[tasty review] Follow the Recipe by Marilyn Singer and Marjorie Priceman



Then grab a seat at the table and put on a BIG bib. You’re just in time to sample a few literary treats from Follow the Recipe: Poems About Imagination, Celebration & Cake, a truly delectable, joyous “worldwide grand buffet” served up by Marilyn Singer and Marjorie Priceman.

First, I must mention that I’d been drooling over this book ever since I first heard about it in the latter part of 2019, because I’m a longtime fan of both Marilyn’s and Marjorie’s work. Marilyn’s talent and versatility are boundless; not only is she muy prolific, she’s an author and poet who continues to delight us with her inimitable ingenuity.

And safe to say, Marjorie’s, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (1994), shifted my understanding of what picture books could be, launching my ongoing quest to devour every food-related title I can get my paws on. I was equally thrilled when she later came out with How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. (2013), once again demonstrating her knack for presenting facts in an especially palatable and entertaining way.



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friday feast: “eggs satori” by karen greenbaum-maya

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Breakfast Piece” by Herbert Badham (1936)

During these trying times, each of us finds a way to cope. The response I’m hearing most often from my author and illustrator friends is, “Make Something Beautiful.”

The simple act of creating something new is not only life affirming — it affords the creator the calm that comes with total immersion in a project. Writers often talk about “being in flow,” when you lose all sense of time and place, and the only thing that matters is the work.

I liken “being in flow” with mindfulness. When we are fully present there is no worry over future events or regret about the past.

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friday feast: a soothing bowl of comfort for tough times

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix

photo by Sharon Auberle

Syria. Shootings. Shutdown. Stand-off.

What to do when your government is broken and the world has gone mad? While everyone duked it out in public this week, our neighbor Jack quietly battled for his life in the privacy of his own home.

Jack was a writer and a recluse. Fourteen years living next door and I may have spoken to him three times. Amidst the din of discord and crazy agendas, foreign wars we’ll never understand, and a brand of racism and intolerance that continues to rear its ugly head, we all have our personal battles. Sickness and suffering aside, what saddened us the most was that Jack died alone.

© 2013 S. Auberle

Looking for solace, I was happy to discover new-to-me Ohio poet and photographer Sharon Auberle. Her poem offered comfort, and her wonderful photos captured the tangible beauty in the world, reminding me how important it is to hold onto yourself by simply doing what you know and what you can, and being present in each moment.

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friday feast: tamalitos: un poema para cocinar/a cooking poem by jorge argueta and domi

tamalitos cover

First there was a warm, comforting bowl of  Sopa de frijoles (Bean Soup), followed by creamy dreamy Arroz con leche (Rice Pudding), then a savory batch of Guacamole so delicious you danced around the kitchen with a “green avocado laugh” printed on your face.

Sí, Amigos! It’s time to celebrate the fourth delectable book in Jorge Argueta’s bilingual Cooking Poem series, Tamalitos, illustrated by Domi (Groundwood Books, 2013). Estupendo!!

jorge and cooking poems
Poet Chef Jorge Argueta

Most of you already know how much I adore these books, written by a poet who sees magic in each ingredient and every utensil and says, “the whole kitchen is a cooking poem.” *swoon*

argueta two
(click to enlarge)

This time we read about a brother and sister making tamalitos, or “little tamales.” I want to hug myself just thinking about these mini corn masa and cheese-stuffed pillows wrapped in cornhusks (little pillows! a lot like dumplings!). As with the other cooking poems, there is reverence for Mother Earth, a lively, joyous total immersion in every step of the process, lots of sensory detail, and great anticipation at eating the final product and lovingly sharing it with the rest of the family.

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