Archives for posts with tag: baking


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 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, 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
          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!

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!


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…


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.

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.


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

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

Second Birthday
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.


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.

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.


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)

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.


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

How to Cook and Serve a Husband
by Suzanne O’Connell

A new husband may have a high altitude.
In the beginning, one layer may form a hard crust,
or be too thin,
or form a hump in the middle.

But, ask yourself,
how often have you quickly obtained perfection?
It is always important to plan ahead!
Never forget: “the stomach is the seat of courage.”

In the cottage kitchen or the great house
on the hill,
it is important to try to prepare
a dainty and appropriate meal!

If, however, something burns,
or hardens before you spread it,
or is not an attractive combination,
never fear!

New husbands can benefit from tender endearments.
Feed their tender hearts if not their hungry
The prudent wife who fails in the kitchen
may choose to extend one of the following bon mots
of affection:

You are my lightening biscuit
You are my plump sweetbread
You are my nut bar
You are my hot molasses
You are my tropiceroma
You are my golden glow
You are my apple bun
You will forever be my royal educator!

PHOTO: From The Cook’s Book published by K.C. Baking Powder. The recipe is for K.C. Cream Cake.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a found poem with phrases and names of sweet confections borrowed from cookbooks my grandmother used when she was first married in 1916. I have always been fascinated by the outmoded recipes, strange ingredients, and especially by the mentoring tone in many of the cookbooks that stressed the importance of a woman’s role in the kitchen. The books I used were: The Brides Cookbook, Cooking For Two, and Anyone Can Bake.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Suzanne O’Connell lives in Los Angeles, where she is a poet and a clinical social worker. Her work can be found in Forge, Atlanta Review, Crack The Spine, Lummox Journal, The Louisville Review, Blue Lake Review, G.W. Review, Reed Magazine, Permafrost, Mas Tequila Review, The Round, The Griffin, Sanskrit, Foliate Oak, Talking River, Organs of Vision and Speech Literary Magazine, Willow Review, The Tower Journal, Poetry Super Highway, Thin Air Magazine, Fre&d, The Manhattanville Review, poeticdiversity, The Evansville Review, Serving House Journal, Silver Birch Press, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Licking River Review. She was a recipient of Willow Review’s annual award for 2014 for the poem “Purple Summers.” She is a member of Jack Grapes’ L.A. Poets and Writers Collective. Visit her at

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles
(circa 1960)
by Susan Mahan

Nine-year old Susan Dailey’s mother
made tollhouse cookies from scratch.
That was the big incentive
for me to learn to bake when I got married.
I remembered the texture
of the melted chips in those warm cookies.

Susan and I were best friends back then.
I always wanted more cookies than Mrs. Dailey offered,
but I never would have asked for them.
It would have been impolite to be piggy,
and I had to keep the reputation
of the Catholics in good standing.
My friend’s family was Protestant.

I felt bad that
they wouldn’t be in Heaven
with me after we all died.
They were misguided, but nice people, after all.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: Thanksgiving dinner at Auntie Phyll’s house, 1961. I am in the second row from the top, sitting amongst my siblings and cousins. I am the one smiling, with dimples, age 10.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My friend and I lived in South Boston back then, a city that was largely Catholic. My friend’s father was a Protestant minister, a factor that led me to worry about the family’s future!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Mahan has been writing poetry since her husband died in 1997. She wanted to be a writer as a kid, but life got in the way. She has now written over 350 poems and has gotten many of them published.

Harding Woodworth
Dessert Is Not the End
by Anne Harding Woodworth

The night we made s’mores
our lives slid into each other further,

closing the gap of our childhoods—
parallel lines distanced by miles

of prairieriversandgreatlakes over separate campfires,
separate hearths in those days. Yet there was a sharing

of chocolatemeltedmarshmallowandgrahamcrackers.
An uncomplicated recipe is not forgotten—

like the taste of coalescence, a sliding
of something into an opening, sweet, dark and light,

soft and heated and held within sturdy walls—
you and me, at last folding the child

into the story of all these years—
and wishing for s’more, just a few more.

PHOTO: Anne and Fred in the 1950s. They did not know each other as children.

Anne Harding Woodworth (5)

Anne Harding Woodworth
is the author of five books of poetry and three chapbooks. Her persona poems in the voice of a woman who dreads being confined in her old age morphed into a one-woman play, Hannah Alive, in which Hannah reminisces about her childhood, her marriage, her art, all the while contemplating alternatives to a “rest home.” Harding Woodworth, mother of two professional soccer players, married Fred Woodworth in her late forties. Visit her at

gonzalez 2
by liz gonzález

Grandma stands at the kitchen counter
like a luchador in an apron, ready for a match.
She slaps stretched dough onto its back,
rolls a hacked-off broomstick over the top,
twists to the stove and slides
the full-moon tortilla into an iron pan.
Boiling oil swallows, spits, hisses
until the tortilla blisters, crisps.
She dips her pincher fingers in quick,
snatches the crunchy wafer from its bath,
flips it onto a paper towel lined plate,
slathers the top with cinnamon-piloncillo syrup,
and plops the sweet treat on the plastic
pink placemat in front of me. I blow on it,
pick it up with both hands, and take a bite.
The buñuelo breaks into a twenty pieces.
I lick up the crumbs, sugar, my sticky fingers
Grandma leaps back to the counter
for another smackdown.

SOURCE: An earlier version of “Buñuelos” was published in Art / Life, August 2001m and Lummis Day Souvenir Program, June 2008.

PHOTOGRAPH: lizzy’s eighth birthday, August 22, 1967.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO:  This is my eighth birthday celebration in the kitchen of my childhood home. In the picture are Grandma, my sisters Cynthia (older) and Michelle, and me. It was the last year I celebrated my birthday alone. Monique, my baby sister, was born the next year on the day before my birthday and to this day we celebrate together.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When my father died, I was three and my baby sister had just turned one. My maternal grandmother, who helped run her parents’ market as a teen and then ran her own family market, quit working at 53 to be our second mother while my mother and grandfather were at work. For seven years, even after my mother remarried and had two more daughters, Grandma took care of us during the day and remained our second mother until she passed five and a half years ago. She said that those years were some of the best years of her life. During those years, she taught us how to make traditional Mexican food, like tortillas, mole, and buñuelos. My sisters, mother, and I will always be grateful to Grandma.


liz gonzález, writes poetry, fiction, and memoir. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Inlandia: A Literary Journey, Silver Birch Press’s “Where I Live” Series, BorderSenses Literary & Arts Journal, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond. Her awards include an Irvine Fellowship at the Lucas Artists Residency Program and an Arts Council for Long Beach Professional Artist Fellowship. Currently, liz lives in Uptown Long Beach, is the host and curator of Uptown Word, a poetry and storytelling reading series, and teaches creative writing at community venues and through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. For info: