pumpkin pie o’clock

‘Tis time to be thankful and eat pie. 🙂

Though some grow giddy at the mere thought of roast turkey with all the fixins’, for me, Thanksgiving has always been about pie.

Pumpkin pie, to be exact.

Maybe it’s because we only had it once a year. Though we dallied with apple, blueberry, banana cream, custard and pecan at other times, pumpkin pie was largely reserved for Thanksgiving.

To this day, one bite and I’m back in Hawai’i at one of our family potlucks — table laden not only with turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, yams, several hot veggies, and fresh cranberry sauce, but also pineapple glazed ham, steamed rice, makizushi, pork and vegetable lo mein, at least two kinds of kimchi, a retro Jell-O salad, and a roast chicken for Grandma Yang, who did not like turkey.

Yes, we relished every savory mouthful of this lovingly prepared homemade spread, but I always knew, deep down, that the best was yet to come.

Here’s a delectable poem to whet your appetite.

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Digital painting by Lois Boyce
WHEN THE PIE IS COOLING 
by Camille A. Balla

I recall the first Thanksgiving
I was designated to be the pumpkin-pie baker
and for years thereafter; pies made
with the excitement of family homecoming --
always making the dough from scratch.

Today I call upon the Pillsbury boy
to make and roll out the circle of dough
which I place into the pan, then add
the traditional filling with just the right
amounts of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

The November chill makes cozy the warmth
from the oven as I await the sweet, spicy aroma,
telling me when the pie is just about done.
How satisfying it is to delight once again
in this simple work of my hands.

I think of the many hands
along the way to my kitchen that made
possible the baking of this pie:
The grower of the pumpkin,
the wheat farmer, the dairy farmer, the egg
farmer,
the hands that picked the sugar cane.
The hands of workers in a cannery,
of truckers who transport foods to the store,
the hands of the people who shelve ingredients
that come from here or far-off lands.

Hands of people I never met
yet all of them a part -- whether aware or not --
of this pumpkin pie now ready
to be served at my Thanksgiving table.

*

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fangirling about sonny and cher (+ a recipe)

“Believe in magic and it’ll happen.” ~ Sonny Bono

Don’t you love how we all have unique soundtracks to our lives?

Hear a certain song and it instantly takes you back — right there, feeling all the feels . . .

They say we’re young and we don’t know
We won’t find out until we grow.
Well I don’t know if all that’s true
‘Cause you got me and baby I got you
Babe
I got you babe
I got you babe

The year is 1965, a very good year for popular music. The Stones sought “Satisfaction,” Dylan confronted us with “Like a Rolling Stone,” the Temptations crooned about “My Girl,” Pet Clark hung out “Downtown,” the Beatles played Shea Stadium, and Arlo Guthrie got arrested for littering.

My friends and I lived and breathed music, poring over the pages of Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, saving our money for albums and concert tickets, daydreaming about meeting our many idols. Long hair and guitars? Yes, please. British accents? Triple yes. We instantly became rabid fans. So many cute rockers, so little time. 🙂

And then there was Sonny and Cher.  Never dreamed we’d fall so hard for such an oddly dressed couple. Sure, there were other singing duos we loved (Chad and Jeremy, Peter and Gordon come to mind) — but these two were so different, clearly smitten with one another, and their chemistry on stage had us clutching our hearts, yearning for that same brand of pure, perfect love.

We tried to emulate fashion icon Cher, with her gorgeous long black hair, Cleopatra eye make-up, bell bottom outfits and flashy gem stone rings. Sonny was adorable and fun-loving in his bobcat vest and Caesar haircut, exuding a certain paisano charm and friendliness.

Their signature song, “I Got You Babe,” released in July 1965, shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, selling over a million copies in the U.S., while also hitting #1 in the UK and Canada. Once their first studio album, Look at Us, came out in August, there was no stopping them and they were everywhere, touring and appearing on popular TV shows like “Shindig,” “Hollywood Palace,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “American Bandstand,” and “Hullabaloo.”

Some say “I Got You Babe” was inspired by Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” In any case, Cher had a solo hit with Dylan’s “All I Really Wanna Do.”

And we watched them all, and listened to their music constantly. When we heard they were coming to Hawai’i for a concert in December, we were ecstatic.

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[scrumptious review] The Tiny Baker by Hayley Barrett and Alison Jay

Are your antennae twitching? What’s the buzz?

