alphabet soup blog break: out to lunch!

Panda Bento by luckysundae/flickr.

So, autumn officially begins this week — time to take the summer soup off the stove and get ready for my favorite season of the year.

I’ll be offline for a couple of weeks to pursue the three R’s: reading, research, and restaurants! Time to step away from the computer, hang with friends, and seek out new culinary and literary adventures.

Meanwhile, in case you’ve missed any of the 2010 Summer Soup posts, you can find them here. I’ve enjoyed my little French flirtation and am looking forward to tasting a few more macarons and watching more French movies (I’ll have to tell you about my favorites sometime).

Don’t forget that Cybils nominations open on October 1st!

Happy Autumn, and I’ll be back after lunch ☺!

Pretty Bento by sherimiya/flickr.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

friday feast: two funnies from j. patrick lewis


Happy Poetry Friday!

Today, I’m serving up some light fare to tickle your funny bone, compliments of the one and only J. Patrick Lewis. Did you know he’s the featured poet in the Summer 2010 Bumbershoot Annual? Five of his mathematically themed poems are included (three related to food!). Who could resist such titles as, "Edgar Allan Poe’s Apple Pie," or "Edward Lear’s Elephant with Hot Dog"?

Hope you enjoy this two course meal. Be sure to check out Pat’s other three poems, as well as the rest of the issue (esp. "Sylvia Plath’s Chicken Crosses the Road"). Fun!

Nick Sherman/flickr

by J. Patrick Lewis

The 15" pan pizza
sliced in 3" squares
was so inviting

I couldn’t resist
eating 19-1/2 pieces.

Forgive me, Florence.
You were hungry, too.
I put the box back
in the refrigerator

Beside the white chickens,
forgetting how little
pizza was left.


by J. Patrick Lewis

Whose shorts are these? I wish I knew
Who sent them to me, all brand new —
Five dollars, ninety cents a pair.
They’re not my size. I’m forty-two.

But fourteen pairs? Now who could wear
That many without ten to spare?
If nine are cotton (cotton blend)
And five are silk, then let’s compare:

On each set, how much did he spend?
Arithmetic is just the friend
To multiply, divide or add.
And what’s the total in the end?

These underwear are not half bad
With lions, tigers — stripes and plaid . . .
My jockey shorts are looking sad.
My jockey shorts are looking sad.

~ both poems from Bumbershoot: Issue 6, Summer 2010

And yes, there really are Robert Frost Boxer Shorts available for purchase:

The quote says: "We dance round in a ring and suppose / but the secret sits in the middle and knows."

Dance over to Wild Rose Reader, where the beautiful and charming Elaine Magliaro is hosting the Roundup. I’m pretty sure she’d appreciate your offering her a square or two of pizza.

Have a good weekend, and TTFN! 


*Numbers: twitchcraft/flickr

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

wednesday wonder: becky ramsey dishes about living in france

"I wanted to understand it all, the Frenchiness of this place. I wanted to be part of it and for it to be a part of me — a part of us, our family. We hoped to have four years or so in France. Could that happen in four years? We were nervous, yes, but our American hearts were open. Could we be French too, just for a little while? French, not by citizenship, but by heart?” ~ from French by Heart by Rebecca S. Ramsey

Look who’s here!! *jumping up and down*

Becky Ramsey is one of my favorite bloggers (wonders never cease) and the author of the delightful travel memoir, French by Heart (Broadway Books, 2007). Though I’d wanted to read her book for a long time, I only recently got around to it because of my renewed infatuation with all things français.

I’m so pleased that Becky (who knows passion and French pastry are one and the same) agreed to answer my burning questions, and share a delectable recipe from her favorite French cookbook. Oo-lah-lah! This calls for a nice hot cup of French roast, and — what’s your pleasure? Pain au chocolatGalette des Rois? How about a crisp baguette with creamery butter? Go ahead and nosh on this Nutella crepe with strawberry cheesecake gelato while you make up your mind:


French by Heart was easily my favorite Frenchie read of the summer, not only by virtue of its irresistible subject, but because I love love love Becky’s writing.

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soup of the day: thanking the moon by grace lin

photos: Akuppa/flickr and Alexandre Ferron.

Hi there! So glad you’re here.

I’ve just poured some tea, and am anxious to tell you all about Newbery Honor winner Grace Lin’s brand new picture book, Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (Knopf, 2010), which is officially out today!

If, like me, you’re a big fan of Grace’s previous picture books featuring the Lin family (Dim Sum for Everyone!, Kite Flying, Fortune Cookie Fortunes, Bringing in the New Year), then you’re in for a real treat. This time, the three winsome sisters and their parents are observing this important holiday with a special evening picnic!

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friday feast: a disturbing new fashion trend, or, i’ve finally gone totally bananas

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." ~ Groucho Marx


Blame it on Lisa Schroeder. While working on her pub day post this week, I was accosted by banana heads. 
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