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2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

For today’s prompt, think of a favorite regional cuisine, make that the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. For instance, you may title your poem something like “Brunswick Stew,” “Deep Dish Pizza,” or “Jambalaya,” though the poem doesn’t exactly have to be about food.

Here’s my attempt:


Just add a little more hot sauce,
because flavor is a good thing,
and you don’t want spice at a loss,
so add a little more hot sauce.
Others will know you are the boss
when you make their taste buds sing.
Just add a little more hot sauce,
because flavor is a good thing.



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337 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

  1. AC Leming

    Roadside Picnics

    Roadside picnics are impossible in space.
    There are no handy fields of wild-flowers to entice a weary traveler
    to pull the spaceship over. No way to eat fried chicken
    through the space suit’s visor. On the upside, no ants plague
    the picnickers while they hang around in space.

  2. po


    Everyone has a canning story.

    My Mom’s canner was old
    and she always put two
    broken matchsticks in the lid
    to make it work right.

    She always cautioned me
    to watch it carefully
    and would tell and retell
    the story of the town lady
    who went off to read a magazine
    and the lid blew a hole in her
    kitchen ceiling.

    Mostly green beans and
    tomatoes from the first
    mess until the final
    batch when we pulled
    up and composted the

    All winter green beans
    and vegetable soup–
    just enough to warm
    our days.

  3. LCaramanna

    Chaumont Bay Beer Battered Perch

    Fisherman favor
    Chaumont Bay on ice,
    sunglasses shade sun dazzle,
    whiskey shots warm inside out,
    against the wind, eyes on tip-ups,
    orange flags flutter,
    frigid temperature no concern.
    Wiggles of wax worms
    lure perch from underwater rocky slopes
    off Point Salubrious.
    Perch bucket full,
    catch of the day local restaurant fare –
    every night fish fry – not just for Friday.
    Fresh perch fillets, beer batter,
    pan sizzle golden brown –
    all you can eat
    beer battered perch
    savor Chaumont Bay on ice.

  4. Paoos69


    Residing in Lucerne
    Strolling on Lake Geneva
    I was having the time of my life
    In serene, scenic Switzerland

    Dudt invited us for dinner
    In his cozy little house one evening
    Small little rooms, comfortable sofas
    A bar elaborate

    I tasted some wines my husband indulged in scotch
    Then it was time for food
    I expected slabs of meat, some boiled vegetables
    But I was in for a surprise

    Out came a little ceramic pot with skewers inserted
    Down below there was a small flame
    Kind of like a fondue
    The cheese was of a special kind

    Raclette it was called, the ensemble elaborate
    We stuck the skews into the potatoes in the pot
    Drew them out and cut that on the plate
    Then on little trays we put slices of Raclette
    And held them turn by turn
    On the little, ever-burning flame

    Then poured the part melted cheese
    On the waiting potatoes
    Garnished it pepper and salt
    And chewed on them with relish

    The cheese simply melted in our mouths
    Ummm..yum yum yum
    I could go on forever
    But I’m drooling, don’t intend the pun

  5. Arrvada

    Crème Brule
    Every place I eat
    No matter how famous or discrete
    If I see this item on the menu
    Nothing else can be ordered in place
    I love the crisp and crunch
    Of a perfect fired sugar glaze
    The smooth and creamy texture
    That is firm and soft
    Each bite I savor
    The perfect blend of cream and sweet
    My favorite dessert I always eat
    Lovely Crème Brule

  6. ellanytdavve

    Wild Georgia Shrimp

    Waiting on the deck
    overlooking the river that goes
    where the shrimp slept last night,
    My Wild Georgia Shrimp
    I’m starving, mouth-watering ready
    to taste their succulent sweetness.
    The evening sun sets the shrimpboats aglow
    in shell pink, a tidal smell of muck and marsh
    swirl in my nose.
    Like a pig gone home, I could
    snort and wallow in my home away from home.
    I’d travel a million miles and wait for
    My Wild Georgia Shrimp

  7. mschied


    Little necks or Mahogany’s best
    but Cherry Stone will do
    no less than ten bags for sure

    Fire up the pot and dump them in
    Pop a beer, grab a chair
    Let the waiting begin

    While the kiddos play volleyball
    the old folks take a snooze in the sun
    as the salty brine permeates the air

    Check the pot, check it twice
    until the shells are nice and open
    then dump them out into the bowl
    and let the feasting begin

    Don’t forget the essential tiny fork
    and the requisite bib or napkin;
    the butter likes to drip

    Take a clam, spear it through
    then send it for a swim
    in melted golden delight
    swished and swirled for maximum coating

    Careful now, and swiftly connect
    fork with waiting mouth
    and hope your bliss is not marred with grit (blecch)

    Repeat until completely stuffed

  8. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Patlican Dolmasi

    Shaped like elongated pears
    and best shopped for early
    on market day when stalls
    are still shaded and cool

    As eye seeks small size
    practiced fingers can tell if
    purple skin’s smooth enough
    if the flesh beneath is unbruised

    Back home in the kitchen they are
    washed and slit open; seeds all
    scraped out, they are stuffed
    with rice and pine nuts

    Brick-oven baked until
    the luscious smell makes
    tongues anticipate the taste
    and of elegant eggplant, stuffed

  9. PSC in CT

    Back to offer up something a bit more serious. :-]


    (She tried, she claims,
    to get it right)
    pay attention!
    such many
    (whose hand?)
    trochę (a what?)
    some, little bit,
    pinch (how many
    fingers in a pinch?)
    trochę only (no
    measuring cups
    or spoons) mix
    fingers ‘til feeling
    right (right?)

    She never learned
    the recipe dying
    with her mother-in-law

  10. ceeess

    Ok, so I know the line meter is off a tad. There is a rhythm but probably all in my own head…
    and it did end up to be about food… This is a sweet snack treat in Ottawa when the Rideau Canal is open for skating.

    Beaver Tails

    Add a little sugar and
    spice is nice, some cinnamon
    and lemon, don’t think twice,
    everyone’s life could use some spice.
    In winter tourists visit our river
    looking for Beaver Tails, just a sliver
    they fry dough and butter it, sprinkle it twice
    with cinnamon and sugar, just a little spice
    remember that lemon, it’s always nice.

    Some places, they call them elephant ears
    but that’s not the treat Canucks hold dear,
    after a day of cold weather and snow
    when temperature gets to thirty below
    along the Canal everyone will go,
    when they see those huts they skate real slow,
    take a deep breath what do they smell?
    Beaver Tails, the kind the vendors all sell.

    Slathered in butter, and fried like bread,
    a shake of cinnamon
    and sugar like snow,
    don’t forget the lemon
    then eat real slow.
    It tastes so good just like I said,
    not your usual ol’ plain fried bread.

    Carol A. Stephen
    April 18, 2012

  11. Khara H.

    Glory Greens

    Momma says our blood
    oughta be green by now.
    Momma used to slice
    into an avocado like a surgeon,
    give it a twist akin to Sister’s hips
    on Saturday nights,
    suckle the meat on her tongue
    with lemon juice
    and a dash of paprika,
    and serve every dish
    with a heap of kale that slipped
    eel-slide down your throat.

    Momma says our ancestors
    carried sesame seeds for luck,
    tucked in the hollows of ears
    for safe keeping—that if we raked
    the Atlantic Ocean floor
    we’d find black bones and benne
    waiting to be baked into sweet
    and savory wafers.

    Momma says okra
    was meant to keep
    our hearts open like palms—

    passed out as it has been passed down,
    filling us up, reminding us
    what it means to be full.
    Momma used to fill a pot with water
    and tell us everything can be gumbo
    just like anything could be goulash
    if you added potatoes.

    Momma used to slice collards
    like plantation fields, just so.

    Momma says rice is best dirty,
    and the one difference
    between cornbread and cake
    is only honey
    and skip the greens.

  12. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Three Little Pigs in a Blanket

    Three little Pigs in a Blanket
    crashed a pajama party.
    One started playing the trumpet.
    Three Little Pigs in a Blanket
    pulled out a rope and tried to jump it;
    their names were Zeik, Bo and Marty.
    Three Little Pigs in a Blanket
    crashed a pajama party.

    (c) jh 4/20/12

  13. Earl Parsons

    The World of Cuisine

    I’ve had the best of steaks in Canada
    A creamy Napoleon in France
    Real Italian pizza
    And German knockwurst
    Smothered in sauerkraut
    A sampler plate from Mexico
    A snack of Chinese noodles
    An authentic gyro from Morocco
    And the best Japanese sushi in the land
    All in the same day
    At the Food and Wine Festival
    At Epcot

    Man, was I full

  14. Tanjamaltija

    Maltese Coffee

    If I were your coffee…

    There would be tingling anticipation
    In the air
    There would be love in your eyes
    Until I was ready
    My scent would waft and fill you with
    Want, expectation, need.
    You would hold me in your hands
    Like a treasure, a gift
    You would have me slowly,
    Gently, delicately…
    At first.
    If I were your coffee,
    I would be ready.

  15. Miss R.


    There’s a place on the prairies
    Where Ukrainians abound,
    And the strong smell of sausage
    Fills the air all around.
    The perogies are boiled
    In the pots of each home,
    And cabbage rolls will greet
    You wherever you do roam.
    But when I came to this place
    What left a strong impression
    Was one particular spice:
    The Ukrainian obsession.
    There’s garlic in the air,
    And that’s the status quo.
    If you can’t take the smell,
    My friend, then you’d better go.

  16. Yolee

    Tuber Roots and Codfish
    (Para Mami)

    Today I prepared
    yucca, spoonflower,
    and yautia.

    They mingled in the air
    with the onions,
    avocado and codfish.

    Flavor sorely missed your sterling spoon waltz.

  17. cam45237

    The debate was on for dinner
    On our second night in China
    Everybody jet-lagged
    Everybody cranky
    Some wanted McDonalds
    Some just wanted sleep.

    I want Peking Duck in Peking
    Decisive words dropped
    Into a gap in the argument
    Soon Yi said
    She knew a place

    We ate that night at
    Yellow satin tables
    On yellow satin chairs
    Peonies in patterns
    Picked out with white silk thread
    And lanterns in the doorways
    Only we spoke English
    We pointed at pictures
    And duck was set before us

    Petals of poultry
    Fanned back like wings in flight
    From the twisted column of the neck
    And the mahogany-baked head

    Puffs of pancakes
    Onion slivers, pale, green,
    Plum sauce, sweet
    Appeared on small gold plates

    I slipped a slice from the platter
    Teeth sank past
    A crisp whisper of fat

  18. hurtin-heart

    Grandma’s soup
    Grandma’s soup was the best
    But her fried cucumber’s
    Their was no contest.
    I loved to watch my grandma cook
    I learned a lot from her too.
    Seems she was always in the kitchen
    Cooking and cleaning each time i 
    went to visit.
    I’ve learnt to cook a lot through
    the years but i never could make
    Grandma’s soup the way she did.
    Samantha Tinney

  19. JRSimmang

    Bangers and Mash

    I couldn’t help but notice,
    your sausages are not nice,
    and your creamed potatoes
    smell an awful lot like cat.

    It seven in the morning,
    it came without warning,
    and now I’m stuck
    sitting here and that

    is not what I want for breakfast.
    Make me some eggs at long last.
    Coffe’d be nice.
    I don’t want to sound like a brat,

    But where are the seasonings?
    Can’t you hear my pleadings?
    Bland is as bland does
    and just makes me more fat.

    So please, if you please,
    remove this plate of grease,
    hand me my coat
    and hand my my hat.
    I’ll see you round, rat-a-tat.

  20. Uma

    Kambu Koozhu

    Children lie on their bellies, reach for cobs
    of tall grasses growing in dry sluices,
    seeds burst on fingers like confetti of pearl drops.
    They brew sunshine, mix in breeze of the hills,
    they walk past dry farmland chewing juicy stalks,
    take time to sit on haunches and trace paths of snakes
    which heave out of rocks that breathe silent heat.
    They carry bouquet of grasses with cones of millet
    for their mothers to cook mid noon broth.

    Kambu – pearl millet / bajra
    Koozhu – porridge

  21. Lynn Burton

    Southern Fried Picnic

    Red and white checkered blanket on the ground
    honeysuckle breeze lifts your auburn hair.
    Under a shade tree, the best spot we found
    fried chicken and sweet tea for us to share.
    Potato salad and a juicy peach
    the liquid drips down your chin to your shirt.
    A bowl of mixed greens is just out of reach
    on our tongues, the tinglin’ taste buds do flirt.
    Banana puddin’ and curious ants
    I can’t continue to keep on ‘eatin’.
    I won’t be able to button my pants
    and a long, restful nap I’ll be needin’.
    We can lie back, the sun will go down soon
    hand in hand, we’ll gaze at the stars and moon.

  22. claudia marie clemente

    * Pablo Neruda’s Kitchen *

    Scaling Santiago slope: here, you kept your lover,
    La Chascona, immortalizing her red locks in wrought iron suns.
    Downstairs, a bar clipped out from a Norman ship
    heralds a silver fish the size of three fists, still merry,

    blissfully ignorant of the ransack of those last days
    as you lay shriveled, eyes closed to a country heaved up from inside.
    Now, in your paramour’s home, the fish, ditzy and pure,
    points to a table spread with fine french service

    and a wall of wooden cupboard, with a surprise door;
    here you would appear spontaneously, costumed and masked,
    to greet dinner guests — their plates full, crystal topped — to rounds of laughter;
    Pablo, I have walked through your secret door,

    into the cramped kitchen, and up a spiral to La Chascona’s lair
    that faces the stone courtyard, longingly up to your library,
    where, once I have scaled the garden stairs and entered,
    as if through another secret passage, I finally found your real

    dining room; Pablo I see you here, ringed by your guests
    in print, your Swedish and Russian cards, your spines, I see you:
    tumbler in grasp, not yet stripped, not yet vandalized.
    You are busy, concocting at your table, and you pause.

    You place down your pen and your tumbler of gin,
    glance outside and simmer, all spirit.
    You have caught one tiny glimpse
    of La Chascona in her kitchen. You smile.


    1. Yolee

      I absolutely love this. It is dream-like..
      And oh, I love Pablo.

      “La Chascona, immortalizing her red locks in wrought iron suns.”
      “the fish, ditzy and pure,
      points to a table spread with fine french service”

      I finally found your real

      dining room; Pablo I see you here, ringed by your guests
      in print, your Swedish and Russian cards, your spines, I see you:
      tumbler in grasp, not yet stripped, not yet vandalized.
      You are busy, concocting at your table,”


    2. claudia marie clemente

      * Pablo Neruda’s Kitchen *

      Scaling Santiago slope: here, you kept your lover,
      La Chascona, immortalizing her red locks in wrought iron suns.
      Downstairs, a bar clipped out from a Norman ship
      heralds a silver fish the size of three fists, still merry,

      blissfully ignorant of the ransack of those last days
      as you lay shriveled, eyes closed to a country heaved up from inside.
      Now, in your paramour’s home, the fish, ditzy and pure,
      points to a table spread with fine French service

      and a wall of wooden cupboard with a surprise door;
      here you would appear spontaneously, costumed and masked,
      to greet guests — their plates full, crystal topped — in rounds of laughter;
      Pablo, I have walked through your secret door,

      into the cramped kitchen, and up a spiral to La Chascona’s lair
      that faces the stone courtyard, longingly up to your library,
      where, once I have scaled the garden stairs and entered,
      as if through another secret passage, I finally find your real

      dining room; Pablo I see you here, ringed by your guests
      in print, your Swedish and Russian cards, your spines, I see you:
      not yet stripped, not yet vandalized.
      You are busy, concocting at your table, and you pause.

      You place down your pen and your tumbler of gin,
      glance outside and simmer, all spirit.
      You have caught one tiny glimpse
      of La Chascona in her kitchen. You smile.


  23. Nancy Posey

    School Cafeteria Spaghetti

    Dante, that archetypal Italian, could not have assigned Sisyphus
    a task so daunting as a plate of school cafeteria spaghetti,
    an oily lump, growing with each bite, gummy by second lunch.
    On those days, no one earned silver stars as plate cleaners
    to paste of charts on the walls in the primary grade classrooms.

    No matter how we twirled the noodles round and round our forks,
    chasing away spook house remembrances of the vat of worms
    each Halloween into which we plunged our hands, right before
    the peeled grapes the older kids convinced us were eye balls,
    we could not make the mass diminish, much less disappear.

    No one dreamed of calling it marinara—that sauce arriving
    in industrial-sized silver cans, the glue that bound the strands
    of spaghetti ladled in heaps on our melamine plates
    by ladies lacking interest in whether we ate our fill or not,
    caring only that we left soon, scraping our own plates
    into the huge black garbage cans after our teachers finally
    checked our progress, clucked their tongues at our waste,
    and let us escape for the playground, the taste lingering.

  24. mich

    Not a pancake; not a crepe
    The bread of life enjoyed by those living and visiting
    L’Acadie des Terres et Forêts
    Where the French-Canadian culture interlaces
    Two countries, three regions, many nationalities
    Buckwheat, flour, baking powder, salt and water
    A simple mix, poured onto the griddle
    never to be flipped – needs patience
    Until air holes form where the bubbles pop
    and the surface dries
    Ever present companion to chicken stew
    or topped with maple syrup for breaking fast
    The flavor of tradition in the Saint John River Valley

  25. Margot Suydam

    Intoxicated Lullaby

    I can hear it, the seeping
    Desire pours in your voice:

    metaphor of wine, champagne
    brew. My face in the carpet:

    I imagine you straight
    tall–singing to the stars

    from the soles of your feet.
    Your lips give way, magnolia

    sipping on the microphone.
    Leg muscles sway with the last

    time a man stroked your back
    I ingest the intoxicating mix.

    A sultry talk of horns returns.
    Sight unseen, I float on longing.

    Savor the tickling of the trumpet,
    your indolent song instructs.

    You are innocent to the flash
    floods of feeling, while I limp

    with the dark tattoos burned
    on me by lonesome sailors.

  26. Christod

    Chicken Fried Steak.

    He asked me to tell the tale
    of how this London gal wound up
    in his small Okie town, coz he
    just couldn’t figure it out.

    I said, imagine the steak that gets
    fed up of it’s shape and so tries
    a coat with a different name deep fried
    from past mistakes,

    He smiled as he slid over gravy boat
    and quietly said ‘welcome home.’

  27. Benjamin Thomas

    Sweet Potato Palace

    Breakfast in bed 
    With sweet potato pie
    Paradise on earth
    My oh, my
    Please tuck me in 
    In sweet potato skins 
    With Marshmallow pillows
    Let the games begin
    Hand over the cinnamon
    And please pass the potato
    Grab your popcorn
    And watch this rodeo

  28. alotus_poetry

    The First time

    you tried vietnamese food,
    you had a moment of truth,
    really believing that God
    exists so that you could
    taste something that wouldn’t
    be so completely foreign
    or make you hurl on your dinner
    plate. I remember how you were
    being a five-year old
    at that time as if i was forcing you
    to eat turnips and broccoli,
    liver and tripe. But didn’t want to
    disappoint me, you scooped up
    a forkful of steamed rice and nibbled
    on a slice of grilled pork.
    Eggrolls, everything dipped in fish
    sauce. Bite after bite you devoured
    the plate until I laughed, until it becomes
    our joke that this was your Jesus moment.

    Now when you order
    the same dish at our favorite place,
    I sometimes wonder
    if you ever get bored
    with the same dish,
    but no, you always say,
    it’s like the first time
    every time, especially being
    with the most beautiful woman
    in the whole world. Having company
    makes my dinner even more appealing,
    but please, always tell the waiter
    to keep the onion.


  29. Janet Rice Carnahan


    Turning seventeen,
    While studying abroad In Wales,
    Sounded a bit scary!
    After careful thought she said yes,
    Surrendered to the experience,
    And left not knowing a soul,
    In the whole group.

    Arriving overseas, students struggled,
    In the new and awkward situation,
    Working hard to be comfortable,
    Making it US friendly!
    First night no one said a word,
    All the way to dessert,
    Polite nods and quick smiles hid shy intents,
    Until they served the pie!

    The Welch rhubarb specialty,
    Instantly brought locales, staff, young Americans,
    Into a state of joy,
    Talking, laughing and opening up,
    Like they were one big round family,
    Consuming the dark red filing,
    With the cool whipped delicious cream,
    Like it was the sweetest thing on earth!
    Indeed it was,
    With crust so perfect,
    Light brown,
    Sculpted with just enough,
    Curl on top,
    Certainly the joined delight,
    Invited in the connection,
    Among the old, the new and the ones,
    Who were ready to now fully embrace,
    The total Welch experience!

    Eager to have the anticipated pie one night,
    No dessert came for the longest time.

    Just when she stood to leave the table,
    Out came a big pink birthday cake,
    With Happy Birthday written on it,
    In Welch,
    Taking up the entire cake,
    Entire staff and guests singing!

    After much song and eating,
    Whole group stood and danced through the halls,
    Singing Happy Birthday by the Beatles,
    With her inhibitions fading away,
    She held on tight to the cute Welch boy,
    She had been seeing in between classes.

    Welch Rhubarb pie . . .
    Now a thing of the past!

  30. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net

    “If music be the food of love, play on … ”
    ~ Duke Orsino, Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”


    I remember the sound of Orpheus singing,
    and how the harp-strings he touched resounded

    forming a bridge in mid-air
    between heaven and earth, and earth and the grave—

    I remember an African drum,
    carried for miles across the ocean

    to be played before the King’s throne,
    in the outer court and the inner sanctuary at once—

    I remember the sound of a bell
    carried away over a green field

    its tender call fading away
    to silence.

    Jane Beal

  31. Linda Voit

    Cheese Curds

    Mild nuggets you must try
    before you leave this world
    or at least Wisconsin.
    If they don’t squeak against your teeth,
    they are not fresh enough.
    Best one’s ever – Simon’s in
    Little Chute. There is no metaphor
    here. This is straight forward cheese talk
    direct to you from Wisconsin.
    The poem is in the cheese.

    Linda Voit

  32. Karen H. Phillips

    Day 18

    Write a poem with the title of a favorite regional food.

    Turnip Greens with Cider Vinegar

    Best served in out-of-the-way diners
    by a Southern-accented grandmother
    and accompanied by pintos simmering in their juices
    with a side of buttery-moist cornbread.

  33. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The One We Don’t Mention

    The favourite local delicacy
    is not openly spoken of.
    In fact I myself haven’t tasted it
    for years, not since before even
    moving up here — back when
    it wasn’t specific to a place
    so much as a time:
    that experimental era
    when we tried so many ways
    to give our lives new flavour.

    In these parts, I guess you could say
    we’re in permanent time warp.
    Indeed, the main ingredient
    in the best of this region’s cuisine
    is our staple crop, widespread
    throughout the district. Old timers still
    remember the Great Disaster — the raid
    which put so many growers out of action,
    that the local economy went bust
    and the hardware store had to close.

    Of course, there’s more ways than one
    to ingest what is often considered
    a gift from the gods (at once
    so pleasurable and so good for us
    that some people claim medicinal
    dispensations). Plenty prefer to enjoy it
    while sitting around and smoking.
    Out Nimbin way, though, our Mary Jane
    creates the most wicked, most munchable
    cookies, with that little extra something!
    (At least, so I’m told.)

  34. pmwanken


    fish and chips
    in Trafalgar Square

    in the shadow of the Parthenon

    where the hills are alive with music

    on the banks of the Danube

    after walking Unirii Square

    memorable, each one…
    because they were shared with friends

    P. Wanken

  35. Angie K

    PAD 2912 – local food

    Elephant Ears

    When we visit the summertime fair,
    all kinds of things await,
    from Jimmy’s prize pig to Rebecca’s new dress,
    with the judges deciding their fate.

    But though I enjoy the projects and pets,
    showing hard work thru the years,
    a trip to the fair is never complete
    until we find elephant ears.

    This stretched, floppy, flat piece of dough is fried fresh,
    buttered and sugared with spice
    cinnamon plays tunes on the tongues of us all
    and we’re happy we paid the price

    of this special treat that we so rarely eat
    as it comes just once a year.
    So I continue to greatly anticipate
    the return of the elephant ear.

  36. deedeekm

    Stone Soup

    stir the pot
    make sure it’s hot
    and what is not
    well that is what
    you throw out
    with the baby
    sliced and diced
    and sweet enticed
    to sup on ashes
    sugar crashes
    little pinches measured
    inches of this and that
    to make you fat
    it shrinks the heart
    (in more than one way)
    I say, you know
    what I mean you’ve seen
    it every day the have and have
    nots, empty pots with stones
    for soup throws one for
    a loop just check it out
    we super size it, maximize it
    belly not as big as eyes, it
    seems so odd to realize
    we throw away enough
    to feed just one so share
    a little, care a little
    whittle down the hunger
    understand we can
    our hands can hold
    each others hands
    and feed the bellies
    feed the spirits
    feed ourselves
    with shelves and shelves
    of love and laughter
    happy after all
    is what we need
    so get to cooking
    start your looking
    for just one and give
    a little of yourself
    and find that you are fed
    your heart, your head

  37. taylor graham


    Alsace, Elsaß – where my ancestors
    dug potatoes in whatever
    language – that borderland never
    could decide to salt its tongue
    with French or German, such distant
    loyalties. But sauerkraut –
    choucroute – a homey tang.
    Choucroute garnie, the homely staple
    garnished with potatoes and pork,
    goose-grease, garlic and onion,
    juniper berries, steamed over the stove,
    then served with a crisp white wine –
    a celebration dish of plenty,
    after the bare winters, the wars
    for stubblefields. My mother kept
    its story in her heart, if not her cook-
    book. In Strasbourg, I found
    the recipe on a picture postcard.
    After all the years, I’ll make
    choucroute garnie, remembering.

  38. gtabasso

    Wild Game

    Visit Austria in October
    when wild game is on the menu
    in most restaurants.
    How sad that unprocessed, wild,
    gamey animals are so scarce and expensive
    when everyone used to eat that way.
    At least, their forests are plentiful.
    Wild mushrooms still grow.
    Farmers sell pumpkinseed oil
    and make brandy from apples and pears.

    Here, in this sanitized country,
    most people have never eaten
    venison, grouse, pheasant, rabbit and deer,
    much less hunted, gutted, skinned or tanned.
    My father was a hunter.
    I miss the plenty, the meatballs,
    his stories, his disappearance after Thanksgiving,
    a blessing. Now, most people
    would shoot another person before an animal.
    They have become used to packages,
    dyes, sodium and tastelessness.
    Where do I get the permit
    to hunt those who have done this to us?

  39. omavi

    Chesapeake Blue Crab

    Old bay
    Seasoned nice
    Not too salty
    Not too spicy
    Just right just right
    Not tough
    Not tart
    Melting in mouths opened wide
    No complaint about work
    Work will bring delicacy tonight
    Spread the sheet on the table
    Spread the bid
    To keep the vestments clean
    A hammer in the left hand
    Claw crackers
    Yes it’s going to get
    Real messy tonight
    Suck from the claw and suck
    Everything else within
    The meal that makes dreams
    Crustacean nightmares
    Are my greatest dreams

  40. PassionateQuill

    (Polish Pierogi)

    gather around the circle of dough
    family, and history, and eastern nations, border
    the periphery of this national dish
    filled with meat, cheese, or fruits, but always love
    love, gossip, and familiar stories
    fold over and seal in heritage
    now baked, now fried, now drowned
    in sour cream and national pride

  41. eljulia


    My first introduction to this cuisine
    came courtesy of a birthday dream
    this special one, allowed to choose,
    picked “California Cuisine.”

    We read through the menu, we celebrators,
    traded our thoughts, ordered our dinners
    hungry for this singular treat
    of California Cuisine.

    We chattered and laughed while we waited
    smiling as we anticipated
    this new delight unknown to us
    called California Cuisine.

    Our food appeared on expansive plates
    we all looked down–we’d sealed our fates–
    my husband gazed at three lone spears
    of green California Cuisine.

    The asparagus lay in a precise way
    across from two mouthfuls of entrée
    we all looked up at each other’s reactions
    to California Cuisine.

    We looked from plate to plate in wonder
    I tried not to laugh (it’s a social blunder)
    but couldn’t stop when my husband said
    “How ‘bout we stop for burgers on the way home?”

    No more California Cuisine.

  42. RASlater


    Such a cliche I know
    A woman and her chocolate
    But it is my drug of choice
    Raising my blood sugar and my weight
    It is a hard thing to say no
    Such sweet bliss
    Cheering me when I’m sad
    Tantalizing my taste buds
    Whether dark, milk, or white
    Chocolate is my choice
    Plain or fancy
    I care not
    A delightful frenemy

  43. emmajordan

    End of the Month Soup

    Each month the same:
    no money
    groceries gone
    except for a few staples
    perhaps some leftovers
    in the freezer.

    Children grumble,
    tummies growl
    I lament my lack of
    sufficient income
    better planning

    To the cupboard,
    out come the soup pot
    many years old
    with copper bottom.
    Fill half way with water
    start the heat.

    To the pantry,
    not much to see.
    Shelves mostly empty
    still some flour salt pepper
    I bring it out
    mixing in a bowl.

    To the fridge,
    chopped diced
    added to the pot.

    To the freezer,
    thankful for my ice cubed
    marinara sauces
    leftover peas
    a touch of corn
    now added to the pot.

    A taste with the wooden spoon
    another dash of salt
    sprinkle of pepper
    ladled into bowls
    Can I have some more?

    (So sorry for such late in the day poems. Grandchildren here 6:30 am to 7 pm followed by tiredness.)

    1. Linda Voit

      Soup is great for stretching food! And I just want to say that the last sentence of your comment at he end seems like a great little poem: Grandchildren here/ 6:30 am to 7pm/ followed by/ tiredness. :)

  44. cumberlandcarol@live.com

    Fried Tomatoes

    Around forty-five,
    in the mid-west,
    my friend cooked
    me tomatoes.
    Later I saw them fried
    in the tomato movie.
    I was green with envy.

  45. posmic

    Chicken Almond Ding

    Bland. Inauthentic, I’m sure.
    Light brown sauce, celery, chunks
    of chicken, so tender—almost
    prechewed. Almonds, sliced.
    There should be a lot of them,
    and they can’t be stale. Always
    the safest choice on the menu,

    and yet, if one element is off,
    the whole thing becomes
    disappointment over rice.
    I have spent years trying to
    find it, the perfect

    chicken almond ding, but
    nothing comes close to my family
    at the Great Wall of China in

    Englewood, Ohio, 1985 or so,
    all four of us sipping tea,
    trying something new.

    1. Brian Slusher

      I enjoyed how your poem moves from specific detail and turns to your family, so in the end it’s not about food, it’s about how a shared experience can stay with you forever. It’s not the dish you hunger for–it’s the lost moment you want back. Lovely.

  46. RobHalpin

    Soft-shell Crabs

    I’ll pass when the food
    looks like it
    crawled onto the plate.

    I Don’t Want Your Crabs!

    Crabs, in cakes
    or balls or dip or
    freshly whacked,
    have no place
    on a dish in front of me.
    I’ll stick with the ‘turf.’

    1. posmic

      I’m with you, Rob! In Maine last year, I tried to go with the flow and eat a whole lobster. I’ll never do that again! I was done when someone told me the next step was to crack the thing in half with my hands.

  47. cstewart

    Michigan Nights

    Customers waiting for Friday
    To come and make them happy:

    Let’s go fishing!
    Fresh, fried large and small mouth
    Maybe a crappie or two
    Brown and crispie,
    At the local bar-restaurant,
    On the other side of the lake.
    You can row there in the evening
    Meditating on your way to fish heaven.

  48. wolfbolz

    Chez Diablo

    I sat reading Dante when hunger awoke
    and I wondered what doomed souls
    would eat between stokes.
    It couldn’t be tasty,
    it couldn’t be good,
    they were there to be punished,
    that’s understood.

