Search

kafkaestblog

It is a whirlwind in here

Tag

food

We Saw Three Deer Eating In The Snow Storm

Hearty enough were we two Maritimers out in the heavy, yet soft. snow storm. Heavy enough to dull most sounds. Soft enough to make a cautious walk relatively easy.

And, as we most times do, we paused to look into the gully to see if there were deer. There often are. And, even through the snow, we saw three, a guess being a doe and two offspring. The distance is about two city blocks away, although there are no city blocks. We have seen them there before.

And – as usual – they apparently heard us, as they stopped in their tracks and look. But so did we. So, in a few minutes, they resumed their activity. This time they were under some large trees, munching away on something on the ground. Grass and earth under a tree does not get as covered in snow. The larger deer even nibbled from the branches.

Our scent, in addition to our appearance, was generally obscured by the snow. They did not leave as they usually do.

So, we left them to their meal and their solitude. And the peaceful beauty of the falling snow.

A Meal For Sailors Home From The Sea & Staying Together During A COVID Pandemic Lock Down

It is ever-practical Linda who knows a thing or fifty-two about what sailors who have been long on the sea want to eat and drink when first ashore, who suggests a menu, and is more than willing to prepare it all herself, but is convinced by Bridget that, in this instance, too many cooks will not spoil the broth.

“So what’s first?” asks Bridget.

“Always beer,” says Linda. “And a small bowl of nuts. And since this is so special, make them cashews.”

“That’s like a tease,” says Amanda.

“Yes.”

“And what’s next?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“Potato canoes, with lots of bacon in the mix,” says Linda. “And cook the bacon at the time, so he can smell it.”

“Crafty,” says Bridget.

“Tricks of the trade,” says Linda.

“What’s up next?” asks Amanda.

“As fresh a salad as you can make,” says Linda. “If there are cucumbers and mushrooms, so much the better, because those don’t keep well on a ship.” Linda winks. “And throw in some dried cranberries.”

“You’ve entertained sailors home from the sea,” says Amanda.

“I have,” agrees Linda. “My father and my brother. All this I have learned at my mother’s knee.”

“Home cookin’.” says Alison Alexandra. “What’s the main course?”

“Steak – always,” says Linda. “Sirloin tip with the cap on – or better.” She speaks sternly. “And don’t overcook it – even though they say that’s what they want. They don’t. They want the taste, and will appreciate it.”

“I hope we’re all getting this,” says Amanda.

“And fried onions,” says Linda. “On the side.”

“For the smell,” says Bridget.

“Always a winner,” says Linda.

“Any other side dish?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“Fried rice,” says Linda. With BBQ pork and onions in it.”

“But we already have potato,” says Amanda.

“They can’t get too much starch,” says Linda. “And they get to choose as much as they want out of the bowl.”

“Large bowl,” says Bridget.

“You bet’cha,” says Linda.

“Is that it?”

“Yes.”

“What about dessert?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“We offer apple pie with ice cream, and rice pudding with a velvety skin on top.”

“That’s quite a choice,” says Bridget.

“Oh, those sailor boys will choose some of each.”

“Is that it?” asks Amanda.

“No.” Linda smiles. The end is a pot of bitter Chinese tea, a plate of thin, crisp, mildly sweet cookies, and a bottle of amber rum.”

“I’m stuffed,” says Bridget.

“Welcome home,” says Linda.

A Celebration Of Christmas Day With Mincemeat On Partridge Island

The last thing

I anticipated
On Christmas Day was
A mincemeat pie fight.
But,
Thanks to Sister Darling of the
Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),
One took place.

As it is,
I already thank her
For my soul’s salvation,
And

My sanity.


Paw,
My cat/kitten
Black as a currant
With one white mitten
Took part in this
Food festivity.
Took part heartily, indeed.

Nibbling shreds of venison
While assiduously
Licking suet from his fur
Well into the sunset.


Such Christmas merriment
Was enough
To make me
Hoist the signal flag,
On my Lighthouse dock,
To indicate
No pick-up was needed
On the fishing fleet’s return.


Sister Darling produced,

An apple pie
From her hamper
For this unexpected

Second supper.
Paw took no
Interest in it
At all.


I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}
DE BA. UEL

Alison Alexandra Tastes Humble Food From The Gods

Alison Alexandra does open the door. She is met with a barrage of deep and alluring odours. They are rich and fresh and smooth and piquant, and every one of them inviting.

“Take these.” Emma Alice hands her a small metal ladle and a pottery cup.

‘What do I do with these?”

