Thursday, 31 March 2011

National Poetry Month: April 2011

I have been asked to join in with National Poetry Month by Carrie Etter where I shall be attempting to write one poem per day in the month of April. It is an American tradition (from the Academy of American Poets) and it's a time when all poets can come together and write, so everyone who wants to be involved, get involved! I will be attempting this with many other poets and friends and I invite you to follow my progress. Of course, my poems will be food related and I shall combine them with any recipes that I create along the way.

I think it will be a fascinating journey and anyone that wants to join in...please send me your daily poems and I'll post them with mine every day.

So...tomorrow it begins...good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Seasonal Recipe for Spring!

I visited my local shop and bought some local seasonal treats to make for my dinner. As promised, I shall show you my new recipe. The seasonal produce I have used are: lettuce, chicory, radishes and pomegranates.
With these in mind, I'd thought I'd make a salad. Also, in relation to my last post on Artichokes, I found some Jerusalem Artichokes so I thought I could use them too:

Spring Salad


Serves 2 rather hungry people

Vension, Duck breasts or Rump Steak of Beef (I have rump steak today)
1 head of Lettuce
2 heads of Chicory
Handful of Dill
1 Pomegranate
Pack of Radishes
4 Jerusalem Artichokes
Salt, Pepper
6 Bay Leaves
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Teaspoon of sugar
A Lemon
Half a teaspoon of Wholegrain Mustard
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Knob of Butter

Peel and chop Artichokes to inch cube pieces and throw in a hot pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes then place a lid on and leave for 20-25 mins, tossing every few minutes.
Coat Beef Steak with remaining oil, and some salt and pepper. Fry in another frying pan to your taste (I suggest Medium-rare). Rest meat in foil for ten minutes while you prepare the salad:
Tear salad leaves and chicory onto bowl, slice radishes very thinly, roughly chop dill. Mix together on serving plate.
In a little bowl mix together the mustard, half the juice of a lemon, 5 tablespoons of oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
Sprinkle as much dressing as you like onto the leaves and toss through with hands.
Slice open pomegranate and bang (very hard) on the back of the halves to empty the pips out. Then sprinkle on top of salad.

Add warm artichoke.
Place beef on top.
Sprinkle with more dressing if desired and keep the rest in the fridge for your next salad.


New Discoveries!

I have recently discovered that I can publish contemporary published poets! Although I have been publishing students that have entered the monthly competition, I think my readers would become better writers if they read what food poetry is being published right now. When I started the blog, I searched through antique book shops, flea markets and car boot sales to try and find old poetry books where copyright no longer matters. I have struggled to find any relevance with the old poems I have found, as food poetry is reflective to the culture it was written in, so I have struggled to connect it to recipes I create in today's world. The discovery of being able to publish contemporary poetry was music to my ears, and I am able to do it because this is an educational blog trying to help others with poetry and food. I hope that the following poem by Robin Robertson helps my readers to broaden their horizons with line break, asyndetic listing (listing with commas) and accurate word choices. Artichokes are one of the most intriguing vegetables and they will soon be in season in May/June time.


The nubbed leaves
come away
in a tease of green, thinning
down to the membrane:
the quick, purpled,
beginnings of the male.

Then the slow hairs of the heart:
the choke that guards its trophy,
its vegetable goblet.
The meat of it lies, displayed,
up-ended, al dente,
the stub-root aching in its oil.

Robin Robertson

With Robin's poem in mind, I am off to the farmer's market in Bath to get some seasonal treats, then I shall be back to cook dinner tonight. I will post my new recipe with my new seasonal food! I hope the poem inspires you to cook with new ingredients and discover new ideas on your poetry.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Latest News!

The NEW April Food Poetry Competition!

1st Prize: £50

April’s entry requirements:

  • 40 lines max
  • Theme: ‘Spring'.
  • Maximum of 4 poems.
  • Entry Fee: FREE!
CLOSING DATE: 5th April 2011.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Winner of the March Food Poetry Competition!

Congratulations to Zaina Budaly who has won March's Food Poetry Competition! I hope the following poem inspires my reader's to pick up a pen and send in some food poetry! Well done to Zaina again, here is her poem:

The Sugar Tong Collector

There was something about them
picking up clustered sweetness
then set free in the perfervid
liquid.  Many times I watched
him behind net curtains, torn
by my longing, wild fingers.

They could have been Georgian
or once stroked by Her Majesty’s
painted fingernails; silver plated,
imbedded in skin and shiny as
mirrors.  Snaked writhed

like long hair in water meeting
a diamond ball at its peak.  Priceless
it was, the catastrophic way diamonds
crumbled when compressed; granulated, once
cast from a mould.  “Elizabeth I,” he sighed.

Even an oval-shaped sun, once cast from a tong
could not stun me.  I cried for attention, punching
 the sprinkled floorboards.  His words took
hold like water, soothed the burning coal,
left me fumbling for my own.

Zaina Budaly

Please look out for the next update informing you of the April's competition.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pizza Day!

After Pancake Day, I am still in the mood for a rounded flat object to eat: pizza is the only cure! Here is the proof of the successful pancakes:

The therapy of kneading out pizza dough (or mixing pancake mix) is similar to the therapy I receive from some of the poetry I read. It's therapy to eat and also to read other people's food or poetry but the creative process of making it yourself is what I think I revel in; by providing pleasure and comfort to other people (is there anything more heart-warming?!) Also, I think I'm saving a lot of money in therapy by using food and poetry to cure my worries. Try it: it might work for you too! The easy pizza recipe is below:

One Sachet of Sainsbury's Pizza Base Mix (a cheap cheat!)
Ketchup or Tomato Puree or BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella or any cheese you love
Toppings (I prefer vegetables to keep it healthy, or parma ham and mushrooms)

Preheat oven to the highest temp your oven will go (usually 240'C)

Mix warm water with sachet ingredients until (170ml)
Bring to a ball in the bowl
Sprinkle surface with flour and knead the ball for 5 minutes
Leave for 10 mins in a bowl with clingfilm on top
Roll out and spread sauce, cheese then toppings on top.
Cook for 10 mins.

One of the quickest and most satisfying dinners I have discovered:


p.s TOP TIP: Scissors are the easiest way to cut a pizza (see above!)