    The first course was easy,
    they needed their fuel,
    so I’ll serve specks of offal
    suspended in gruel.
    The main course is chitlins, haggis, and tripe,
    not served too fresh,
    but served slightly ripe.
    Desert was the hard course,
    I’m sure you’ll agree
    since sweets are forbidden
    in the damned’s recipes.
    A flambé is pointless,
    they’re in Hell after all,
    so I settled for kidneys
    pickled in gall.

    When I finished the menu
    my hunger had ceased
    thinking of vile foods
    from fish, fowl, and beast.
    So now I can slumber
    and rest at long last,
    having finished the planning
    of the doomed soul’s repast.

  49. Jane Shlensky

    Angel Lush

    A blushing stripper could dance
    this name, innocence and scandal
    entwined, pink-cheeked cherubim
    modeling underwear, poutingly prim,
    toying with taste.

    Take layers of angel food cake,
    fresh berries—blue-, straw-, rasp-
    and creamy pineappley filling, and
    the flavors melt into one another,
    creating penetrating colors

    alluring through blown glass.
    Lusciousness is served from
    a thigh-high trifle bowl, a long
    spoon to reach the very depths
    of delicious, the very magi

    of imagination stripped of doubt,
    a favorite at every church function.

  50. Michael Grove

    Sheppard’s Pie

    On bended knee with open heart.
    A recipe for a fresh start.
    Shared every day in any place,
    surrounded by glory and grace.

    At welcome table you shall dine,
    with broken bread and sip of wine.
    One in spirit, bathed in love.
    A blessed meal from up above.

    All empathetic souls prepare
    with grand intentions and great care.
    Now open palms and head held high
    we shall share in Sheppard’s pie.

    By Michael Grove

  51. zevd2001

    It was Saturday night and Grandpa planned
    to cut up a rug with Grandma. Everybody came
    with stacks of records, large and round
    some hot, some soft, with rich licks
    of clarinets, the tang of steel guitars
    come together, trumpets blaring, cooking a party
    for the cats to jive. In the kitchen Mama smiles . . .

    carrying the secret. How her babies loved
    short’nin bread. No man, it’s apple pan dowdy
    here where jitter bugs gyrate as
    the needle passes through the grooves
    seventy-eight revolutions per minute. Then

    the tone arm rises, on command,
    the record falls, automatically
    the needle finds its place

    and the dance goes on . . . In between,
    five full ounces hit the spot, twice as much,
    but who was counting, and in the corner they ducked
    for apples. A hand calls for time out, stop the music,

    everybody in a circle,
    “There was a dog, a little dog,
    and his name was Bingo”, round and round,
    slowly spelling B-I-N-G-O, once, twice,
    could this be my girlfriend, or
    the luck of the draw. Grandpa tells me
    it was always Grandma, but
    Grandma says it wasn’t always, but
    he took her home. They tell me, just before

    they left, Mama put a table out
    smak dab in the middle of the dance floor,
    waiting for the minute announcing

    “One meat ball” . . . These days
    we cut the rugs, as
    they sit back, close their eyes, and smile.

    Zev Davis

  52. Brian Slusher


    Slice of life, white cream
    riding smooth on a sour
    dream like when you
    find a letter in a drawer,
    unfold it to re-read what
    you’ve forgotten. Gentle
    slopes of purple ink with tart
    recriminations underneath.
    You earned every bitter
    word, yet still you wince
    your way from Dear
    to signature, the after-
    taste somehow sweet–
    a just dessert.

  53. Mystical-Poet

    A Farcical Feast

    The Secret Service in a brothel
    said they just came for a falafel
    I bet when they were eating farina
    never dreamed they’d get a subpoena
    even a dose of milk of magnesia
    didn’t help to cure their amnesia
    should have ordered out for a pizza
    instead they claimed too much tequila
    if only had eaten arroz con coco
    could have used defense de loco
    just one helping of Asado Bogotano
    now they’ll be singing like a stoolie soprano
    but surely even I would scream
    for a helping of fried ice cream

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  54. Sara McNulty

    April 18, 2012 – day 18
    Favorite regional cuisine Make it the title of poem

    Sazarac Segue

    Bewitching brew of the true
    New Orleans Sazarac,
    bitters biting the hollows
    of your cheeks, rye rising
    to sooth swallows sweetened
    with muddled sugar, and absinthe
    awakening trembling taste buds

    all in preparation for Eggs Sardou,
    poached, placed upon a bed
    of artichokes and creamed
    spinach, sauced with a delicate
    Hollandaise, complimented

    with chicory blended coffee,
    while you sit sated, jazz combo
    notes humming in you ear,
    and perhaps, you may make
    room for powdered sugar
    beignets, delicately crisp,
    all blending years of tradition
    together, and you, reluctant
    to ever leave.

  55. Lana Walker


    Cut it
    slice it
    dice it
    or chop it

    Splash with
    a dash of lime

    onion and garlic

    perhaps a
    touch of thyme

    Top with pepper
    and there you go
    smashed up

  56. Marcia Gaye

    Cincinnati-Style Chili

    Cincinnati is a German town
    In love with brats and knockwurst
    And German potato salad.
    But that’s not for me
    My best memory
    is Cincinnati-style chili.

    3 way, 5 way, I say
    All or nothing!
    Spaghetti on a hot plate
    Ladle with Cincinnati chili
    (that of a secret concoction –
    perhaps cinnamon
    maybe chocolate)
    Cover with red kidney beans
    Sprinkle with diced onion
    – not the sweet southern kind –
    Over the top a lovely mound
    Of shredded cheddar cheese.

    Mumble to the waitress with your mouth full,
    And she’ll answer, “Please?”

    (There is more to this but I don’t have time to write it up just now.)
    We’ve lived all over, including the already mentioned Buffalo and Atlanta
    but I am frantic about being the first to mention this delectable Cincinnati
    taste sensation.

    1. Marcia Gaye

      This should be noted as Skyline Chili, verses Gold Star Chili. Skyline is kinda mushy, but very addictive. I wanted to include callouts to the Cincy Seminary students who subsist on the stuff. And do not be fooled by the copycat at Steak-n-Shake, which is not even close. (And as long as I’m calling out to the students, how about that Lotta Trotta?)

      1. Marcia Gaye

        Glad you got to try it, Domino!
        “Please” is a colloquialism that means “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand, please repeat yourself.” I’ve never heard it said anywhere else than Cincinnati.

  57. ina

    I guess Claudia and I were on the same track this a.m. (Hi Claudia!)


    Underneath the pestle
    spices shift, slide, finally
    giving way, turning into sand, fragrant
    dust.. Not just food
    but a way to hide the rot of
    the unidentifiable meat left
    in the road, the grind of poverty, the
    smell of death.

    1. Brian Slusher

      I like the phrase “fragrant dust.” Strong turn in the poem’s final lines–I didn’t see death coming. Quite a nice punch in the end. Well done!

  58. ely the eel

    Wisconsin Weekend

    They still do fish fry in every corner tap on Friday
    nights, and all the restaurants have an overpriced
    family style offering, but it’s not all fried, and it’s
    mostly frozen cod, and there’s too many potato choices
    and, my god, they even serve salads instead of cole slaw
    if you ask. Really. Growing up in a country village,
    there were only a few choices, Magowan’s and Roundy’s
    and my family’s favorite, Stitch & Mary’s on the lake.
    Friday was fish, always perch, always fried, and fries and
    cole slaw and little rye rounds. Saturday was chicken,
    always fried, and mashed potatoes and overcooked
    squash. The men all smoked, the woman danced, we kids
    played pinball and drank some deliciously sweet lemon
    drink that I am sure led to type two diabetes. No wine that
    I remember, but lots of beer for the old folks, and usually
    an Old Fashioned. Sunday was church and a picnic, but
    not in the winter, and sometimes not the church part either.
    I’m pretty sure none of this was healthy, but living where
    we do now, with lots of specialties but no traditions,
    the memories are savory, the recollections sweet.

    1. Linda Voit

      In the process of moving back to Wisconsin. I almost wrote about being back where you don’t have to explain what an old fashion is! Thanks for the memories. Also, my poem is very late in the day, but in case you are interested, it’s about cheese curds. :) On Wisconsin!

  59. deringer1


    I’m a proud New Mexican
    we love our chile green
    there’s nothing like it anywhere
    no matter where you’ve been.

    We also love our chile red
    it’s yummy too, con carne.
    We simply crave it every day
    I tell you that’s no blarney.

    Would you like it red or green?
    That question is official.
    We’re serious about cuisine
    we know our chile’s special.

    We ask that you not be confused
    and think our chile Tex-Mex.
    We always spell it with an e
    and require our daily fix.

    We must have chile on our burgers,
    and on our hot dogs also.
    We even eat it on our toast
    and spice up Pasta Alfredo.

    Now if you cannot eat it hot
    we’ll serve it to you mild.
    Red or green or hot or not,
    for chile we are WILD !

  60. Nancy Posey

    All-Day Singing and Dinner on the Ground

    No Thanksgiving bounty rivaled the spread
    on Decoration Day, when from miles around
    everyone showed up at Frog Pond, politicians
    more intent on eating than on kissing babies,
    the visiting preacher near the front of the line,
    ready to offer thanks before digging in,
    though even those at the rear of the line
    knew the bounty spread on folding tables
    would last like the loaves and fishes long ago.
    No complicated casseroles from recipes
    in magazines competed with this fare—
    plates of fried chicken, warm rolls, hot biscuits
    in baskets, covered by tea towels to discourage
    the flies, sliced tomatoes, straight off the vine,
    pickles from last summer, emptying jars
    for this year’s bumper crop of cucumbers,
    green tomato pickles, fried okra, potato salad—
    yellow and white—cole slaw and sweet corn,
    on the cob and off. Half runners floated
    in bacon grease, cooked down soft, seasoned
    with hunks of onion, salt, and pepper,
    all washed down with sweet iced tea.
    Most of us groaned at the sight of dessert,
    then piled a plate—for later, we claimed:
    fried apple pies with fork-crinkled dough,
    banana pudding, icing piled on coconut cake.
    Before we were lulled to sleep, bellies full,
    folks started heading back to the church house
    but not before the women spread tables clothes
    and bed sheets over the food tables, saving
    the leftovers for later, after we’d sung
    verse after verse, the men then the boys
    taking turns leading all the old favorites
    in clear, pure, four-part harmony, sweetest
    sound this side of heaven, we’d declare.

  61. claudsy

    Written to Jan Turner’s form–Tri-Fall form.

    Sunday Lunch
    Table long, groaning now
    under weight
    of platters, dishes, and elbows.
    Ham, chops, eggs galore vow
    to stay late
    just to erase dieter’s woes.

    Clasping hands for prayer
    waiting now
    ‘til men get theirs and kids do too.
    Smells so good this home fare
    “Where’s the cow?”
    Utters late-comer with “moo.”

    “Stayed outside,” replies Gran
    “Sit and eat.”
    all bowls cleaned, platters empty too.
    Belt loose on a lone man
    children sleep
    in laps of soft-talking moms.

