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Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’



Your sister and I finished
this year’s gingerbread house—
not a duplex this time,
nor two condos connected
by a gingerbread bridge.
It’s a single house with angled walls
like in the Jan Brett illustrations.
How can I be so happy and so sad
at the same time?
It’s like being a rose
that has lost all its petals and yet
is in full petalled bloom.

There is, in every moment,
an opening that appears—
and I find I often stand
in the threshold, one foot
in now and the other
with you in eternity.
Then the kitchen
is not only a kitchen.
but a garden.
And every gardener knows
she must grow first herself.
And the baker knows
everything she makes
is made to disappear
in its prime.

And so it is on this night
of decorating gingerbread,
your sister and I use bright candies
and thin pretzel sticks to make
a one-room house
unlike any we’ve made before.
And we laugh. And I miss you.
My petals drift across the floor.
My petals open into wider bloom.

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It doesn’t come out well.
The blue icing is constellated
with dark chocolate crumbs.
And the icing itself, well,
the mixer broke last week,
so we stirred it by hand
and it’s lumpy.
But we did it, my daughter
and I, we made the cake
and frosted it and she even wrote
in lopsided white frosting cursive
Happy Birthday Timothée Hal C.
And neither of us cares
that the cake isn’t beautiful.
I don’t even like cake.
But I like baking in the kitchen
with my daughter, and I am eager
to celebrate just about anything right now—
morning, a bird at the feeder,
a clean window, feet, carrots, heck,
even the wonder of dish soap, and sure,
the birthday of the goofy
and beautiful Timothée Chalamet—
let’s have a party. Let’s bake a cake.
Let’s sing a song we all know
and light some candles.
Let’s make lavish wishes.
And if there isn’t sweetness
to be found, let’s make it.

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Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer970-729-1838 wordwoman.com
Watch my TEDx talk The Art of Changing Metaphors: TEDX Rosemerry Trommer

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Pickling


 
 
For hours we stand in the kitchen
and slice cucumbers, peel garlic,
prepare the brine. There is joy
in preserving what is wonderful,
in letting the self believe in a future
when we will pull the jar from the shelf
and remember what it was like
this summer day—as if we could also
fit into the jar the laughter, the pink
of the zinnias up to our waist,
the chickadee song and the warm,
warm nights. To be present
does not mean to ignore the future—
but oh, as we prepare, such joy
in singing along to an old favorite song
on the radio, scent of dill in the air,
summer still unfolding in the yard,
in the jars, in our joy.  
 
 

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For hours we focus
on forming what is sweet—
shaping soft dough
with our hands, with a press,
with a rolling pin. And the house
smells of vanilla and cinnamon.
And happy hours disappear into laughter
and the hands find joy
in making something good.

I think of all the other hands
in kitchens across the world—
hands working together
to serve others—
I imagine their fingerprints
right here in this dough.
I imagine us feeding each other.

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Tonight I read

that Dolly Parton

always wears

high heel shoes

in her kitchen.

“Don’t you?”

she asks.

I don’t.

I wear old brown

wool slippers.

With orthotics.

I try to imagine myself

strutting into the kitchen

before the kids

go to school,

making smoothies

and scrambled eggs

in my yoga pants,

my long gray sweatshirt,

and my four-inch

lucite stilettos.

Click, click, click

go the heels

as I teeter toward

the tea cups.

Click, click, click

as I strut

with paper towels

to the place

where the cat

has retched.

Oh Dolly,

as I slip into

these high-heeled thoughts

I thank you

for dressing up the day.

They two-step

through the morning chores,

while meanwhile

my slippered self

marvels at the fun,

but shrugs—

she’s just so darn grateful

for her arch support,

for the rubber soles

that ground her

as she sweeps

up the crumbs,

as she wipes

the counters clean.

Grateful that when

the high heeled thoughts

start to sing,

they invite her

to sing along.

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At seven, I sat on a towel in front of the freezer

with the blow dryer, a sponge and a bucket

to earn money for a new plastic recorder.

Oh, how I wanted that reward.

So for hours, I switched the blow dryer

from one hand to the other, inwardly fussy,

wishing mom would just buy it for me.

How enormous the task seemed then.

When that brown recorder

finally came in a beige vinyl pouch,

I played “Hot Cross Buns” like I meant it.

I blew “Ode to Joy” in bright torture through the house,

and mangled “Mary Had a Little Lamb,”

but oh was I happy.

 

Now, scrubbing my parent’s refrigerator

I see how the tables have turned,

how the work becomes its own reward.

Decades of my parent’s love and sacrifice

bring me to this moment, when,

kneeling in front of the fridge,

sponge in hand, bucket beside me,

I feel like the luckiest woman alive,

Mom going through the cupboards beside me,

humming “Love is Blue,” perhaps a little out tune,

but oh, she is happy, so happy.

 

 

 

 

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Today I wish I were a potato peeler,

able to remove the outer layers of myself,

able to shave off any toughness I’ve developed

to protect, to safeguard, to shield. I want to give

myself to you, the inner sweetness,

the tenderest parts. I want to unpeel

any husk, any rind, any barrier

that would keep you from the heart

of me. I want to meet you vulnerably.

Today I want to take the long thin blade

and make ribbons of my resistance,

make strips of my defenses and watch

them fall like burlap veils. And if I cannot

find the courage to be the one who peels,

let me put the tool in your hand. I’m afraid,

but I am ready. Be sure, love. Be quick.

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Wash the apple. Quarter the apple.

Seed and thinly slice the apple.

A whole morning can pass this way—

holding the apples, slicing them through,

making small v’s in the quarters

to remove the seeds.

And how many times in four hours

do I notice how perfectly the apple

fits in the palm of one hand—

as if it were made to be held.

How seldom did I dance

beyond efficiency to notice

how the skin resists the knife,

but the flesh is so sweet, so willing.

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First, you must weigh everything.

Precisely. The butter. The water.

The sugar, the salt. You must

catch the mixture just as it boils,

then add the flour, sifted and weighed.

You must set the timer to dry the dough,

must add the eggs slowly, must not

let it be too dry, too wet.

There’s more, my friends. The angle

of the pastry sleeve, must be 45 degrees.

You need to use the French star tip.

And then, you must not open the oven

lest the steam escapes and the eclairs

don’t crust. So many musts. So many dos.

And still they don’t always turn out.

 

It is not at all the way I love you. Though

sometimes I’ve tried to find the recipe.

Though sometimes I’ve wished it

were as easy as measuring well and using

a timer. I have wanted to do it right.

I have studiously wanted to make yours the best life.

 

But the only way to be a good lover

is to love. It has nothing to do

with following directions. Has

everything to do with the doing.

Like making choux pastry dough

together. Taking turns at the stove.

Reading the directions out loud to each other,

four times. And then watching the dough,

astonished as it goes from slimy to smooth

to something sturdy that shines.

 

 

 

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Simple Tools

 

 

 

for Christie

 

I am so grateful for the rubber spatula,

the way it sits quietly in the drawer

yet is always ready for action—

is game to scrape the walls of the blender

or to fold chocolate chips into cookie dough.

It evens and swirls the frosting on cake

and welcomes the tongue

of a child. In a sharp world,

it knows the value of being blunt;

it knows that to smooth is a gift to the world.

Some people are knives, and

I thank them. Me, I want to belong

to the order of spatulas—those

who blend, who mix, who co-mingle

dissimilars to create a cohesive whole.

I want to spread sweetness, to be a workhorse

for beauty, to stir things up,

to clean things out. I want to be useful,

an instrument of unity, a means, a lever for life.

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