Two words meant to soothe. Even the cover
of this cookbook appeals— palm trees, shepherds,
sheaves of wheat in drawings that frame
the title below a sleepy sun. Traditional recipes
sound like a great idea, back to basics, natural
ingredients, no added chemicals or preservatives.
I’m gung-ho, ready to jump in the pot,
until I read ingredients. Each recipe asks for
something I don’t have, have never had on hand,
like green chiles or fish sauce (see page 157).
Turn the page to see how it’s made,
learn it asks for whey (see page 87)
and tamarind paste (available in African
markets). I live in the woods, red county
in a red state, where locals prefer every
meat and veggie fried. Many have stopped
eating greens. They buy their bread in bags
at Food Lion, drive the long ride home. I’d like
to make bone broth, plus chicken and beef stocks
to add to soups or to sip hot on these cold,
snowy days. My inclination to make salad
dressings from scratch is now stymied by
expeller pressed flax oil, not locally for sale.
I could go online like any modern female
robot, see what’s trending, have it shipped,
though that seems neither nourishing
nor traditional. Perhaps I’ll make linguine
with chocolate chips. I have all the ingredients.
Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. Author of six self-help psychology books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Potomac Review, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art. www.JoanMazza.com.
Sho Joan some love via PayPal at joanmazza(at)gmail(dot)com.