    © Claudette J. Young 2012

  62. Marianv

    Sunday dinner, Polish style

    Sniff the smell of cabbage steaming
    On the stove this Sunday morning

    hand-picked from the vegetable garden
    this sunny morning in November.

    See how the cabbage keeps producing
    Even when the frosts and cold spells

    Turned all of the tender veggies
    Into little piles of mush.

    Now the pan of boiling water
    Bubbles over from the lid

    Quick! It’s time to add the noodles
    Watch them grow from dry to plump.

    We are ready! All the noodles mixed
    Into the cabbage (with a bit of chopped-up onion}

    Let the flavors merge together! Serve the kielbasa
    On the side. Enjoy our Polish Sunday feast!

  63. Domino


    In the Southwest we have hot tamales,
    (I mean that in more ways than one).
    Tamales are spicy and we all get our jollies
    in having some when we want fun.

    Add salsa (the music or condiment),
    mariachis and hot enchiladas
    some nachos and this is a recipe competent
    for parties with cold Michelada.*

    And of course, we must have our Tabasco
    hotter than a pepper sprout,
    We do like our spice and our parties alfresco
    Come visit so you can find out!

    *Michelada is a spicy, yet refreshing, beer cocktail of sorts!

  64. DanielAri


    “Coco got a lot of iron / make you strong like a lion.”
    -–from “Coconut Woman” sung by Harry Belafonte

    and in Oakland, I came down with an ambulatory flu
    like rain on a sunny day. While my forehead burned
    egg-frying hot, I felt more restless than guilty about
    being in public, so, keeping my hands to myself, went
    to Home Depot, Safeway, even the DMV, body aching
    but still knocking tasks off the punch list now that I
    had a day “off work.” The sun set. I needed chicken
    soup, but I was all alone and didn’t want to cook, so
    I went to Sabuy Sabuy and ordered a family-size tub
    of Tom Kha Gai, parked in a cul-de-sac and guzzled
    half of it, scalding hot. Then drove home, got inside,
    undressed, and drank the rest lukewarm, knocking
    the bottom of the container to get the last pieces of
    onion and snowy chicken meat into me. I slept until
    late afternoon the next day and woke without a fever.


  65. dextrousdigits


    Stuffed Grape leaves
    my favorite, rice filled
    my brothers preferred meat and rice.
    They always grape leaves ate
    in making them, they rarely did participate.

    Mom, dad, sometimes Armenian lady friends
    would gather at a wooden four by four table.
    In a pan olive oil heated
    sauted chopped onions a bit of lemon zest, dill
    aroma wafting throughout the house
    a primal cooking essence.
    Broth, rice, flat leaf only parsley
    cooked briefly, then pine nuts added.

    All would sit at the table
    blanched grape leaves piled in the middle,
    next to the rice mixture.
    As hands spooned mixture into the center
    of the leaf, each set of hands had their own technique
    for gingerly wrapping the rice inside.
    But, hands could wrap while
    everyone shared stores,
    exchanged news and ideas,
    We sipped Turkish coffee and nibbled on baklava.
    until the first batch of leaves were ready
    then everyone would sit down at the dinning table
    and as we feasted would tell stories of the old country
    or when they made stuffed grape leaves with their mothers.

    Dolma is a custom, a gathering, a quilting bee for food.

  66. lionmother

    As I read everyone’s poems my mouth was watering. Then I thought of this:

    When I moved to Queens
    the delectable flavor
    tantalized me and I
    missed the aroma
    wafting out to the
    street as I walked
    by never able to
    avoid the invitation
    sent on the breeze
    for my mouth to
    bite into the flaky
    crust and taste the
    oniony, potatoey
    goodness inside
    of that marvel found
    on my Brooklyn street
    they try hard at
    Knish Nosh to replicate
    but I still remember
    strolling to the movies
    holding that hot potato

  67. dextrousdigits

    The hamburger of Egypt
    Two blocks from the Metro
    which I used to love to ride so
    I could watch men in turbans,
    kids selling candy bars,
    women in burqas, their mysterious eyes
    seemed to be hiding secrets which I tried to quess.
    I stealthily listened to Arabic, French, Armenian
    conversations with those around me who were often
    staring at my curious blue eyes
    somewhat a rarity to many 60 years ago.

    Two blocks from the Metro
    on Sharia Ibrahim road
    was the best falafel stand in Cairo area.
    Whenever I had a few pennies there I would go.
    There was a line there from before dawn till after midnight.
    Evan in the middle of the day when most
    of Egypt closed down to escape the heat and sleep
    people crowded around waiting for this treat.
    Old whithered wringled dried faced men
    in Galabiyyas to keep cool,
    who date like lived in desert sun,
    but their eyes smiled at a 4 year old girl
    waiting eagerly for her pita bread filled
    with hot off the grill falafel.
    Other native children still in Pajamas
    no restrictions in customs to wearing
    sleeping attire in the streets chatted with me
    about what we could do today.
    Women dressed often in black, but sometimes colorful
    hijabs to cover their hair with matching jilbab dresses
    baskets and bags hanging from their arms
    talked only to other women.

    The streets strewn with
    Donkeys and their droppings,
    often chicken scurrying about and feathers flying,
    lots of sand, dust and dirt
    vendors of all sorts pushing carts and their wares
    beggars, many with missing limbs or blind eyes,
    layered in dirt and shredded ragged clothes
    sat in the same spot day after day.
    Sometimes tourists would say, “Oh such poverty,
    it is soooo primitive” But to me it was a playground.

  68. Michelle Hed

    Casserole (aka Hot Dish)

    Usually noodle based
    with a meat for flavor,
    varying vegetables
    and a dash of spice.

    Accompanying the dish
    are optional sentiments
    and facial expressions
    depending on the situation:

    Smiles and welcomes
    for new neighbors –
    Somber faces and hugs
    for bereavement –
    Grins and belly pats
    for the expectant moms –
    Tsk-ing lectures
    for broken bones –
    Commiserating nods
    for loss of material objects –
    Hearty laughter and high fives
    for any celebration…

    Yes, the Casserole –
    an extremely portable
    dish for any event,
    any season,
    any place,
    and any time.

  69. Andrew Kreider

    Here’s a bop, slightly off-topic…. It’s been a rough 24-hours here in the ‘hood.

    Death in the pot

    He couldn’t have been more than twelve years old,
    face down on our lawn, strung out on K-2.
    Out of nowhere there were three police cars
    blocking the street, soon joined by a fire truck
    and a white ambulance. Then came the crowd,
    the shouts, the knowing looks, the same old dance.

    Something has to change in this neighborhood.

    Overnight there was fresh graffiti sprayed
    on our neighbors’ garage – a racial slur
    with a threat. The City sent a young man
    to take photos. He hardly said a word.
    It all just felt so completely normal:
    cops on our lawn, the n-word three feet tall.
    It wasn’t until my son said to me,
    “I’m scared to be outside,” that it hit me:

    Something has to change in this neighborhood.

    Suddenly I’m angry. Seething at the
    drug pushers, slum lords, smug politicians,
    most of all, myself – for falling asleep,
    dulled by twenty years in one place, until
    I don’t blink when a kid might be dying
    on my doorstep. There is death in the pot.

    Something has to change in this neighborhood.

  70. claudsy

    Here’s a little ditty that should make you cringe or go “Oooo.”

    Granny’s Guarded Secret

    It sits, having conquered gravity
    To reign over table and diners.
    Six layers of diabetes, waiting
    For consumption by the sliver.
    Who’d’ve expected one pie
    To feed twenty sugar addicts?
    We wait, breathe held, for slicing
    To begin, so that we can let
    Our portion melt, slither, find
    Our centers to give that rush
    To bodies needing Pilates more
    Than three kinds of caramel in
    Six stacked shells of doughy goodness.

    © Claudette J. Young 2012

  71. Mike Bayles

    Snow Peas and Chicken

    In a moment, stir-fried,
    this delicate taste,
    these delicacies,
    the snow pea pods
    that crunch with every bite
    and the bits of tender chicken,
    while sprinkles of soy sauce
    It’s the experience
    I savor,
    and I take the time
    to enjoy the food I taste,
    while the soft plunking of Japanese music
    recalls a simpler life in another world.

    1. Linda Voit

      This hits hard even though (or because) it’s dressed in a simple rhyme – like being bludgeoned with a nerf bat. Well done. (if that does not sound like a compliment, know that it is supposed to be one. I am tired!)

  72. Buddah Moskowitz

    Thai Peanut Spicy Chicken

    I let the wisps of
    peanut-scented steam
    waft from the Styrofoam
    to-go container,
    and I inhale it
    as though it was
    some exotic breathing

    My heart pounds
    in my chest
    and the saliva pools
    in my mouth
    as I carefully
    balance the peanut sauce
    with the white rice
    on my fork.

    The Thai spices,
    a magical mystery mix,
    shoot electricity
    from my tongue
    through my entire being,
    faster than morphine,
    more exciting than her touch
    the very first time.

    The crunch of the peanut
    and the tenderness
    of the chicken
    make every bite
    a challenge
    to savor
    and not devour.

    What problems that exist
    in this world,
    in my world
    are for the moment
    off somewhere
    far, far away.

    The memory
    of sweet coconut milk
    and fiery red chili
    stays with me
    all afternoon,

    reminding of
    what is often
    the best part of my day.

  73. J.lynn Sheridan

    “Shakespeare, Macbeth,
    and the Door County Wisconsin Fish Boil”

    –A peninsula near Lake Michigan
    Enter three lumberjacks and a crowd.–

    They don’t come for the fish,
    they come for the show at Death’s Door,

    (Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble)

    to watch a colossal cauldron
    of water come alive with brine and flame.

    (1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
    2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
    3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
    1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;)

    They come to huddle around the cedar-fed
    bonfire sparkling in the dusk, to circle its warmth.
    (Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse)

    (Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
    In the caldron boil and bake;)

    Eye of red-jacket potato, toe of pearl onions,
    flesh of Lake Michigan white fish. Into
    the mesh basket they go. Steam and boil
    with toil and trouble.

    (For the ingredients of our caldron.
    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.)

    The master stirs not in time; he listens

    (For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.)

    The fire snaps, the crowd in hush.
    The boil master spikes rising flames
    with kerosene, a sizzle a rush, a boiling
    oil mush runneth over steely keg.

    Drizzle lemon butter tonic rich
    and warm to tongue and bread.

    (Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.)

    Cool it with a cherry pie;
    Then the charm is firm and good.

  74. Beth Rodgers


    It’s a mental hunger
    The waiting and wanting
    Wishing and hoping
    Starving for an outlet
    Through which to pursue the senses.

    Taste can be a bitter rival
    When what one wants
    Is what one lacks
    But cuisine can be a sweet mistress.

