Archives for posts with tag: baking

dali 1926 the-basket-of-bread.jpg!Large
How to Make Friends (and leave a trail of crumbs)
by Julia Klatt Singer

Start with a bag of all-purpose flour, some kosher salt, room temperature water.
Mix these with a whisk on your desk, then add the sourdough starter your mother
sent with you back to college. To this college you transferred to, after a year in one
you loved, but so much farther away. Where you were before the pandemic.
Where making friends was as easy as opening your dorm room door, despite
being in Iowa and a tiny college, in a tinier town.

Let the dough rise overnight. Then carry it to the kitchen in the lidded pan
that was your great-grandmother’s. The one she gave to your mother when
she moved into her first apartment. The dough now shaped, it rises again
in a steamy oven. Say hello to the woman you pass in the hall. Say
I’m making bread, when she asks. When Simon from the room next to yours
asks when it will be done, tell him, he will know. He will smell it baking.

When it comes out of the oven, and you and Simon realize you don’t have a knife,
Three other students will go on the search for one. A small group of you now
In the kitchen, you open the peanut butter and jelly and find two spoons.
A small plastic knife is found and you stab it into the loaf, right after taking
a picture of the bread with your phone and sending it to your mother.
Ten minutes later you send her another photo, the bread now, just a heel
and crumbs.

PAINTING: The Basket of Bread by Salvador Dali (1926).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: How to write a How-to Poem . . . Start by thinking about all the things you’ve learned how to do since the pandemic started. How to think about time differently, notice how the light is changing and that you are too. Try to embrace technology, see how it connects you, or a part of you, with the world. Recognize how you have always watched the birds and trees for clues to resilience and beauty. Think about what gives you wings.  Think about where you fly. Start baking bread. Like your mother did when you were a girl. Not the same breads, but bread. Make two loaves and give one away each time you bake. Drop the bread on a neighbor’s porch and drive it across town. Show your son how easy it is to make. Send back starter with him, when he returns to college, mostly because you’ll know he’s eating that way, caring for himself, but also because he enjoys making things with his hands. And when he calls and says thank you, Mom, for sending the starter back with me, I’m meeting so many people by baking bread, realize that this is how to write a poem. Give it time. Let it form and then share it, let it be devoured.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julia Klatt Singer is the poet-in-residence at Grace Nursery School. She is co-author of Twelve Branches: Stories from St. Paul (Coffee House Press), author of In the Dreamed of Places, (Naissance Press), A Tangled Path to HeavenUntranslatable, (North Star Press), and her most recent chapbook, Elemental (Prolific Press). Audio poems from Elemental are at OpenKim, as the element Sp.  She’s co-written numerous songs with composers Craig Carnahan, Jocelyn Hagen, and Tim Takach.

still-life-with-cookies john stuart ingle
Presbyterian Cookies
by Penelope Moffet

First be born into
a Presbyterian family
or be born again
or just find yourself
a red-jacketed cookbook
printed 60 years ago.
Turn to page 60.
You do not need to be 60
or prone to finding
meaning in numbers
or Julia Child.
You may be a child
or a teen or a surly
young woman or
doddering saint.
Little depends on this.
Little depends on having
all the ingredients
or following instructions
as they are written but
don’t skimp on butter or sugar
or you will regret it
the rest of your days
which may be few
or many
or none at all,
your mouth full of sawdust.

PAINTING: Still Life with Cookies by John Stuart Ingle (late 20th century).

recipe 1

cookbook 1

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: During my high school and college years, my family lived in Placentia, California, where both of my parents were very involved with Placentia Presbyterian Church. I was, too, even teaching Sunday school to very small children, until I abruptly lost my faith midway through college. I did not, however, lose faith in the church’s cookbooks. I make these oatmeal-raisin-walnut cookies about once a month, frequently messing with the recipe—egg whites instead of whole eggs, half the sugar and half the margarine the recipe calls for, etc. One of these days I’ll use cranberries instead of raisins and try gluten-free flour. The oat bran isn’t essential. I almost never use it because I almost never have any around. You can substitute a couple of ripe bananas for the sugar. That’s pretty good. But don’t leave out all the fat (e.g., margarine, butter) and sweetener.

PHOTOS: Old-Fashioned Oat Cookie Recipe (above, center) and cover of Placentia Presbyterian Church recipe book, Galley Goodies (above, right). 

