Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Poem & Mama's Sweet Potato Soufflé Recipe

House, Garden, Madness
By Cate Marvin

Meeting his mouth made it so I had house again.
I called him garden and drew him so, grew
his long lashes like grasses so I could comb
them with my stare. Some evenings a low cloud
would arrive, hang its anxiety over the yard.

Having his mouth at mine again gave me back
home. The walls painted themselves blue
flowers grew larger than my head, stared
at me with wide eyes through the windows.
I was surrounded. A cloud stretched gray arms.

His mouth and mine again built something back
up with heat. The house was home again, wherever
I lived. The flowers grew fat, fed on weeds
around them. Ladybugs tucked their red luck
beneath petals' chins. The cloud came home again.

His eyes were closed but mine kept swinging open.
I saw him in the garden, surrounded by its light.
The flowers cut their own stalks, handed themselves
over to him in bunches. He kissed their bouquets,
and petals raptured. A cloud lowered, dark with fury.

I pressed my mouth to palm, closed my eyes
to find the garden, then saw: window shut in fright,
roots drowned, flower stalks broken, their heads dead
in puddles. Startled, I looked around. The cloud
descended, prepared to hemorrhage in my arms.

From: "Poetry Daily", page 173
first published in The Paris Review, no. 158, Spring, Summer 2001
also from "World's Tallest Disaster" by Cate Marvin


Madness is highly underrated.

I'd like to share my favorite Thanksgiving recipe passed down to me by my Mama which she got from her Mama.  As most Southern cooks do, I add or subtract spices to suit my taste.  (We're the best cooks in the world down here in God's Country.) It tastes like a dessert, but it's a yummy side dish, best served with deep fried turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, homemade rolls and green bean casserole.  Oh, and don't forget the cranberry sauce.  It's the only thing I get to cook ever since my daughters took over cooking dinner.  They "let" me make this every year. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, family and friends.

Love & Blessings to you all, 



Mama's Sweet Potato Soufflé

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned yams, but you can use fresh)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon  (you can also add nutmeg if you like)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (my secret ingredient)
½ cup butter or margerine, melted

Mix the above ingredients well using hand mixer and pour into oven-safe casserole dish.

TOPPING:  (mix in separate bowl)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/3 cup butter or margerine

Melt butter in mircrowave.  Mix all topping ingredients together with a fork. It will be crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over top of casserole mixture. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top.  Enjoy!!!
"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." ~H.U. Westermayer
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." ~Erma Bombeck


"O Lord that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."  ~William Shakespeare



Wine and Words said...

This poem Marion...I read it several times. I like the rhythm of it...different. And the way she sees: "long lashes like grasses so I could comb them with my stare." The ending...so unexpected, withered me. Wow. I'll have to find more of her work. Thank you for the introduction!

Happy Thanksgiving to you too my Marion. It's my favorite meal of the year. I stretch my stomach two sizes, I swear. *Sigh*

Rick said...

not much on sweet pataters but sure loved the poem.
mmmmm, combing with her stare
and though the ending is not what we wish, it is all too often real.
Thank you, Hon, for sharing it

quid said...

The poem was about the most madly sensual poem I've read in weeks. I promise to use it wisely. I have some cardamon at the house, and think that instead of bringing sweet potato biscuits, I might just bring my momma's yeast rolls and your sweet potato souffle. God knows, I've salivated over the recipe before. Time to make the leap! Thanks, sugar.


Kelly said...

Good poem! (I have this book and the Poetry Daily app on my phone)

I really, really want to try your recipe this year. My only hesitation is my granddaughter's nut allery (man, I which my daughter would get her tested to see if it's anything other than cashews...). Still, I could make it with no nuts in the topping. I love cardamom and it's calling to me!!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Jos said...

I make a sweet potato recipe like this too! Next time I will add cardomom though, brilliant idea. For some reason people in england eat very few sweet potatoes. Just like no-one ever eats pumpkin pie ... sometimes I do feel like a foreigner to these shores depsite spending the last 35 years here.

Will pop by later to catch up & read all the lovely poetry you've posted since my last visit Marion.

xx Jos

Janelle Goodwin said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Marion. I'll be thinking of you with your Mama's recipe on the table!

Serena said...

The poem was wonderful, and Mama's souffle sounds divine. Wish I were coming to Thanksgiving dinner at your house!:)

Teri and her Stylish Cats said...

That is one amazing poem..the feel of holding ones breath, hope around the corner, such sensuality that it really warmed up this cold day...but then the end. Life is unpredictable.

I am taking roasted chestnuts to my friends gathering and feast...hope someone makes a souffle though...

Rosaria Williams said...

I came from Erin's. Poetry, music and a scrumptious recipe. I think I'll pull a chair and stay a while.

Woman in a Window said...

Yes, it was a quick and unforgiving ending. A death. Hollowness rests all around this, dull and aching. This is when life is hard, joy difficult to believe. You do find all the best, Marion.

I do miss American Thanksgiving. There was a richness there that I had not known before. I kind of miss it.

Hope your Thanksgiving is sweet and full bellied.


versus said...

A quick translation with my night eye.And poetry e-motion!
Versus Anima-France.

angela recada said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear Marion. Thank you for these wonderful words and this special family recipe. It sounds really delicious.

Phoenix said...

I enjoyed reading this poem out loud - the words tasted so good as I rolled them around in my mouth, tasting each one. My favorite verse:
"His mouth and mine again built something back up with heat."

Phoenix said...

Er, I think I only left half a comment. Sorry, my brain is still a little tired.

Anyways, meant to continue on and thank you for sharing the poem (and your recipe) and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Much love to you and yours.

Marion said...

Thank you ALL for the kind, awesome comments. We're having a blast in Chattanooga and I have a giant bag overflowing with dozens of new poetry books from McKay's Used Books. Fresh material for my blogf and my bookaholic brain!!! Yea!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I love and appreciate you.



Margaret Pangert said...

Your new blog look is gorgeous, Marion! Love the poem: so true that one day life is exquisite and beautiful and the next ruined and cruel. Thanks for sharing all the Thanksgiving nuggets--and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you!♥

Bubba said...

Sweet Potato Soufflé sounds simply scrumptious!

By the way, did you miss THIS?

Fred Lunau said...

What a beautiful, beautiful blog. It came upon me, just as a zephyr arises from the silent branches of a distant forest. Thank you.