    Governed by factors beyond the control
    Of a single person
    Different options remain available
    To satiate the appetite of those
    Who might like a bowl of New England clam chowder
    Or who may prefer the aroma of an Israeli knish.

      1. Beth Rodgers

        I just read yours. I really do want to go out and buy one, but I was picturing Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem where I picked one up years ago when I was there, and it was just awesome to have a real Israeli knish :-) I love the potatoey goodness, as you so aptly put it. I think between your poem and mine, I’m just going to have to go and find some to satisfy my craving.

  75. Kendall A. Bell

    Philly cheesesteak

    It was last year that I finally found
    a place on South Street to finally try
    an actual Philly cheesesteak. Of course,
    South Jersey has many places that try to
    emulate that benchmark of cuisine from
    the city of brotherly love, but many have
    told me that nothing can compare to a steak
    at Geno’s, at Pat’s or Jim’s. With a coupon
    in hand, we went to Steaks On South, and it
    wouldn’t be my last time, either. I probably
    didn’t order it with the correct terminology,
    my editor brain refusing to say “a cheesesteak
    wit”, but my mouth won’t soon forget the melding
    of cubes of chicken melding with fried onions and
    bacon on a soft, but not too soft roll, the grease
    lightly coating my hands. Still, as much as I enjoyed
    that fried masterpiece, the best cheesesteak I’ve ever
    had was from a town in my own county in South Jersey,
    on the largest roll I’ve ever seen a cheesesteak on. I
    somehow managed to eat one of those oversized monstrosities
    once, and it is now something of legend, though I don’t think
    my stomach has ever really forgiven me.

  76. Dare

    Fried Okra

    or not

    Served with cornsticks
    Dripping butter
    Sweet Tea offers

    Ah, the days!
    When food was good
    We worried not
    with calories
    or fats and sugar
    Let them be!

    Today that is apostasy

  77. Maurie

    Dump Dinner/Low Country Boil
    “Dump dinner” we called it in the north of the South
    Down here in Georgia, the title rolls from your mouth.
    No matter the name, the process is the same.
    Grab a big pot, fill water to the brim
    Bring to a boil, throw the veggies in
    Corn, onions, peas, whatever else you please
    Your timer’s a beer, so when one.. or two.. disappear
    grab those crustaceans (local, no imitations)
    dust with Old Bay, so quiet they’ll stay
    toss them in the brew, to simmer, to stew.
    Once they turn pink, put down that drink
    Turn off the gas, serve it up en masse.

  78. Imaginalchemy


    Put me in a room
    With hundreds of socialites
    Who love to talk on and on about their lives
    And I’ll try to be inconspicuous
    Because I’m a twerp
    And then I’ll trip down some stairs
    Head over heels like a slinky
    And there you have it:
    That makes me a Twinkie.

    *I know, not really a regional dish, but you can make these at home

  79. De Jackson

    Puddle Pie

    Puddle Pie! Puddle Pie!
    Dirt-licious local Puddle Pie!
    Some with beetles, some with flies,
    you can get them any size,
    seasoned with grass and flower bud.
    Or would you like yours ala mud?

  80. barbara_y

    vinegar pepper barbeque

    a man
    who’s all hurry
    with a whiskey red tomato sugar sauce
    will fill your belly
    and leave

    I love
    a little bite. yes.
    barbeque is in the cooking
    and smoky
    with the fire laid to last until you’re done.

  81. Katrin


    It is a cuisine based not
    on rice, nor cabbage,
    but it does involve
    a great deal of
    pounding, stirring,
    and molding,
    and the savory
    element is the
    sweetest on the planet

    So, when you are offered
    a sample of the daily fare,
    you have no choice,
    if you have any sense
    of culinary adventure,
    but to accept a delectable
    offering from the
    Sandbox Cuisine

  82. De Jackson

    Swedish Pancakes

    She browns them
    so thin you can
    see through them,
    then fills and folds
    them over
    t u c k cs
    but the sweet
    in the middle spills
    out over the edges
    unable to be contained.

    I can still see her
    in that Tahoe kitchen
    each one with love,
    a delicious
    laughing soul
    taken from us
    much too soon.

  83. MiskMask

    Musseling in on Chips

    Tell me little mussel,
    swimming in Belgium beer and cream,
    with your dinner jacket opened and
    your little tummy all bulgy bare,
    do you suppose, little mussel,
    that you’d taste better with a chip?

    1. Imaginalchemy

      LOL, this reminds me a little of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” with all the poor oysters getting eaten. Something about personifying shellfish makes me sympathize with them (but I still eat them anyway)

  84. cindishipley

    I am having trouble posting comments. There is so much I want to say to all the great poets on this site. But it keeps saying I have posted too quickly, when I have only postd my own poem.

  85. Catherine Lee

    Note: If you’re ever in my hometown of Virginia Beach, you should stop by Bubba’s for a bowl of their She Crab Soup. It’s delicious, or so I’ve heard. :)

    She Crab Soup

    I was never brave enough to order the house special.
    The idea of roe in my spoon made me nervous for the same
    Reason I never swallowed watermelon seeds as a child
    Because you never know.

    It was our favorite place to pick up our friendship.
    Catching female gossip like crabs in creaky cages,
    Although we preferred to wade in with chicken
    On string to lure them in.

    We were content to watch the locals tether boats
    In a row along the pier, mooring just long enough
    To share a bowl of soup before casting off to
    Somewhere I’ve never been.

    We were locals too, but we felt foreign without boats
    Of our own, like lifelong visitors watching something
    Older than our memory unfold with the sun
    Over the eastern horizon.

  86. Mystical-Poet

    Korean Quandries

    Jogae gui is just fine for me
    even better with Galbi and Kimchi
    cornish game hens stuffed with ginseng
    are ingredients found in Samgyetang
    the popular Dolsot Bibimbap
    is usually served with a dollop
    of gochujang ( red pepper paste )
    beware your taste buds becoming debased
    Sinseollo is elaborate for royalty
    but I’d rather just have Bulgogi
    a steamed dish of Dubuseon
    can’t compare to Jajangmyeon
    Pajeon is best with soy sauce and chili pepper powder
    still leaves me dreaming of New England clam chowder
    Anju is consumed with Korean Soju
    it’s the alcohol that’ll put a hurting on you

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  87. MiskMask

    A Biscuit By Another Name

    A scone is a scone but
    a scone is not a biscuit,
    and a biscuit not’s a biscuit
    unless it’s a biccie, ‘cause
    then it’s a crispy cookie.
    But a cookie’s not a cookie
    until it’s baked up firm
    because cookies are from
    Holland where wooden
    clogs have also come.

  88. Imaginalchemy


    She couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish.
    She couldn’t salsa or meringue.
    He loved her just the same,
    She accepted his ring and last name,
    But she knew what his family would secretly say.

    Why this bland, flavorless white woman?
    Why, when all the women in this family
    Are strong, sexy Columbian blend?
    Three of four brothers married right in the end,
    But why did he pick this gringa, so pale and gangly?

    But she knew some things are universal.
    Like potatoes, chicken, plantain and corn,
    Cilantro was a surprise for her tongue,
    She liked it, and stirred it in among
    The other ingredients, and the Sanchocho was born.

    And the family smiled as they caught the scent.
    They popped into the kitchen to take a look.
    She spooned the stew into bowls
    They all ate together, warm bellies and souls
    And they said, “Well, at least she can cook.”

  89. cindishipley


    Spam Musubi on the beach,
    with waves crashing.
    Spam and eggs, 99 cent special,
    the Hukelau shack.
    Spam sandwiches in a windy
    castle in England,
    Spam, spam, spam
    I am.

    How did this become
    synonomous with
    junk mail?

  90. RJ Clarken

    I actually wrote this poem a long time ago, and actually included it in my collection, Mugging for the Camera – but given the topic for today, which is regional foods, I thought I would repost/share it in case anyone might have yet another term for this food…

    What’s for Lunch?

    Accents and idioms truly abound
    in every state and every town.

    One way to for one to manage to see
    the spoken word discrepancy

    is the local names we give for food.
    Example? A tube-shaped meal can include:

    A sub – or the longer form, submarine
    where meats and cheeses are often routine-

    ly piled quite high between some bread slices,
    sometimes with mayo, oil, vinegar and spices.

    It can also be called a hoagie or even a grinder
    and if you forget, here’s another reminder

    that some folks say po’boy and others say wedge
    with tomato and lettuce sticking out from the edge

    of the Italian or Cuban; they both taste soooo good,
    along with the sarney or the famous Dagwood.

    There’s the bomber, the depth charge, the zep and baguette,
    and I have a few more ’cause I’m not finished yet!

    There’s also the speidie from New York, Upstate,
    you can savor the flavor – it always tastes great.

    Just go to a deli and say that you need, oh…
    a hamboat or roast beef foot-long torpedo!

    In case you might wonder, this list’s incomplete,
    but it’s made me quite hungry – so I think I’ll go eat.


    1. Imaginalchemy

      Argh, I just had breakfast, and now you’ve made me hungry again! (I love subs, maybe I’ll ditch the packed lunch today and go get one). But I love the rhyming in your poem, you pay wonderful homage to the sub sandwich.

  91. Joseph Harker

    Edouard and I

    in the Luxembourg Gardens
    eating crêpes stuffed with strawberry jam
    and overflowing with cream

    that came from a street vendor
    who sent us on our way with a blessing
    wreathed in fried-butter steam

    to the borders of a fountain
    where we sit near the feet of Polyphemus
    beaten into eternal copper blue

    dropping powdered sugar
    and centimes onto the blanket of water
    that billows with the afternoon

    while long-beaked birds come
    plucking at our feet and the heady violets
    we picked so surreptitiously

    that it gave us this rush
    like we were committing aesthetic crimes
    the thieves of five-petaled beauty

    as well as the thieves of
    warm wet sweetness wrapped in tinfoil
    doubled with white-handed glee

    trading a bit of July lumière
    with our mouths and our jellied tongues
    and licking our fingers clean

  92. Jane Shlensky

    Baked Alaska

    Temperate winds and
    warming seas confuse
    the whales and polar bears
    who think it’s summer.

    They scan the sea for food,
    as tourists in small boats
    rowed from the mother ship
    get closer looks and pictures

    of themselves smiling in
    a light jacket, of glaciers
    melting behind them,
    their blue ice falling,

    their waves giving all
    aboard a thrilling ride,
    only a little dangerous,
    and well worth the price.