MOFFET 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Penelope Moffet is the author of two chapbooks, most recently It Isn’t That They Mean to Kill You (Arroyo Seco Press, 2018). She works for a small law firm in Los Angeles, takes lots of solitary walks, and is entertained by two rambunctious cats.

lemon no 96 1967 FY
Learning How to Make Meyer Lemon Muffins
by Catherine Gonick

“Have some sunshine!” read the note inside
the box. There was none outside, in icy New York,
but before me were twenty small suns, Meyer lemons
that my friend had picked herself, in her Santa Rosa yard.
Like everyone who’s lived in California, I knew
that Meyers were the best. A cross between
a lemon and a tangerine, colored deep yellow
inside and out, exuding a spicy scent,
they were sweet enough to eat out of hand.
I ate one. The snow on my balcony whispered,
muffins are next. Was this even possible? I rarely baked,
had never even attempted bread, but now
could think of nothing else. I found two muffin tins
bought decades ago, and they shouted, Meyer lemon
muffins or bust. The recipe asked me to blend
a whole lemon till finely ground. Boil it first,
advised my friend. Then when it’s soft, let it cool,
cut it in pieces, remove the seeds. In the blender
I use for smoothies, the limp pieces of lemon lay
in the bottom, well beneath the reach of the blade.
I learned to pulse. Next came the juice of two lemons,
walnut pieces, an egg, and a half cup of butter,
which I figured was a stick. I only had a one-pound
block, so guessed at the amount. I’d had to go out
for the walnuts, a can of PAM cooking spray, flour
(mixed AP and whole wheat), baking powder, sugar
and baking soda, but had salt. I didn’t remember
that sifting could take so long and gave up. That was OK,
I learned later. Two friends said they never sift flour.
I stirred the wet into the dry, filled my tins and popped
them into a 400 oven. Checked after 15 minutes.
Inserted fork. Not yet. It took half an hour for my muffins to cook
and they didn’t rise. Or not much. But they tasted
like a tree in California, each fleck of rind a ray of sun
in my mouth. I gave one batch away, got raves.
The next time I try, I’m adding more baking powder.
A perfect lemon deserves a more perfect cook.

ART: Lemon, No. 96 (Woodblock print, 1967) by Funasaka Yoshisuke.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Writing this poem made me realize the extent to which I was learning how to make these muffins as I went along. And, how often I find myself in a similar situation, with most recipes, all things digital or mechanical, as well as relationships with animals and humans, and all attempts to write. I count myself lucky when instructions are provided, but most often they’re not, and otherwise are just the beginning of learning how to do something. They’re also difficult to write, as I learned when trying to write some for local hikes. My foray into muffin-making showed yet again how poorly I was equipped for a challenge, yet how willing to take it on. As a member of a technological species, but one who needs to acquire many more skills, I rely on curiosity, passion and appetite as my most helpful tools.

Gonick

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catherine Gonick has published poetry in journals, including Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Halfway Down the Stairs, Notre Dame Review, Lightwood, Forge, Sukoon, and PoetsArtists, and in anthologies, including in plein air, Grabbed, and Dead of Winter. She contributes often to Kai Coggin’s Wednesday Night Poetry Series’ open mic and works in a company that seeks to slow the rate of global warming through climate-restoration projects. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

benjamas suwanmanee licensed
The Fallback Plan
by Jay Passer

my niece moved to Santa Cruz
to attend the University there.

for her birthday I gave her a nice
chef’s knife, cutting board, and
a clean bar towel.

she was delighted, but perplexed
by the bar towel.

what’s this for?

2 functions, I said. wet it a little
as an anchor for the cutting board,
so it doesn’t slip around while
you’re using the knife.

she pursed her lips and nodded.
and the other?

to practice flipping pizza pie,
of course.
just pretend the towel is the dough.

I showed her how.
she was tickled, but flummoxed.

why would I ever need to know
how to do that?

her major is astrophysics.

you never know, I said,
keeping that Cheshire smile to myself.

Photo by Benjamas Suwanmanee, used by permission.

towel toss

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was a pizza cook for several years, and in the beginning cheated a bit by using a damp bar towel to simulate a pizza dough in order to practice twirling. If the dough is proofed properly, it’s not absolutely necessary to twirl (although the centrifugal force does quicken the expansion process), but if you’re working in an exhibition kitchen it’s definitely worth it because the kids love it.

PHOTO: Still from youtube video Pizza Toss 101 with Carl Penrow. Watch the video here.

JayPasser

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jay Passer’s poetry and prose have appeared online and in print, in anthologies, chapbooks, and a few full length volumes, since 1988. He lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth.

Roig

Matcha-cha
by Kerfe Roig

sweet sugar. mix
one at a time. Combine un
til cool completely.

Collage illustration by Kerfe Roig.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My daughter loves to bake, and I altered her altered recipe for green tea cupcakes from allrecipes.com with a haiku and a joyful dance.

