[review + recipe + giveaway] Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market by Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi

Grab your shopping baskets and bags, let’s go to the Farmers’ Market!

In Fresh Delicious (Wordsong, 2016), Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi invite us to join a group of adorable animal friends as they celebrate the wonders of farm fresh fruits and veggies. This mostly free verse smorgasbord of 21 poems is chock full of mouthwatering sensory details, clever imagery and playful metaphors to whet the appetite and tease the imagination.

While nibbling on these whimsical poems, curious munchkins will meet basil (“a bouquet of minty green butterfly wings”), delight in how ears of corn listen to the sun, and consider that okra is really “a mountain of mouse-sized swords/stored in fuzzy sheaths.” Afterwards, they’ll likely be anxious to see, smell, touch and taste the produce in person, making up little scenarios so they can write their own poems.

Does crookneck squash really look like a question mark? How is zucchini like an exclamation point? Will wild honey really make our tongues “buzz with pleasure”? Can’t wait for summer, when it’ll be time to propel those seeds out of our mouths “like shooting stars.”

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friday feast: strolling down the “Produce Aisle” with Rebecca McClanahan

via AHA

PRODUCE AISLE
by Rebecca McClanahan

The artichoke keeps her distance.
She has been taken too many times. Now
the armadillo armor hides her secret heart.

Everyone counts on the onion, staple of stews
and pottage. But deep in the crowded bin, her skin
is thin as moth wing. It peels away before their eyes.

Green peppers are modern women who take
their muscles seriously. They hunch their shoulders,
broad, shiny beneath a fluorescent sun.

Close by in cellophane the carrots keep for weeks,
the last to lose their figures. All legs,
tapering to slim ankles–and above,

wild profusion of hair. They gather in knots
of conversation and whisper about the apples,
those aging showgirls who didn’t know when to quit,

redheads buffed an unnatural blush, a shine
that shouts forever while inside the white flesh softens.
In the center aisle, bananas in bunches

curl like firm young girls in sleep. Soon they will turn
like their half-price sisters, learn the bruise,
dark print that begins beneath the skin and grows.

Oh to be the avocado! She ages so well.
Time makes love to her daily, finding her sweeter
the softer she grows. Beside her the potato,

peasant woman in brown, comes into her own slowly.
She stays in the shadows, blindly remembers
her place. Come to me! I will make you whole!

coos the eggplant mother. And from the corner bin
a chorus: Oranges, Oranges, Oranges, Oranges.
We are what we seem. We speak our own name.

*

~ Posted by permission of the author, copyright © 1989 Rebecca McClanahan, from Mrs. Houdini (UP of Florida).

 

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Well, grocery shopping will never be the same. I mean, who knew? 🙂

Love the whimsy in this poem, but also the relatable truths. What lies beneath, when you peel away the layers? Many of us are simply not what we seem. Since the items described here are all female, do you think women conceal more of their true selves than men do? And what interesting statements about aging — for sure, I’d like to be an avocado.

I can think of someone I know in real life who matches each of these fruit and vegetable personality types. Which do you most identify with?

While you’re contemplating that, enjoy this little gallery of reimagined fresh produce:

Portraits by Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive

 

 

Cafe M Food Sculptures by Carl Kleiner

 

 

via Techno-crazed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rebecca McClanahan’s tenth book is THE TRIBAL KNOT,: A MEMOIR OF FAMILY, COMMUNITY, AND A CENTURY OF CHANGE. She has also published five books of poetry and a suite of essays, THE RIDDLE SONG AND OTHER REMEMBERINGS, winner of the Glasgow prize in nonfiction. Her three books of writing instruction include WORD PAINTING: A GUIDE TO WRITING MORE DESCRIPTIVELY, which is used as a text in numerous writing programs. For more, check out her official website.

