Open Link Night #198 The Smell of Green

Tonight is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub. You can submit one poem of your choice as it is no-prompt night. Come join us for some elclectic reading! http://dversepoets.com/2017/06/15/openlinknight-198/

The Smell of Green
As I sat on my back steps
I pondered the smell of green.
I was looking up at the mini moon,
the strawberry moon.
It’s a mini moon because it is farther away
from the earth on the apogee of its orbit.
The moon hasn’t changed sizes though.
and still I ponder the smell of green.
A moist southern evening –
It had rained an hour earlier and
the air was redolent with the smell of green –
freshly mown grass, the herbs in my garden,
The smell of the bushes, vines, and trees –
In my kitchen this night I had made a gremolata –
full of freshly chopped parsley, chives, rosemary, lime zest –
To spread on the chicken breasts I had baked.
Green – romaine lettuce, arugula, a salad of green
dressed with good green California olive oil –
it smelled so green I felt my fingertips tingle.
And then later,
I stuck my nose into the bag of pot I had bought –
The tightly dried buds smelled of pine and Thai basil.
I breathed in the smell of green as I sat on the back steps
and pondered the smell of green,
Smiling at the mini moon.
I had placed mama into hospice –
I was letting go.

dVerse Poets Pub: Me, myself, and I…..#2 Out of the kitchen

This prompt from Victoria today is so very good, I have to do another.  Victoria says ” write a poem using the first person–an apparent first person. Perhaps you will leave your reader wondering if you are actually the “person” of if this is a fictional character”….or not!  Come visit us for some excellent writing!  http://dversepoets.com/2016/02/25/me-myself-and-i-or-is-it-dverse-meeting-the-bar/

Out of the Kitchen, into the Fire….

When I went in, it was winter.
When I came out, it was spring.
Somehow the dayshoursnightsmonths
blurred together – a black and white film noir
fast-forwarded with parts cut out and thrown
somewhere in the confusion of the cutting room.

I worked as a bartender to pay for culinary school
and worked as a dishwasher, prepper, line cook, intern,
sous chef, chef, executive chef de cuisine….
hitting the markets before dawn
endlessly
sometimes sleeping on the floor being too tired
to drive home and staying there,
in my womb, in my life,
sans lovers, sans life, sans anything but food
and competition and trends –
hitting the markets before dawn…
butchering sides of beef,
breaking down exotic seafood.
A parrot fish from Hawaii made me cry
as I cut apart its beauty
to present before those
only interested in status and trendy.
That day I had enough.
That day I walked out and never looked back.

I met the owner in the chill dawn of March
him coming in, me going out.
He saw my knife roll neatly tied
my knife holster from around my waist
and over my shoulder
and said, So?
I just said…So.

The Kiritsuke knives
glinted with the danger of an ancient katana –
the kitchen Samurai was laying it down.
Out of the kitchen and into real life now.
Those who can – cook.
Those who can’t – cook for those they love.
I raised my fist to the sky that day and swore:
As God is my witness,
I’ll only cook for those I love –
and the Blue Kiritsuke knives
live well in my home kitchen
and dream of when they were kitchen katanas
and won many a battle of food and taste.

And silently laugh when I rant about
locavore, gastrigue, molecular gastronomy, sustainable,
gluten free….house crafted…blahblahblah

and grin in delight at the smell of fresh lemon zest
and white wine and saffron…
and shine with joy when those I love
eat my food and make happy sounds.

 

free public domain image Shun Blue Kiritsuke

free public domain image
Shun Blue Kiritsuke

Simple Sunday Supper: Creepy and Spicy

Oyakodon:  Creepy name, yummy dish.  Warm, simple, comforting, easy. The name means “mother and child” = chicken and egg; hence, the cannibalistic creepy part. My husband hates the name and calls it “chicken bowl stuff”.  Whatever. This is donburi (don) – served over a bowl of steamed rice dish. You can use dashi or chicken broth for the liquid. White or brown rice is also your choice. Excellent for lunch or a simple supper.  Warms your tummy.

Dessert is pumpkin custard. Sweet, spicy, seasonal. Pumpkin pie without the crust. Top with a nice dollop of whipped cream. Served warm or chilled, this is good stuff. A bit decadent and a fitting end to a simple supper. Go ahead and eat two. It will be our secret.

Oyakodon
1/2 cup Dashi or chicken broth
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Sake
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mirin
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless), cut into bite size pieces
2 eggs
1 green onion, thinly sliced
steamed rice

Instructions
Add broth, sugar, Sake, soy sauce and Mirin in a pan. Heat until boiling. Add onion and cook for a minute at medium heat until tender. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until the meat is cooked through. Beat egg in a small bowl and pour over the chicken and onion. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until your eggs are cooked as you like them. Slide half of egg and chicken with half of sauce over rice in a bowl. Sprinkle with green onion.  Two servings.

Oyakodon

 

Pumpkin Custard
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sweetened whipped cream
Ground cinnamon

Instructions
HEAT oven to 350°F. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
Pour into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven. Carefully pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches. Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving.  Makes 6.

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Post 102!!!! Yowzer Y’all. Answers to Questions

This is post 102 and I must say, I never thought I’d come this far. To those of you who have followed and liked and commented, I truly thank you. You all have made my day many times with your kindness and interest. And so I have decided to answer some questions that have come up so you all can read them.

1. Yes, the Samurai and the Wren series is all true. At this point, I have not decided if I will go past Part III.
2. How did I guess Dr. Ken was a forensic pathologist? Well, he went to University of Medical school and obtained his medical degree. When he said he went to Duke, I logically concluded it was for a specialty since he was already an MD. Now…..When he mentioned U of Tennessee, this clinched it. Now UT is a fine school – excellent medical school (which he didn’t need), good law school (which he didn’t want) but – an excellent anthropology department and……The Body Farm. That was the only reason he would have gone and because he was so good, he was accepted and obtained his PhD. When we met, although the Body Farm was fairly new, it had obtained and still has worldwide fame for its research done at the Body Farm.
3. I am proud to a Southern woman. A friend crossed stitched for me: American by Birth, Southern by the Grace of God.
4. I am really a nerd – love my sci fi, fantasy, manga, anime, Star Trek, Star Wars, comics.
5. Someone said it was interesting to meet a real Southern belle with Japan in her heart. I think that is accurate. And yes, in the good ol’ old southern family tradition, I was a debutante. But the deal was, the summer before I went off to university, was mine. No questions. I went to Woodstock, camped out in the desert, and sat on the hood of my car the night the first man stepped on the moon, gazing at the sky in wonder and amazement.   I love Japan, the art, the food, the culture and Dr. Ken.
7. No, I don’t think I’m going to take pictures of me cooking. I’ve said it before, you all are grownups (sort of) and probably know how to cook already from what I have read on your blogs. You don’t need help from me because you all are accomplished and knowledgeable.
6. The 11/16 Society is real.
8. In The Walk Series of haiku, the man is a good friend. A nuclear engineer from Japan who is here working for awhile. No romance in the works. He is delightful, handsome, extremely intelligent, and humorous. He and I have a special connection and enjoy each other’s company with much delight.
9. There are several poems about Ken and I scattered throughout the blog.
10. there is more info on the Who is KanzenSakura? page

and finally, kanzen sakura means, perfect cherry blossom. Watch The Last Samurai to find out more.

Good night Y’all. Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!!! and as my grandma Ninny always used to tell me: Sweet Dreams.

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