words. I’m glad you’re able to add some chocolate chips to your keto recipes so you’re not totally deprived of this treat.

      Like

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