“Sample.”

“Try them?”

“Yes.” Emma Alice laughs. “Though I mix metaphors – go hog wild.”

Emma Alice removes the lid from the first ceramic urn. It is full of rich white cream. Alison Alexandra dips the ladle, and pours a small portion into her mug.

“Oh, that’s rich.” Alison Alexandra takes a final sip. “Rich and mellow.”

“Creamy?” Emma Alice laughs.

“Yes – exactly.”

“Cream from Jersey cows,” says Emma Alice. “It is always smooth.”

“Will you be selling it?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“We use a lot of it here. It’s a favourite” Emma Alice puts the lid of the urn back in place. “But we will sell the rest. Or trade.”

“Trade?”

“Yes. It’s much easier and more fulfilling.” Emma Alice starts toward another urn. “You have what they want, and they have what you want.”

“So you don’t have to produce what they already can provide.”

“Exactly.” Emma Alice lifts another lid. “Nor they for what we make. Time and expense saved on both sides.” She points into the urn. “Now for something different.”

Alison Alexandra dutifully puts the ladle in and takes a small portion of liquid. She pours it into her mug and puts it to her lips.

“Wowza!”

“What a word.” Emma Alice giggles.

“What a taste,” says Alison Alexandra. “What a difference.” She puckers her lips. “It’s not poison, is it?”

“It serves its purpose.” Emma Alice replaces the lid. “It’s whey – the liquid remaining when you make cheese from milk. It is used in baking, to temper other tastes.”

“But still.” Alison Alexandra gives a discreet cough. “You are pulling a prank.”

“A bit” Emma Alice takes off the lid of an urn from a higher shelf. “It will make this buttermilk seem palatable.”

“Oh, I’ve actually had buttermilk,” says Alison Alexandra.

“Have you?”

“I think it was touted as being good for digestion.” Alison Alexandra stretches to put the ladle into the container. “I did not take it for very long.”

She pours an amount into her mug. She takes a sniff before she takes a sip.

“I’d make the same decision today.”

“The whey didn’t wet your taste buds?

“Not by a drop.”

“Well,” Emma Alice taps the lid back into place. “Enough of the bitter, now for the sweet.”

“I’m going to get a treat?”

“Fine Holstein milk.” Emma Alice paces across the floor. “Straight out of the cow.”

“I like the bulk of a Holstein,” says Alison Alexandra. “They seem more solid with their black and white markings. ‘Moo! Moo! Get outta the way!’”

“The train engine among cattle,” suggests Emma Alice.

“They emote more purpose,” says Alison Alexandra.

“See what you think.” Emma Alice lifts the cover off a large urn.

Alison Alexandra can tell from the rich, warm smell of the milk that a treat is in store. She puts her ladle more deeply than usual, and brings it back as full as full can be. She pours it into her mug without a drop sliding down the side. She sips in the same careful manner. She looks directly at Emma Alice and grins.

“Moo!”

“Taste buds calmed?”

“Yes.”

“Little Miss Muffet trauma removed?”

“Yes.” Alison Alexandra exaggerates a startled look. “Why – were there spiders?”

“There are always spiders,” says Emma Alice. “They foil the insects. But I think none will dangle by your tuffet.”

“Oh, that would be all right.” Alison Alexandra scoots out the last drops of milk with her little finger. “I actually like spiders.”

A Meal From The Sea, A Feast As Fresh As Fresh Can Be

A fishing boat

Came into my

Lighthouse dock,

And rang its wheelhouse bell.


So, down I went.


The skipper had some
Unexpected provisions for me.


Crabs – it’s the season.


Lobster (he apologized for

The junk fish, but he knows I

Quite like it, whereas others

Class them as fare only

For the poor).


And Dulse!

A burlap sack

Of Dulse.


Now that is a treat.

Salty, .dried and crisp
Seaweed.

I have it with sharp cheddar.


I don’t know why folk complain

About lobster

.Boil them up, but not too long.

Crack them open with a hammer

.Have a loaf of bread.

Melt a large bowl of butter.


Dunk


A hunk of bread

With one hand,

And a chunk of lobster

With the other.

Pause occasionally with

Dulse and cheese.


Suck your fingers.