    Tonight the chef serves
    a light and frothy irony
    for dessert, its browned
    meringue wrapped around

    a slowly melting center,
    that can only hold a little

  93. PKP

    Grandmother Blintzes

    Today you can buy them frozen in a box ready for your pleasure
    A variety of flavors added insouciantly for good measure
    “Blintzes” cousin to crepes ready in a relative modern flash
    An acceptable treat , yet having nothing to do with halycon  memoried vaulted stash 
    The kitchen counter was cleared, scrubbed clean readied as a would be surgical site
    My grandmother short and no nonsense entered raven haired tipped with white
    Sleeves on arms pushed up leaving soft powdered flesh unaccustomed free
    Pulled from “Fridge” and cupboards shelves and once something left in the car all that would need she
    Potatoes first were peeled then grated on a shining stainless washboard looking thing
    Then one single perfect onion picked, picked, grated to the nub, all was only finished when watching eyes with tears did sing 
    And then, only then, this potato onion mixture in a crockery bowl pushed to the side
    Did she fling open kitchen windows wipe the counters, pull flour and flush faced ready for the ride
    As she mixed flour, water, maybe eggs,
    could not see the ingredients just her barefooted shifting one side to the other legs
    She sang in clear contralto  mixing with the rising scents her one into an other song
    Of “Pretty Bubbles In The Air” of “gals” and “fellows” waiting for each so very  long
    Finally came the time a noticeable shift of excitement in the air…
    The counter was wax paper floured and she sung “I Found A Peanut…” there
    Pounded with her fist a rhythmic determined classical on countered tattoo 
    And in sudden silence lifted a round doughed circle so thin it shimmered translucent
    Laid back down gently as a newborn babe she spooned in  that potato mixture meant
    And with fingers deft and sure as neurosurgery 
    swaddled dough into first blintze, each end tucked seamless edged perfectly
    Repeated the process at least two dozen times or more
    Then in the event of outsiders added sweetened cottage cheese precisely to their taste for
    Lined into two baking pans sparkling and butter greased with cheesecloth precision
    Into the oven to wait an hour to pass, we moved stealthily and watched purloined television

  94. drwasy


    Here in Baltimore
    they eat their crabs
    steamed in Old Bay
    pepper-hot so they can’t
    taste the sweet
    of the meat

    Dumped on newsprint
    covered tables
    a tangle of legs and claws
    wooden mallets
    pummel fat blue bodies
    dusted with boil.

    Stainless picks
    move like knitting needles
    to pry out the white
    goodness, fingers licked
    the smack of lips
    sucking shells,
    the burn relieved
    by frosty bottles of brew.
    excuse for the meal.

    Myself, I fail to see
    the allure of these
    sea scavengers,
    scrappy and anemic
    pieces of work
    like the denizens
    who eat them.

    Peace, LindaS-W

  95. Bruce Niedt

    Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Write a lullaby poem. It’s not easy to write a lullaby about local cuisine, but here goes:

    Philly Cheesesteak Lullaby

    Hush, little Phillies fan, now don’t you cry;
    they’ll make the World Series again, by and by.
    So sit back and enjoy the game, just relax,
    and have some of your favorite local snacks:
    soft pretzels and hoagies, a Philly cheesesteak,
    and for dessert, water ice, Tastykake.
    Wash it down with some beer, if that is your wish:
    Dock Street or Yuengling, perhaps Flying Fish.
    With your belly full, and your head a-spinning,
    you’ll probably doze off before the eighth inning.

    Obviously RJ and I are from the same neck of the woods. (see her Pat’s Steaks poem.)
    And here’s a tanka, based just on Roert’s prompt, about some local cuisine I left out:


    no misspelled word game
    but pork product, square slab sliced
    and pan-fried with eggs
    don’t ask what’s in it – the whole’s
    more than the sum of the parts

    1. RJ Clarken

      Bruce! I ♥ U!

      You know…to this day, one of the best Philly foods I ever ate was a hot dog at Connie Mack Stadium. I realize I am dating myself, but I had one at my first ever Phillies game (the same game that my dad actually caught a baseball!) and I’ve been hooked ever since!

      Bravo on your Philly Phood Phor Thought!

  96. maggzee

    To Robin and the men of Perdition

    Rowing with friends on the St. Johns
    Through blisters and backaches and sweat
    There’s one thing in mind for the crew
    To leap out of our scull and get

    Cheese grits, cheese grits and stout
    Down home grits with sweet creamy cheddar
    At nine a.m. we would certainly doubt
    That anything would ever taste better

    Double chocolate, tripel, IPA
    Are you squaring it up at the catch?
    Endless review of technique
    Over beers and, why, cheese grits, natch.

    Cheese grits, cheese grits and stout
    Down home grits with sweet creamy cheddar
    At nine a.m. we would certainly doubt
    That anything would ever taste better

    Oh sure, bacon and sausage and ham
    Pancakes and waffles run riot
    After Marley has run you through drills
    There’s only one thing you need in your diet

    Cheese grits, cheese grits and stout
    Empty beer mugs in teetering stacks
    Grease stains are all that remain
    Of another morning spent at Kickbacks

  97. RJ Clarken

    Pat’s at 9th & Wharton Streets, Philadelphia

    Since 1930, Pat’s has been
    the most well-loved cheese steak canteen.
    ‘Though servers may be contrary,*
    cheese steaks there are legendary!

    They’re open 7/24
    for cheese steaks, hot dogs, fries and more.
    Menu listings seldom vary:
    cheese steaks there are legendary!

    Mushrooms, extra cheese or pizza
    sauce goes into rolls and meats. A
    gastronomic sanctuary:
    cheese steaks there are legendary!

    At two AM, when bars let out
    you’ll find odd patrons all about.
    Cops, pimps, tourist, folks who tarry…
    come to Pat’s Steaks. Legendary!


    * Note: If you ever chance to visit Pat’s (and if you’re in Philly, you should!) make sure you know what you want to order by the time you reach the ordering window – or else the counter people could be quite surly with you. (You can read the menu while waiting on line.) The staff serve the cheese steaks fast and furious because there is always a crowd – at any hour. But it’s worth it!

    Okay, Walt? ☼

  98. Jaywig

    Day 18 – regional cuisine

    Day of worship.

    My cousin, a dietician,
    took off from Melbourne
    to serve the world.
    Never got past California.

    When I found her
    she served up Aussie pies
    all juicy beef, not salty,
    the gravy almost sweet.

    This was in Berkeley
    in 1987. From her cafe
    we drank deeply of campus
    drumming. It was Sunday.

  99. competitivewriter

    Shout out to the Minnesota State Fair

    On a stick

    pronto pups
    corn dogs
    candied apples
    classics on a stick

    bacon wrapped pickles
    stangeness on a stick

    deep fry them and its
    sweetness on a stick

    pork chops
    steaks and spuds
    sausage wrapped in pancakes
    feasting on a stick

    summer sunshine
    rides and games
    music and mobs of people
    memories that stick

    1. ely the eel

      There is no state fair better than the one in Minnie-Soda. Texas thinks it’s all that, but it’s not. And half of what makes the Twin Cities rock is the food.

  100. PKP

    NY Pizza

    The common pie
    with toppings or just there plain
    limited not to The Apple’s domain
    Yet, something in the crisp of crust
    in perfected span of stretch of cheesy string
    is a saucy bewitched particular New York branded thing

  101. PKP

    NY Bagels

    Although they now have rolled from one
    coast through heartland to the country’s
    other side…be it water, atmosphere or
    mystic legacy, remembered crumbs never
    coalesce from bakers’ oven to create a
    bagel any once New York-taster can abide….

  102. Walt Wojtanik


    Tasty delectibles to entice,
    well presented, very nice,
    just a plateful will suffice
    on that, we’ll get our fill.

    Morsels meant to tantalize,
    good for the stomach and your eyes,
    overindulgence is not wise –
    don’t let it tempt your will.

    But, nourishment isn’t only edible,
    sometimes, it could be incredible,
    for to feed your mind will leave indelible
    marks upon your words.

    Thoughts and ideas most impressive
    are best when they can be expressive,
    (and as poets we can be obsessive)
    in how we make words be heard.

    Offerings that fill the soul,
    gives our hearts complete control,
    though some words tend to take their toll
    on subjects often told.

    Fill your bellys when you find
    rumblings of a hungry kind,
    But don’t forget to feed your mind
    and let your poetry take its hold.

    1. JanetRuth

      We rise… to give you a standing ovation, Walt. This is so great!…so many great lines leading up the that perfect last stanza! Nourishment for the mind is so important…feed the mind junk and its results are as sad as a bad diet to the body…actually- more sad because thought leads to action and action touches so many lives!

  103. Sharon

    Red or Green?

    Do you like your enchiladas
    red or green? How about Christmas?
    A little of both to spice up the dish.
    Just don’t make it oh so hot.
    Chili has to give flavor not have a bite.
    Northern New Mexico enchiladas,
    the aroma of corn tortillas,
    red (or green) chili sauce,
    cheese and savory chicken
    bubbling in the oven,
    permeating every corner of the house.
    There’s no place like home
    with enchiladas as the main course.
    Make my Christmas,
    I’m feeling adventurous today.

  104. foodpoet

    Dependent Cuisine

    As a military brat
    (and my sister says yes I was a brat)
    We had no one cuisine
    No regional favorite to call home food
    But we ate paella in Spain
    Ribs in Texas
    Crème de mente pie in Michigan
    Mile high pancakes in Colorado
    Learned to eat Chinese in Hawaii
    Learned not to eat poi.
    Ate lumpia in the Philippines
    Ate crab in Maryland, found farmers markets in Virginia
    So no one cuisine but a fine stew of learning to eat the world.

    1. Imaginalchemy

      Ah, I see why you are called the Food Poet :) I love your “fine stew of learning” (and thanks for the warning about poi, I had always been curious what it tasted like).

  105. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Dear Moosehead,
    Yeah baby! Even a Queens-dwelling numbskull
    like you has to admit that that’s more like it!
    More like the performance we expect, more like
    the horror show the Twins deserve. Got a snippy
    little note from Jimmy the Greek whining about
    your mother and sister driving him crazy. He should
    try living with them all the time! Ass! Pick me up at 6
    would ya, I wanna celebrate with a Philly Cheese Steak.

    Yours cooking with gas now baby,

    Ringo the Howler

  106. Hannah


    It could be the middle
    of a raging, hot, sizzling
    egg-frying on pavement,
    kind of a day that forces
    one to reside in the shade
    on a Sunday in the midst
    of deep, sticky, muggy August
    and one could count on,
    (just as sure of an event as
    the arrival of the Newspaper),
    One could rest-assured,
    “the roast,” would be on.
    The whole house permeated
    of the garlicky, bloody meat
    and an already stifling heat
    could pilfer one’s breath.
    Yes, it was the day of rest
    then and only then
    and while we waited
    as kids in the yard,
    we’d entertain ourselves
    with seed spitting contests;
    black, shiny ovals shone
    in the sun, spit from
    pink, juicy, dripping mouths
    as we sifted our winning prospects
    from the depths of thick watermelon slices.

    © H.G. @P.A. 4/18/12

    1. Jerry Walraven

      I remember sitting at the table long after the rest of the family because I refused to eat pot roast. So I would sit and play with crystallized chocolate milk (PDQ, I think) until my mom would come in an finally excuse me. Pot roast still uneaten.