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HAPPY NEWS

Big Congratulations to Diane DeCillis! Her debut poetry book, STRINGS ATTACHED, was just named a 2015 Michigan Notable Book! Hers was one of 20 books selected for this honor by the Library of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Education. You may remember when I shared “Music from Another Room” and “Last Night I Dreamed I Stole the Croissants” from this book as well as Diane’s hummus recipe. If you still haven’t seen STRINGS ATTACHED, treat yourself to a copy to celebrate the New Year. It’s a rich, sumptuous feast of words, impressions, and ideas sure to satisfy your literary palate.

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poetryfriday180The lovely and talented Irene Latham is hosting the Roundup at Live Your Poem. Is she an onion or an orange? Stroll over to peruse the full menu of poetic goodies being served up in the blogosphere this week. If you go grocery shopping this weekend, be sure to pay close attention to the tomatoes.

Yours truly,

Miss Potato, née Banana
xoxoo

 

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

friday feast: what’s in the garden? by marianne berkes and cris arbo

What could be better than a book brimming with delicious rhyming verse?

A book of taste-tempting riddle poems with gorgeous art, yummy recipes, food for thought, and gardening tips, of course!

In What’s in the Garden? (Dawn Publications, 2013), Marianne Berkes and Cris Arbo celebrate the joys of growing and eating twelve familiar fruits and veggies with a cast of adorable, happily-engaged multiethnic kids.

This delightfully fun, interactive feast is served up in a clever format: children are asked to guess which fruit or vegetable is described in each of the catchy four-line poems, then turn the page for the answer, where they’ll find an easy recipe featuring the produce to stimulate their appetites.

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farm market walkabout

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

Have you been to your local farmer’s market yet?

Here’s what we saw on a recent trip to Reston Farm Market:

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A Few Take-aways:

  • Flower vendors are kind and seem to smile more. Bunches of lavender = a dream of Provence.
  • Giant zucchini prove that bigger is not always better.
  • Clowns making balloon animals do not like to be photographed when they are coughing.
  • Eek, leeks!
  • My love is like a red, red raspberry.
  • 100 Bowls of Soup! Ginger carrot is quite refreshing.
  • Squash multiply like rabbits. It is highly likely they will take over the world.
  • Hooray for samples: salsa, cherries, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes!
  • I don’t care what you say. Cucumbers standing up are obscene.
  • Rubbery green beans. Boing!
  • Mmmm, whoopie pies! Pause to worship at the altar of baked goods.
  • Lettuce entertain you.

So what did we buy? Basil, rosemary and parsley plants. Ravishing raspberries. Cranberry orange scones, apricot linzer cookies, triple chocolate rockies. Vine ripened tomatoes, blushing with vibrant color and oozing summer flavor.

Embrace me, my sweet embraceable you.

Brought home these babies and had a little Insalata Caprese for lunch. So easy to prepare, wholly satisfying, and quintessentially summer: sliced tomatoes at their peak ripeness, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves seasoned with Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Magnificent in its simplicity, laid back and luscious, with each unadorned flavor taking center stage without an ounce of competition. Ti amo! Ti desidero!

*kisses bunched fingertips*

Delizioso! Squisito!

What summer fruits and veggies are you most looking forward to eating?

Buon Appetito!

*swoons and dreams of tooling around Capri on a Vespa with Al Pacino.*

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This post is linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share food-related posts (fiction/nonfiction/cookbook/movie reviews, recipes, musings, photos). Put on your bibs and join the fun!

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Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

going natural with april pulley sayre

#2 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.

April’s new picture book will be out in May.

Happy Poetry Month, and three big cheers for our first guest poet, Geisel Honor winner April Pulley Sayre!

Once again we’re calling upon an author named April to kick off our Potluck. You can see she’s pretty excited about Go, Go, Grapes!: A Fruit Chant  (Beach Lane Books, 2012), which is a companion book to her wildly popular Rah, Rah, Radishes!:A Vegetable Chant, released last year. Do I love a poet who gets kids excited about their fruits and veggies? You bet!

Many of you know that April and her husband Jeff are ardent, adventure-loving, world-traveling naturalists. April is so fond of vegetables, she’s been known “to clap with joy upon discovering a ripe tomato in her garden!”

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