Roig_self portrait

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig writes poems for art and makes art for poems. Sometimes the recipe includes both. You can follow her process at  methodtwomadness.wordpress.com, the blog she has with her friend Nina.

Self-portrait drawing by Kerfe Roig. 

BAKED brownie
Well-Traveled Brownies
by Brian Evans-Jones

          Adapted from “The Baked Brownie” on BrownEyedBaker.com
          Recipe Google Translated into Welsh, French, Mongolian and                Dutch, then back to English

The famous brownie pastry—Oprah says
she is one of his favorite activities.
America’s put much stock in the kitchen;
but not everything is almost like the Bible.
But, their favorite brownie I’ve taken very seriously,
which is an excellent cooked reading.
Because they deserve.
And I think I have to hide.

11 ounces of chocolate powder, cocoa butter, sugar 5 eggs:
you do not need me to say that the children of this rich, Black said.
Now, you can not rely as cakey chocolate, but
if you’re rich and mighty good to just bite, but you love chocolate,
you have found Eden.
They have a good bit high,
so they are not thin fondants: they smooshed dark brownies
and (good) sex is not thin.
If you bite into them, they are satisfied with heft.
So thin, chocolate brownie crust crispy: great business card!

Always with me? Good.
Now go to the kitchen and do it—
Cook The New Boundaries!

Instructions:
350 degrees F.
Cream Party and the baking dish or 9×13-inch color glass.
Parchment paper kitchen line.

Medium bowl together the flour, salt, cocoa powder.
Chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until suddenly a big bowl of      chocolate!
Pot with boiling water, melt butter and espresso powder and supple.
Until completely combined, then remove the bowl on a platter nail.
Add the egg mixture and beat until combined the chocolate.
If you cakey chocolate, over when he hit the batter—or not.

Sprinkle the flour mixture on chocolate mixture 5: rubber spatula
(no waves) are used. Center of the oven
to bake for 30 minutes; toothpick in the center
with a few moist crumbs. After the pan with parchment paper
and get them!

SOURCE: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/the-baked-brownie/

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Recipes on food blogs may go through many stages of translation: one blogger adapts another blogger’s recipe and reposts it, and then another blogger repeats the process. Some recipes cross countries and languages, changing as they go. And when a blog reader cooks the recipe, another kind of translation happens—one which may or may not reproduce the piece’s original intention. Inspired by that process, I wondered what would happen to an American standard if I took it around the world and back, linguistically at least…

Evans-Jones

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brian Evans-Jones
recently moved to Maine from the United Kingdom, where he was Poet Laureate of Hampshire, England, and taught creative writing. Poems of his are published or forthcoming in Stoneboat Literary Journal, Word Gumbo, Enigma, and Avocado. He is taking his MFA at the University of New Hampshire and he runs community writing projects in New Hampshire and southern Maine.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: In Pizza Express in Winchester, UK, 2009, trying to decide whether to have dessert.

seduction
Seduction
by Jennifer Lagier

I’ve always hungered
for illicit thrills, the sweet forbidden,
preferred gorging on pastries
to sensible meals
of balanced proportions.

My wooden cooking spoon
whispers flirtatiously
to watering mouth, waiting hunger,
pursues tender apple slices,
grated cinnamon,
through shimmering butter.
Thick lemon custard
crooks a beckoning finger,
simmers with pungent zest,
wafts the scent
of promiscuous sugar.

Push-over dough
wants only to please you,
slithers beneath floured rolling pin,
spreads skinny pie crust.
The kitchen pulses
with erotic aromas.
I invite appetite
to pull up a chair,
settle in and feast
at my bounteous table.

AUTHOR’S CAPTION: Cookies—One of the five platters of assorted, hand-decorated cookies made for Christmas 2014.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’m Italian-American. For us, food is the sacrament of love. I’ve grown up cooking and baking. Every year, I’m the designated cookie baker for my large family’s Christmas celebration. Sweets are my second language.

Lagier

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published nine books of poetry as well as in a variety of literary magazines. Her newest book, Where We Grew UP, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, maintains web sites for Homestead Review, Monterey Poetry Review, Ping Pong Literary Journal and misfitmagazine. She also helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Visit her at http://jlagier.net.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO: Jennifer Lagier at the Bayside Café in Morro Bay, June 2015.

Second Birthday
Cookie
by Karen Vande Bossche

Something’s always missing:
today two eggs. I look through
cookbook substitutes, equivalents.
One medium egg equals one
fourth cup egg substitute,
as if such a thing existed
in my refrigerator.

Banana, applesauce or even tofu.
It’s more a lack of prudence
than a vegan problem.
I could lie say my high
cholesterol is the reason.
Perhaps a subconscious
sabotage of all things home
ec. Why don’t I just
go to the supermarket.