    2. Imaginalchemy

      Wow, I love the contrasts of flavors and textures in this one…between the “garlicky,bloody meat” and the “pink, juicy” watermelons…there seems to be a mix of revulsion and sweetness (or maybe that’s just me, as I’m not a fan of very potent meat smells). Once again, a vivid and vibrant composition!

  107. tunesmiff


    Chili dogs and onion rings,
    Two of my most favorite things.

    A Cold PC or large FO;
    Box it up, I’m good to go.

    Wait a sec, how could I
    Forget to get a deep-fried pie?

    Step out on North Avenue
    Tailgate time for me and you.

    Rest assured, I’ll be back;
    “Walk one southern heart attack.”

      1. tunesmiff

        Thank you, Ma’ am… odd how words and phrases just sort of “show up” in clusters from time to time, isn’t it?

        and “them thar” deep fried pies… apple or peach, about the size of an overstuffed taco… LUSCIOUS… gotta by the V… your life’s not complete otherwise…



  108. Iain Douglas Kemp

    Cochinillo Segoviano

    Slow roasted and regularly basted
    like the land of its fathers
    crisp on the outside, tender on the in
    like the maiden aunts of its homeland
    washed down with a fine Rioja
    like the tales of its grandsires
    savoured slowly not devoured wolf-like
    like the young girls of its villages
    finally the bones picked clean of the sweetest meat
    like the legends of its forebears
    the suckling pig from Segovia
    born in the shadow of the Roman aqueduct
    and feasted upon with family and friends
    in Almería, the land the Romans forgot
    known to its fans simply as “Cochi”
    a young life ended too soon
    to bring sustenance to the lives
    worn weary by the sun.


  109. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    New England Legacy

    Boston has its chowda
    of the clammy style
    Maine has its lobsta
    caught fresh, then boiled

    Rhode Island and Connecticut
    have delicacies, I’m sure
    As for New Hampshire, I’d say
    venison is their treat de jour

    Up in Vermont, known only to a few
    is a hidden just off road
    the delights of Curtis’ Barbeque –
    ribs and chicken, slaw and beans

    All homemade while you watch,
    As Curtis and his family, too
    prepare real Southern cookin’
    from their smoker, straight to you!

    Playing with rhyme, today…not the best, probably because I don’t like doing it, but like medicine, I know I need to practice it once in a bit. :-)

    1. Mystical-Poet

      I’ve enjoyed Curtis’ Barbecue many times and I still own a house close by.This famous BBQ stand received quite a write up from the New York Times and still has the longest waiting line of any restaurant in southern Vermont. Plus Putney (exit4) is a great little town to visit. Kudos to you for mentioning this in your poem!!!

      1. Linda Rhinehart Neas

        Mystical-Poet – My sweetie has been going to Curtis’ for years (back when there was only one school bus! There may be lines, but it is so worth the pilgrimage each year just to see him doing his magic, catch up on how many grandkids he now has and enjoy some really great down-home cooking! And, we love Putney…great little place to visit.

  110. Dyson McIllwain

    Burn’d Haggis

    Neeps and tatties, neeps and tatties,
    a dram, and a dram, and a dram.
    The foulest tasting haggis
    ’tis too much for any man. I have had
    my fill and lost the thrill;
    ’tis certainly a waste, there is not
    enough whiskey to kill this haggis taste.

    To kill this haggis taste,one surely must be tested,
    To not partake is no mistake, your taste buds will be bested.
    As for this man, forgive me clan, my solution’s not absurd,
    the golden archway beckons me, over 30 billion served.

  111. Ber

    Baking Fairy

    My kitchen looks like it has been hit by the bakery fairy
    I have flour every where
    I love to bake so I don’t care
    Now where is my butter oh yes it is in the fridge

    I must remember to take it out
    Or my hands will think there rubbing silage
    So I measure out my flour 500g will do
    I am making scones for the family
    Not the animals in the zoo

    I rub in my butter to fine like bread crumbs
    Then I add my caster sugar
    And make a well in the middle for the 2 eggs
    I mix this well together and then I add the milk
    It is a beautiful shade of colour and feels like doughy silk

    Now I add the fruit raisins they will do
    There the best fruit to use
    In my opinion how about you?
    I fold this lot together

    Its almost times to shape
    I get out my cutters now
    There is no escape
    As I cut them in their sizes
    I brush them then with some left over egg whisked

    This gives them a golden brown colour
    To the eye to tempting
    I leave them for about 30 minutes depending on your oven
    I then take them out
    I take one to the side
    And cut it down the middle
    And on it butter is what I drizzle

    Scones are so easy to bake and such fun
    Especially with your children
    They love to have a bun
    So take them in with you
    And let them discover
    How to bake and make
    And grow up like their father and mother

  112. Jerry Walraven

    “Sugar Cream Pie”

    People die
    as we drink our coffee
    and eat a mid-afternoon pie.
    His cousin
    used to work with my aunt
    and this thin line
    is enough to make
    words catch in my throat
    their world
    has been blown apart
    and I marvel
    that I cannot
    hear the screams
    we drink our coffee
    and eat a mid-afternoon pie.

  113. MiskMask


    I like pizza, I like pie,
    I like pasta shaped like little bow ties
    I like veggies, I love peas
    I’d swim in omelettes dripping with cheese
    I love ketchup and mayo
    tartar sauce and pickles. I relish it all
    on hot salty chips from a seaside stall.

  114. Ber

    Chilli chicken

    Taking my chicken
    And covering it olive oil
    I would rather cook it this way
    Than bring it to the boil

    As it fries up nicely
    I turn it while it cooks
    To make sure it doesn’t
    Get undone or stuck

    I cut up my peppers
    Onions, mushrooms and thinly sliced carrots on the pan
    I fry them until they are golden
    They smell beautiful
    I have to resist eating them if I can

    I add chilli flakes crushed of course
    Then a little soya sauce and balsamic vinegar to the mix
    Oh I suppose we all have our little tricks
    I leave it to blend up nicely

    And go and make the rice
    My favourite is bastami
    I think it is so precise
    So as the rice comes to the boil

    I settle my chilli chicken on the hot plate
    Now the rice is done
    No more do I have to wait
    My taste buds are going mad
    I want to dive right in
    To waste this wonderful food i have cooked would be a mortal sin

  115. RJ Clarken


    From the land of Brotherly Love
    come foods that folks speak fondly of:
    the pretzel and the famed cheese steak
    but best of all…there’s TastyKake.

    With Krimpets, (jel or butterscotch)
    they take the ‘Yum’ scale up a notch.
    Just eating one? My taste buds quake!
    Why? Best of all…there’s TastyKake.

    Chocolate cream-filled cupcakes rule
    and as a kid, I took to school
    the peanut butter Tandy Take
    ‘cause best of all…there’s TastyKake.

    Their pies and donuts and éclairs
    and Kreamies (which are sold in pairs)
    are simply THE best in snack-bake.
    the best of all…is TastyKake.


      1. RJ Clarken


        I’m only getting started! Still have to do pretzels (the figure eight, Philly kind,) Franks Black Cherry Wishniak soda, Levis Champ Cherry soda AND cheese steaks. (And maybe hoagies, too, ‘though I think I’ll skip scrapple.)

        Funny thing, ‘though. On Wikipedia, the article writer who wrote about Philly cuisine (yeah, I was curious to see if I missed anything, to I surfed) must not be from Philly because he/she said, under soda pop, “Levi’s Camp Cherry soda.” (It’s Levis Champ Cherry soda.)

        Also, Philadelphians do not say, “Soda pop.” We simply say, “Soda.”

        1. Walt Wojtanik

          Buffalo says pop. (Athough, going for a “pop” could also be construed as get some beers here) And there was a Visniak supplier around the block from home. I wonder if the spelling is regional or if even related in any way?

          1. RJ Clarken

            So true, Joseph! So true! (Yum!) Think I need to make a trip to the South Philly Italian Market or maybe the Reading Terminal Market now….

            Definitely *Philly Pride*!

  116. PKP

    Nathan’s Franks

    By other name a hot dog
    Or even wiener
    Yet in tales
    Told when long skirts brushed
    The grit of white sandy planks
    As couples decorously strolled
    To a small stand for a pure beef
    Frankfurter and waffled fat fries
    Legacies nostalgia held in still
    Available heart-burn
    in a bun
    To the echoed screams
    Of roller-coaster riders
    Nathan’s New York

    1. Karen

      Great poem! I love the images of the boardwalk (Coney Island, right?) and the way you connected a food with a moment in time when it was more than just another hotdog… it was a memory eager to happen.

  117. uneven steven

    Korean BBQ

    Homemade kimchee … Hot!!!
    squid, leggy octopus, piles of seasoned
    and unseasoned meats
    ready to be grilled on the burner in front of you,
    soju, crown royal,
    never pour for yourself,
    always offer to pour for someone else,
    you must do it correctly, left hand under your right sleeve,
    and never show the bottom of your glass
    to an elder or your superior,
    it is very, very rude,
    Karaoke! – everyone must sing, of course,
    pick your song,
    kumbae – means bottom ups toast,
    oh, you just got a new drink,
    that’s too bad,
    drink up,
    Korean businessmen use drinking as a tool
    to determine if a potential business partner
    is trustworthy,
    you should still be the same person sober
    as when you are really, really drunk,
    hmmm, it’s bad form to leave so early,
    you would not want to do that,
    so tell me about your small town
    in the midwest,
    and how do you like it here
    in the big city?

    1. uneven steven

      Thanks. Yeah they are a wonderful family – nice to be immersed in another culture although at times it feels like you’re being “grilled” ( Groaner) Just wrote a summary of what happened don’t know if it’s typical all over.
      I am Amazed how I react so Viscerally just to a turn of phrase like Wisconsin Fish Fry – I guess all those memories sparked by the smells and tastes just color everything from then on – wow very good to think about when writing and reading poetry – i guess i knew it but not really knew it – Thanks Robert for the prompt

  118. Walt Wojtanik


    Another Buffalo offering,
    Roast beef sandwich on
    a kimmelweck roll,
    A horseradish garnish
    and the salty seeded bun,
    adds to the enjoyment
    of Buffalo eating fun.
    Add a dill pickle and
    your favorite brew,
    Roast beef on weck
    is good for you!(Hey, it couldn’t hurt!)

    1. lionmother

      Another mouth watering morsel from Buffalo! When we first got there we saw all these signs for Beef on Weck. So one night early on we tried it!! You captured the essence here. Nothing like it anywhere else :)

  119. Walt Wojtanik


    Frank and Theresa’s Anchor Bar,
    the origin of such folly.
    Not wanting to waste
    they gave a good taste
    to the chicken wings, by golly.
    A three part dissection
    for tailgate perfection.
    dipped in hot sauce
    they show who’s boss.