I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}DE BA. UEL

Thanksgiving Feast For Man And Beast

My black-as-night kitten
With one white mitten
Is called Paw.
He has become
A favourite of the ships
That pass my Lighthouse.
So
I was not totally surprised
When an outgoing schooner
Hove to, and a row boat came
To my dock, to bring me
My Thanksgiving dinner.
The Masters of the Port
Are very good this way,
To me,
For all holidays.
And in my basket of
Food (and – yes – wine),
Was a fancy small pot
For Paw.
Exactly the same as Mine.
Except
With the addition of
A gingham bag
Of catnip.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Where Have You Been? For I’m The Only Game In Town

I don’t know if,
I have proof,
Or not,

That it was a

Ghost ship, out in the Bay,
Last night.
But
This morning,
As I waked the shore,
I found a

Kitty cat,


Little more than
A kitten,


As black as night,
As sin.

And unless he’s been
Fishing
He was hungry.


I’m sure it will not
Be difficult
To satisfy him with
My questionable stew,


And
Yes
I am going to call him
Paw.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

Making Way For Lighthouse Provisions Of Food

Fall Fairs
Bring fair foods.
At good fares.


And the provision boat
Comes next weekend


So
I must
Finish off what I have
This week.


A feast of hardtack
And beans
And a roast of pork
Still embedded
In the ice.


And moldy cheese
With the mold
Scraped off.


And a big cauldron
Stew
From those bits and bites
And pieces
That are not
Precisely
Identifiable.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

DE BA. UEL

Onions And Eggs Feed A Crew On A Sailing Ship To China

Excerpt from the novel “China Lily”

In 1293,  Cepa  and Matzerath  were part of the crew of The Pegasus, a ship that had sailed from Italy to China on a trading mission. After a couple of months, they arrived in the port of Zaitun,  where they encountered a local trader, Lu-Hsing.

Lu-Hsing takes the two men to a communal dining hall. This is part of their meal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Compared to others of his experience, the crew of The Pegasus appears content with their lot. They are certainly fitting in well in the dining hall, and even mingling with other diners. Thanks to the Captain’s instructions, they are willing to try any of the dishes they encounter, though it helps that they are ignorant of many of the ingredients.

“You want something other than onions?” Lu-Hsing jabs Cepa in the ribs with his shoulder.

“I want something with my onions.”

“You’ve been looking intently at everything.” Lu-Hsing opens his arms expansively. “What do you wish?”

“What do you suggest?”

“Look at me.” Lu-Hsing rubs his belly with a roar. “I am not a picky eater. I’ll suggest anything.”

“You’ve already warned me away from soup.”

“Not warned.” Lu Hsing points back to the bubbling soup they had been looking at. “You can add a lot to soup and make a stew.” He grimaces. “But you still slurp more than you chew. Lu-Hsing wants to use his teeth when he eats.”

“We can stay away from soup.” Cepa smiles. “And I’d just as soon avoid fish.”

“Me, too.” Matzerath puts his hands up in surrender. “We eat enough salted fish to swim.”

“You boys are in the Port of Zaitun.” Lu-Hsing speaks in an authoritative tone. “Fish a specialty.”

“There must be something else.” Matzerath points. “Look at all the cooks.”

“No soup?”

“Pah!”

“Trouble-making Round Eyes.” Lu-Hsing points to a wok near the end of the aisle and starts to walk. “We’ll try there.”

“What does he have?” Cepa falls into step behind Lu-Hsing, followed by Matzerath.

“Oyster omelette.”

“Eggs?” asks Matzerath.

“As many as you want.”

“That will take a big pan.”

“He can use a high-sided wok.” Lu-Hsing pretends to whisk something in a wok. “Plop it right onto a plate.”

“We don’t have dishes.” Cepa suddenly realizes the fact. “We haven’t been back to The Pegasus all day.”

“Lu-Hsing share you his.” He barks an order at the cook, and then turns back to Cepa. “Stay right here. I’ll get them from my table.”

Cepa and Matzerath stand and watch the cook. Cepa notes he is using wood and not the black rocks for his fire. Some oil is dropped onto the metal and immediately sizzles. The cook holds up his hand and extends his fingers; one, two, three, four, five.

“Will you want some?”

“God – yes.” Matzerath nods.

Cepa holds up five fingers and the cook grins. He takes an egg in each hand and hits them together. The upper shell is flipped off and they pour into the wok. He repeats the gesture and the eggs land on top of the others. The last egg is dispatched on the metal rim of the wok and added to the rest before a hint of cooking has begun. The cook then begins to whisk and slide the eggs along the side of the wok before Matzerath has time to make a comment.

“I’d like to see you do that on The Pegasus,” says Cepa.

“I break eggs all the time.”

“I know.” Cepa laughs. And we eat the shells to prove it.”

