Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ReadWritePoem Monthly Challenge: 5 on 1

ReadWritePoem is challenging us to write five poems in five days about one subject. This popped into my head because the prompt in one of my classes for journal writing today was "Write about your mother's cooking." I made a list of all the comfort and favorite dishes my mom used to make and that got me to thinking about the emotions associated with them.

First, here's the recipe for Chinese Pie. We grew up eating this about once a month but, when my son was going to school in Florida, a friend of his had never heard of it so it might not be as well known as I thought.

Chinese Pie

  1. Peel, dice, and cook about 5 potatoes. When they are soft, mash them with butter and milk.
  2. Saute about a quarter cup of onions in olive oil then add a pound of hamburg and saute them together.
  3. Open a can of creamed corn.
  4. In a casserole dish, layer the meat/onion mixture, the creamed corn, and top with the mashed potatoes.
  5. Bake for a half hour or so or until bubbly.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chinese Pie

My mother is mashed potatoes,
the cotton batting
of our family,
covering us
like a blanket.

So, on this night
when Nancy
starts laughing
when my brother
is getting hell

our father sends
her outdoors
until she can
control herself.

I face the window
and can see Nancy’s
face as she looks
in at us. She opens
her mouth
filled with corn
and hamburg

and lets it overflow
out onto her chin.
I try to ignore her
but can feel
myself beginning
to laugh. I pick
up my milk

and clamp my mouth
on the rim
but there is Nancy
making faces
in the window. I
guffaw and milk
splatters everywhere.

My dad throws down
his napkin
and retreats
to the living room
and the news.

My mom opens the door
for Nancy. We clean
up the mess. My mom
gives each of us
a hug.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful poem about the familiar antics of meal time! With just a few words, you develop the characters of each member of your family. And a recipe as well! I'm going to try that recipe. Do you know about the poetry magazine Alimentum which focuses on poems about food and food culture? Maybe submit this poem there?
--Therese L. Broderick

Anonymous said...

I think your Nancy might have been any one of my male cousins, and you're luck the milk was not inhaled.
A good one. Looking forward to the rest.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

My Mom's name is Nancy, so this completely cracked me up. Luscious and tasty in oh so many ways!

Matthew said...

This is such a great story, and so well-crafted; I love the stage directions, as it were. The characters all move about the story so naturally. Love it.

And because I always loved my mom's mashed potatoes, the first line works especially well for me :)

Looking forward to the next 4 installments!

Jeeves said...

Cute cute. Thanks for sharing

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