“Poetry is food for the soul, food is poetry for the tongue. So read a delicious poem that makes your soul feel young.” (ESL)
amuse-bouche:a small complimentary appetizer offered by the chef just before dinner.
a moose boosh:an appetizing little poem about food to be read aloud just before dinner or any time at all.
If you invite Brooklyn-based author/illustrator and creative director Eric-Shabazz Larkin to a party, chances are good he’ll bring a tasty, fresh-baked poem as a gift.
Keep your eye on him as he enters your kitchen, cause he’ll break out in some very cool dance moves. If dinner is part of your plan, Shabazz will gladly read his poem aloud — a literary amuse-bouche sure to whet the appetite and elicit instant happiness. What better way to set the table for a juicy meal to please and tease both tummy and tongue?
In A Moose Boosh: A Few Choice Words About Food (Readers to Eaters, 2014), Shabazz celebrates growing, eating, cooking, and sharing food with 40 fun, zippy, zesty, sassy, spirited mostly rhyming verses served up with playful “vandalized” photos. Some, like “Slippery Noodles,” will have you beboppin’ to its joyous rhythm as it promotes some serious slurping:
Twirl them, whirl them,
slop them, slip them,
twist them, curl them,
whip them, flip them,
sip them, slurp them,
chew them, beat them.
But you must use a fork
when you eat them.
Slurp it up, mash it up
cut it up, clap it up,
look it up, pass it up,
turn it up, flap it up,
shake it up, make it up,
smell it up, love it up.
But do not use your hands
when you eat it up.
As with all of Shabazz’s poems, a good read aloud maximizes flavor. Can’t sit still. Don’t be surprised if your totally amused mouth thanks you for the invigorating workout.
If you want to get your kids to eat their veggies, ask them to feast their eyes on Erin Gleeson’s gorgeous photos of Carrot “Noodle” Salad, Kale and Black Bean Tacos, Bay Potatoes, and Pesto Pepper Pizza.
They’ll marvel at the stunningly showcased variety of colors, shapes and textures, then ask to see more. Grazing through the sweets, they’ll drool at the divine close-ups of Fried Banana Split, Plum Tartlets, and Melon “Cake.” You’ll likely hear cries of “I’m hungry!”, “I want some!” and maybe even,”What’s edamame?”
A quick glance at the illustrated recipes and they’ll be anxious to make some of the dishes themselves. And yes, before you know it, they’ll be happily eating their fruits and their veggies, eminently proud of their newfound skills.
This time it’s Cupcake’s birthday, and she’s planning the perfect themed party with the help of her best friend Muffin. But for every one of Cupcake’s bright ideas (beach party! boat party! makeover session! musical chairs! getting down with the limbo!), Muffin counters with reasons why they wouldn’t work (drippy guests! sick soup! disgruntled burger! squished guest of honor! decapitation . . . gulp).
Talk about a party pooper.
What’s a birthday girl to do? Well, she could follow Muffin through the garden gate. Won’t tell you what happens, but let’s just say it turns out to be the happiest, sweetest, tastiest celebration ever (I wanted to devour all the party guests). Looks like Muffin has topped himself.
We must celebrate with what so many of us are craving after such a long hard winter: COLOR!
But why settle for plain blue when you can have indigo or blue moonshade? As for green, make mine Elysian. Let’s bask in the evocative names of colors and the flights of fancy they inspire. And yes, you may call me Sheba.
POEM FROM A COLOUR CHART OF HOUSEPAINTS by Wendy Cope
Limeglow of leaves –
in Elysian green,
in the forest.
She is froth, the tang
of julep, capering
among the ferns.
Passion, the firedance
of her fantasy,
fireglow of poppy
and corona, ember.
She burns, a firefly,
Her sandgold hair,
spun silk kimono,
melon and lemon sorbet
on the balcony,
white wine, gardenias.
That honeysuckle year –
if he could ransom
one sunlit day!
Indigo seascape –
Melissa in cool,
she commands the bay,
the midnight swell,
the surf, pale gossamer.
Autumnal in brogues,
beige twinset, russet
tweeds, she takes
coffee at eleven,
sherry at noon –
dreams of Tarragona,
castanets, a man
who called her Sheba.
is violet, nocturnal.
wisteria delight her
more than roses.
Solitude, a purple
robe, a last
long hazy evening.
Which shade of green should I use to paint my dining room — Barefoot in the Grass, Peaceful Garden, or Spring Has Sprung? Inspired by nature’s palette, we paint our rooms to bring the outdoors in. While I contemplate my choices, enjoy this floral bouquet plucked from Cope’s dreamscape. If you need me, I’ll be lounging in my purple robe sipping sherry. Come to think of it, I’ve always wanted a pair of castanets.
Have you ever loved a food so much you wanted to inhabit it?
I guess there’s truth in the saying, “Home is where the cacao is.”
HOME SWEET HOME
by Kate Bingham
I need a chocolate bar I can live with,
nothing too big, a red-brick biscuit base, perhaps,
south-facing, on a quiet, tree-lined residential street
where parking late at night won’t be a problem.
Nothing too crumbly either. I don’t want
to be sweeping up bits of cornice all weekend
and pestering the surveyor with each new crack
in the milky bar matt emulsion shell.
It’s got to be the sort of place I can forget about,
with cocoa solids minimum 65 per cent
and nougat foundation limed with soya lecithin
cement and bourneville guttering
no matter what the cost because you can’t price
peace of mind and that means no original features,
nothing too fancy, nothing architect-designed.
There’s only me, I know exactly what I’m looking for,
not space so much as surface area, a honey-comb interior,
with wafer walls and butterscotch parquet
leading from room to room, each mouthful lighter,
sweeter than the one before and breathed, not tasted,
like a puff of icing sugar. Coming home
will be a hit, a score. I’ll drop my hand-bag in the hall,
tie back my hair, lie down and lick the floor.
It’s always a treat to “discover” a new-to-me poet, and Kate Bingham’s winsome and witty verse was just what I needed to chase away my cabin fever and winter blues. (When in doubt, think brown, and don’t be afraid to cross over to the dark side.)
After nibbling on this poem, I began to fantasize about the choco-cabin of my dreams.
Hmmm, something warm and cozy,
all furnishings made of the finest Belgian chocolate:
Some people like to wear their lampshades, I like to eat mine.
What’s a home without tasty flowers?
I must have a bottomless chocolate teapot that pours and pours all day,
and good quality flatware. Why just lick your spoons, when you can lick your knives and forks too?
What else? A nice old-fashioned rotary phone in case I need to order take-out or call Mr. Firth. For any robo-calls or annoying telemarketers, I’d eat the receiver.
Yes, a good tool kit to tinker and fix,
and a piano (I can play Schumann’s “The Happy Chocolate Farmer” by heart)!
Oh yes, this is where I’d sleep (and dream about mountains of dark sea salt caramels).
Mr. Cornelius would sleep here:
Each morning I’d hop out of bed, slip into something comfortable,
click my heels together,
turn on my laptop, then write the tastiest blog post ever, bar none.
Now, you may eat this post, if you like, along with a Mississippi Mud bar:
Tell me, where do you live?
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Poet and Author Robyn Campbell is hosting today’s Roundup. Check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week. Hope you find the chocolate bar of your dreams!
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This post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Slip on your chocolate dress and come join the fun!