The cook now twists and shakes the wok by its two handles over the fire. The eggs slide up and along the sides, and then settle more thickly near the bottom. With a grin and a twist of his hands, the cook turns the wok right over. The eggs start to slide out with a couple of drops hissing into the fire. Matzerath’s mouth falls open as the cook rights the wok so quickly that the eggs drop right back into it, now cooking on the other side. The cook puts the wok back on the fire.

“Bet you can’t do that,” says Cepa.

“Just once.” Matzerath laughs. “But the whole ship was heaving at the time.”

The cook begins to nudge the eggs together with a spatula. With his other hand he sprinkles a few drops of brown liquid. Then he adds some coarsely chopped shoots of a green onion.

“Hah!” Matzerath slaps Cepa on the shoulder.

After a quick swirl of these ingredients the cook plops in a bowl of small oysters. He takes his time with these, spacing them with deliberation over the quickly cooking eggs. Then – with a flourish – he scoops up a handful of flower blossoms and sprinkles them over the whole bubbling mixture.

“What are those?” Matzerath peers into the wok.

“Chrysanthemums.”

“We’re eating flowers?’

“When in Rome …”

The cook adds a further dash of the brown liquid and then folds the eggs neatly in half. He flips the whole omelette to the center of the wok and sprinkles a palm full of spring onion – this time finely chopped – over of the still-bubbling omelette. He presses the onion in place with his spatula then removes the wok from the fire.

“Timing is everything.”

The voice startles them both. They turn to see Lu-Hsing standing behind them, holding a large platter. He barks instructions to the cook, speaking too quickly for the two men to understand.

“Stick to ribs – make you happy.”

The cook divides the omelette in half and slides it onto the platter. He then takes the wicker top off a steamer and starts to add heaping ladles of red rice along the sides of the platter.

“What’s that?” Matzerath sounds suspicious.

Hong qu mi.”

“You can see its rice,” hisses Cepa.

“But it’s red.”

“Fermented with yeast.” Lu-Hsing scoops some into his palm and eats it. “Looks good. Tastes great.”

“Aren’t you having a meal?”

“Lu-Hsing eats later – with family.” He moves his hand over the top of the platter and inhales the aroma. “We eat at home – wife is a great cook.”

“I thought you’d be joining us.” Matzerath is clearly disappointed.

“Too crowded. Too smoky.” Lu-Hsing laughs. “Just the place for Round-eyes who want to make contacts. I already know people.”

Lu-Hsing abruptly steps behind the counter and stands beside the cook. He takes a look into the bubbling pots and lifts the tops off of steamers. He finally points with a barrage of Chinese. The cook gets two porcelain bowls and ladles a heaping amount of food into each.

“Got your spoon?” asks Cepa.

Matzerath takes a spoon from his pant’s pocket and holds it up.

“You?”

“Yes.” Cepa has his spoon on a chain around his neck. He takes it out from underneath his shirt and lets it dangle against his chest.

“You boys prepared – good.” Lu-Hsing takes the platter with the omelette and rice. He then points with his chin. “Take your bowls and follow me.”

Matzerath anxiously sees the platter of steaming food being taken away. He nudges Cepa and they again get into step behind Lu-Hsing, who again clears a path through the crowded eating hall. They approach a raised platform under a row of windows, much like the noble’s section in the Cannara’s own tavern. It is still a crowded space, with ten tables set not far apart from each other. Half are vacant, so Cepa can’t tell if Lu-Hsing heads for his ‘own’ table, or has the use of any that is available. He places the platter crosswise near one end of the table.

“You need drink.” Lu-Hsing unrolls a half dozen chopsticks from a cotton napkin, so they lay beside the platter. “Tea or rice wine?”

“Dear God – wine!” Matzerath plunks his bowl on the table. “It’s been a day.”

“Bring both, please.” Cepa sits across the table from Matzerath. “For both of us.”

“Tea is for thirst.” Matzerath takes his spoon from his pocket. “I want drink for more than that.”

“We can’t have you getting drunk.” Cepa lifts his own spoon from around his neck. “Even the crew has orders not to get drunk.”

You are sticking to tea?” Matzerath begins to wield his chopsticks over the rice.

“No.” Cepa laughs. “Although I am also thirsty, I have no objection to feeling ‘mellow’ as I eat.”

“And it will help you sleep.” Lu-Hsing slaps Cepa on the back. “Like mother’s milk.”

“I wish my mother had had tits of wine.” Matzerath wipes some rice from his chin and sucks his fingers. “I would have been a better child.”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