It’s 3 p.m. and tea time!

Hope you’re wearing a fancy day dress and bonnet, maybe have a favorite parasol to twirl while you’re queuing up with all the other tony arthropods. Get ready to wrap your lips around trays and trays of delectable sweets!

In The Tiny Baker, a whimsically delicious new picture book by Hayley Barrett and Alison Jay (Barefoot Books, 2020), we are treated to a lyrical and visual feast that’s cuter than a bug’s ear.

The baker in question appears to be a honeybee, whose tearoom is always crawling with business.

Her customers line up in rows.
Antennae wave well-bred hellos.

They’re always elegantly dressed,
Silk gowns or trousers neatly pressed.

They wait to try her lemon tarts,
Her sugar-sprinkled cookie hearts,

To sample her pecan pralines
And nibble lacy florentines.

Just before she opens her doors, the bee baker makes sure her “pantry is pristine,” while her “spotty squad” of ladybug pastry chefs busily mix, whisk, and stir.

Then she’s happy to welcome and seat a group of elegant ants, mentioning her “sublime éclairs” while pouring them pink lemonade or freshly made rose-hip iced tea.

But “in the kitchen trouble brews”: a fragrant breeze brings urgent news, prompting the ladybug assistants to suddenly swarm off — every last one of them! Disaster!

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quiet, please

Felice Casorati

 

No noise, chatter, busyness or worry.

Deep breaths.

Silence, sweet silence.

*

 

 

KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

~ from Extravagaria: A Bilingual Edition, translated by Alastair Reid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001)

 

“La Solitude du Christ” by Alphonse Osbert (1897)

 

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good morning?

Sleepy Cornelius

 

Wake up! Wake Up!

Don’t want to.

But if you had some tea?

 

ODE TO A TEA BAG
by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer

It is the bleakest of
mornings
as I crawl from my bed,
red-eyed, rumpled, and
decidedly unrefreshed.
My right hip seems not to
be working,
my left shoulder has a
kink,
already a sinus headache
is brewing
and, oh, Lord! — look at
my hair!
Limping, snuffling,
creaking, moaning,
I make my way toward
the kitchen . . .
grope about in the dark
for the kettle,
grope about in the dark
for the tea tin,
turn on the stove, feel my
spirits rise up
as I reach for a cup in
needy anticipation.
Thank you, God, for the
glorious gift of Earl Grey.

~ from She of the Rib: Women Unwrapped (CRM Books, 2006)

*

 

by Miguel Vallinas

 

Sound familiar? I think Ms. Ferrer must be spying on me or reading my mail or something. How did she describe me and my morning routine so well?

What’s that? Yours too?

I guess we’re all in this together. Have you noticed that with age it gets harder and harder to get up and going? Oh the grogginess and slowness! Oh the struggle to move!

Not that I was ever one to bounce out of bed, kick up my heels, and burst into song or anything. But man! It’s become quite a challenge lately.

 

by Lissy Elle Laricchia

 

I’ve never been a morning person (no phone calls before noon, please!). One of my college roommates even called me Grumpy. I think ‘Silent and Contemplative’ would have been more accurate. Some of us simply prefer to greet each new day with a modicum of gentleness. 🙂

In any case, this poem made me smile in recognition — a welcome bit of levity in these dark times. BTW, did you know Jayne Jaudon Ferrer is the one who launched Your Daily Poem back in 2009? If you’re a subscriber, you probably already knew that. Well, I just found out after many years of enjoying the site. See what I mean about being slow to wake up?

 

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BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway for JOEY: The Story of Joe Biden a few weeks ago. Things are getting exciting (and nerve wracking), now that the election is just a few days away.

After several cups of Earl Grey, Mr Cornelius (who isn’t a morning person either), picked the winner, who is:

🏈 ZACHARY SNYDER!! 🏀

🎈CONGRATULATIONS, ZACH! 🎈

🎉 WOO HOO! 🎉

We know you’ll enjoy the book!

And thanks again, everyone, for your comments and enthusiasm. 🙂

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La la la la Lovely Linda is hosting the Roundup at TeacherDance. Waltz on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere this week. Stay safe, be well, wear your mask, and VOTE (no more malarkey)!

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All set now and ready to go!

What’s your morning high octane drink: coffee or tea?

 

from “Camellia and the Rabbit,” by Petra Storrs and Becky Palmer

 


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