Saturday, April 11, 2015

Poets Have Been Strangely Silent on the Subject of Potatoes....

Here is what I woke up to this morning:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “How (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “How to Write a Poem,” “How Mechanical Pencils Work,” and “Howling at the Moon After Midnight in the Middle of a Thunderstorm.”

Perhaps, if I had been less tired, I could have come up with something better than this. But there was a raccoon.... or something.... wandering about last night, and the neighbour's dog took such exception to the creature, that it barked wildly and threw its great bulk crashingly against the tall wooden fence all night long. There was a point in which I felt very strongly that the proper thing to do was murder that animal, but it was the middle of the night, and I was far too wearied to be bothered dragging myself out of bed and doing the needful. I was not a happy person this morning. Nor was my mood and general outlook - not to mention my inventiveness - improved by a two-hour long employee training on ethics. The mind, I am sorry to say, simply refused to be creative. The mind was focused on comforting things, like coffee and chocolate and what I was going to have for dinner, aside from wine.

As a result, you get..... a recipe. 

How to Make Gnocchi

You start with potatoes
Simply and plainly,
Boiled up tenderly - 
Maybe a pound.
When done they'll skin easily,
Steaming and savoury
Mince them and mash them,
Pile them up in a mound.
Now a generous drizzling
Of golden, rich olive oil,
A measure of flour,
And a dash of salt too.
The center dent deeply,
And an egg you crack into it - 
A 'volcano' I call it, 
As my Nono used to.
Now using your fingertips
Gently incorporate,
Teasing ingredients,
To a warm, plaint dough.
Flour you add to it,
Little by little bit,
Kneading and working it,
- Easily though!
Til its firm yet elasticky
still warm from the boiling:
Dry on the outside, 
But moisty within,
Now flour the counter well,
Roll out long snakes of it,
Thinly and evenly
And cut it up small.
Now comes the tricky bit,
Fork-tines to roughen it:
Lay the dough firm on it,
Flip it, that's all.

To cook:

Boil in water with oil and salt -
Four or five minutes should be fine.
Drain them and serve them in a savoury sauce,
With Parmesan cheese and a glass of red wine.


Molly said...

I read that, and found myself wishing that if nothing else survives of the literature of our century, that does. Can you imagine the delight it would give future generations to think that ours took cooking so seriously that it was written up in stately verse?

Molly said...

Well, and obviously the potato one. That should endure as well. Giving future generations the impression that we were quite obsessed with potatoes. . .Oh. Right.

Mahri said...

I am somewhat surprised - perhaps even taken aback - to find that in less than a week I have written about potatoes twice. Chesterton, I think, would be proud of me :-)

Treskie said...

HAR this is perfect