Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Clean Plater by Ogden Nash (mmm.. food poetry)

The Clean Plater

Some singers sing of ladies' eyes,
And some of ladies lips,
Refined ones praise their ladylike ways,
And course ones hymn their hips.
The Oxford Book of English Verse
Is lush with lyrics tender;
A poet, I guess, is more or less
Preoccupied with gender.
Yet I, though custom call me crude,
Prefer to sing in praise of food.
Yes, food,
Just any old kind of food.

Pheasant is pleasant, of course,
And terrapin, too, is tasty,
Lobster I freely endorse,
In pate or patty or pasty.
But there's nothing the matter with butter,
And nothing the matter with jam,
And the warmest greetings I utter
To the ham and the yam and the clam.
For they're food,
All food,
And I think very fondly of food.
Through I'm broody at times
When bothered by rhymes,
I brood
On food.

Some painters paint the sapphire sea,
And some the gathering storm.
Others portray young lambs at play,
But most, the female form.
“Twas trite in that primeval dawn
When painting got its start,
That a lady with her garments on
Is Life, but is she Art?
By undraped nymphs
I am not wooed;
I'd rather painters painted food.
Just food,
Just any old kind of food.

Go purloin a sirloin, my pet,
If you'd win a devotion incredible;
And asparagus tips vinaigrette,
Or anything else that is edible.
Bring salad or sausage or scrapple,
A berry or even a beet.
Bring an oyster, an egg, or an apple,
As long as it's something to eat.
If it's food,
It's food;
Never mind what kind of food.
When I ponder my mind
I consistently find
It is glued
On food.

Ogden Nash

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ketsup, Catsup, Ketchup, Ketsup

Not only it's spelling a source of confusion, but catsup is also seriously questioned as a legitimate sauce: I have a European-born friend that denounces this smooth, soothing sauce as being, "stereotypically American" and tasting vile. Jason finds it generally unnecessary and sometimes disgusting. Why the conflict?

For me, it enhances the experience of eating many of my favorite foods, including eggs and cheeseburgers. It's cool, smooth, and juxtaposed to the texture of many of the foods it's eaten with. When something is dry, it lends a tasty and moist remedy.

And for me (Jason here), I think that too many people have suffered through meals prepared by bad cooks and have a knee jerk reaction to smother everything in "old red". Ketchup has it's place, but save it for your Aunt Edna's tasteless boiled chicken.

What's your opinion?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


What do you do with three enormous zuccinis? Make ratatouille.