But I couldn’t sleep
last night. My class of
edgy adolescents were
their non-compliant selves.
The rain created boulevard
bedlam. I just wanted
to go home. Just wanted
to drink wine. Just wanted
to complete and put
something away.

The half-started red bowl
of butter, sugars, and
a teaspoon of vanilla,
stares blindly at me
without its yolky eyes.
I sip my wine, pause,
then tip an oxygenated pour
over the creamed landscape.
.
The drinking woman’s
cookbook, I say with a little
smile and open the
pantry door to possibly
find flour.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My birthday cake 60 years ago. Gotta start that sugar habit!

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was written because I was having a sugar fit. I don’t cook and there were no goodies in the house. As I knocked around in the cupboards, carrying my glass of wine, I realized I did not have the makings for a cookie. All the better for me to write about what would happen, rather than make and actually eat cookies. Poetry has fewer calories.

BirthdayEvening

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Vande Bossche is a poet and short story writer who teaches middle school to students asking questions such as, “Aren’t you too old for a tattoo?” Some of her more recent work can be found in Damfino and Damselfly and is forthcoming in Sediment (October 2015) and Straight Forward Poetry (Winter 2015). Karen was born in the Midwest, raised in Southern California, and is firmly planted now in the Pacific Northwest. She believes that writing is one of the few venues to continued sanity in today’s world where surface is overrated and depth is needed.

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Pie Crust
by Kathleen Naureckas

Every time I make a two-crust pie,
I cut vents to let the steam out. I cut
them the same way always: a long,
thin S-shape in the middle, three tilted
slashes on each side. I’ve done it that
way from the first pie I ever made.
I never had to stop to think how, but
one day I asked myself why. I knew,
really: that’s how my mother did it.
I didn’t know there was another way.

The next time I shared a phone call with
my two sisters, I asked them how they
pierced their pies. They did it the same
way I did, the way they learned from
Mother. “I asked her once why she did
it that way,” said my older sister.
“She said that’s how her mother did it.”

I wish I could call up my grandmother
and ask her where and how she learned
to make a pie, but she died before I was
born. I’d like to picture a bridge of pies
stretching back across time and
the Atlantic all the way to Ireland, an
art bequeathed from mother to daughter
to daughter, like mitochondrial DNA.

PHOTO: Kathleen Naureckas’s apple pie.

Naureckas

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen Naureckas is a retired journalist whose poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Bluestem, Light, Measure, and Willow Review. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, For the Duration, in 2012. (Author photo by Furla Photography and Video, 2011)

Roberts
Angel Food Cake
by Jeannie E. Roberts

          “Out of love I made you a cake. Also out of milk,
          eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla.” ―Jarod Kintz

The food of angels was placed before my feet;
from its center, a single candle rose. Baked
within my frosted celebration: 1¼ cups egg

whites, 1½ cups sugar, 1 cup cake flour, 1¼
teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract, and ¼

teaspoon salt. My maternal grandmother had
made me an angel food cake, and she made it
out of love. Clinging to her dress, cloth diaper

askew, I sat shyly unaware of my privileged
life and how good I had it. It was October
1957, when men ruled the roost and women

didn’t. My grandma was different; she was
tough as nails and outspoken as hell. Orphaned
at age twelve, she worked as a department store

clerk in Stockholm, Sweden, until she married
and gave birth to my mother. At age twenty-four,
she emigrated to the United States and made

a home for her family in Minnesota, all while
learning English and helping my grandfather
get through high school, college, and then dental

school by doing others’ laundry and shoveling coal.
Later, she did the books for my grandpa’s dental
practice because she had a head for numbers.

I can now appreciate her determined spirit,
practical nature, forthright demeanor, and
her angel food cake.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My maternal grandmother, Edith Malvina Karlsson Smith, and me, celebrating my first birthday with an angel food cake, 3811 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 10, 1957.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My first task in writing this poem was finding a photograph of me with something sweet. It took a while, but I found one photo of me sitting on my maternal grandmother’s lap; it was taken on my first birthday, October 10, 1957. Before I could complete the poem, I needed a few facts about my grandmother, which the poem is centered around, so I asked my sister, Mary, for more information. We emailed back-and-forth, and Mary was able to provide quite a bit of detail about our grandmother, Edith Malvina Karlsson Smith, born on April 29, 1900, in Filipstad, Warmland, Sweden.

Roberts1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts lives in an inspiring rural setting near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Her second book of poetry, Beyond Bulrush, a full-length collection, is forthcoming from Lit Fest Press in 2015. She is also the author of Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book. She draws, paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Learn more about Jeannie at www.jrcreative.biz.