guest post: margo sorenson on norwegian lefse (flatbread)

I’m happy to welcome dear friend and award winning author Margo Sorenson back to Alphabet Soup today. 🙂

The good news is that her middle grade historical novel, Tori and the Sleigh of Midnight Blue (first released in paperback back in 2003), is now available as an ebook!

Eleven-year-old Tori and her family are struggling with the Great Depression in North Dakota, and the death of her beloved Papa has been the severest blow of all. To aspiring writer Tori, everything is changing for the worse—her friends are acting too grown-up, and her little brother Otto invades her privacy. When a Norwegian bachelor-farmer begins courting Mama, Tori writes in her journal that her life will be ruined. What will Tori discover about forgiveness and acceptance as she tries to keep her life from changing?

I enjoyed learning about Scandinavian customs through this beautifully written novel, which reminded me of childhood favorites like All-of-a Kind Family and the Little House Books, where family ties, simple pleasures and a strong sense of community sustain the characters through difficult times.

In the chapter “Missing!”, Tori reluctantly helps her mother roll lefse for Thanksgiving. She usually loves making the traditional flatbread, but this would be their second Thanksgiving without Papa, and besides, she was angry that Mama had invited suitor Bjorn Oppestadt to dinner. How dare she? He wasn’t family!

Today, Margo talks about rolling lefse with her own family. It sounds like such delicious fun. Adopt me, please :).

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friday feast: one bowl by penny harter

via Space Answers

I’m happy to share another beautiful haibun written by Penny Harter today, the title poem from One Bowl, Penny’s first eBook, which won a 2011 Snapshot Press eChapbook Award.

In a recent interview at Female First, Penny said that One Bowl is a kind of sequel to Recycling Starlight (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2010), poems she’d written in the first 18 months following the death of her husband, renowned haiku scholar William J. Higginson. Penny feels the poems in One Bowl are “less raw and more contemplative, showing that time does heal.”

“One Bowl” took my breath away when I first read it — its unadorned language so pure and luminous, its message especially appropriate for this season of material excess. Knowing that this was written by a poet well acquainted with grief (Penny also lost both parents in the same year), I was also reminded that a loved one, one single person, can be a person’s entire universe. I like how she blends the temporal and the celestial, creating ever spiraling associations with the human heart at its core.

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friday feast: greg pincus dishes on the late bird

“The Late Bird”
by Greg Pincus

The early bird gets the worm
All slime and muck and dirt,
But here’s what they don’t tell you, friend …
The Late Bird gets dessert.


Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s . . .It’s . . .

Um, he should be here any minute. Greg may be just a tad late. This sometimes happens when you’re faster than a speeding cannoli, more powerful than a rum baba, able to leap tall croquembouches in a single bound.

Hey, I don’t mind waiting. When it comes to dessert, Greg Pincus and I are totally simpatico. Time stands still for tiramisu and tarte tatin. Because he writes a lot of foodie poems, he’s totally worth waiting for.☺

As soon as he arrives, we’ll chat about his new E-book, The Late Bird, which contains more than 50 funny, quirky, smirky poems, and then Chef Greg will serve up three mouthwatering verses and a favorite dessert recipe. I’ve always believed that behind every great author/poet/writer there is great food. If you’ve always wanted to know what inspires Pincus’s pastry poetry, you’ve come to the right place. He’ll take the lid off his chocolate sauce and reveal just what keeps his creative juices bubbling.

So, brace yourselves. There will be drooling. Divine decadence. Nuts and whipped cream. Even a little flaky flirtation.

Oh look, here he is now (with a good reason for being late)!

*trumpet flourish*

Friends, poets, dessert lovers, hand me your plates!

I give you Greg Pincus, the Late Bard who wrote every word of The Late Bird!


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friday feast: talk almost dirty to me, diane lockward!

I must say it again: no other contemporary poet can touch Diane Lockward when it comes to food poems.


Sassy and sensual, this witty, playful temptress handles words like a master chef might gently caress juicy, blushing peaches right before setting them aflame with heartbreak and humor. I know when I read one of Diane’s poems my senses will be fully engaged and I’ll be surprised at where she takes me, inevitably enlightened by the emotional tune-up. She’s accessible, instinctual, and fearless! Whoever coined the phrase, “a feast of words,” must have had Diane in mind. She seems to perform her “high-wire acts of language and imagination” with the greatest of ease, titillating the reader without a safety net.

Recently, Diane released a new e-chapbook called Twelve for the Record, which contains 12 of her most requested poems, four from each of her print collections (Eve’s Red Dress, What Feeds Us, Temptation by Water). I purchased Twelve for the Record as soon as it was available, even though I already own all her other books. You just never know when you’ll get a sudden craving for an exquisitely crafted poem that gleams and glistens; it’s nice having a few choice nuggets in your back pocket.

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