I always loved the vim and verve of Julia Child and her Provence food revolution. However, it also made me feel a bit tired (and intimidated). Some of her recipes are an exercise in serious food complexity!
One of the things I’ve learned over my 20 years of being vegetarian is that complexity can be fun. But it can also set you up for failure. Food is such a vital part of our lives. It’s important that it not become fraught with complication. Many of us also long for its comfort and possible beauty, and if we could find that in simple ways that are healthy, wouldn’t that be fabulous?
With a small shift in perspective, even the simplest of foods can entice and enthrall us. I’ve found that this can be accomplished not so much by the food preparation, but also by the food presentation.
What if, for instance, we kept a few beautiful plates, bowls, and utensils on hand that we considered to be part of even the simplest recipe? What if we took time to think of the presentation as being a simple source of beauty and comfort? Even better if some of the plates, bowls, and utensils were heirlooms—items that had been passed down in our family.
Think of a simple, healthy food you enjoy, that requires little preparation. Now, choose what you’ll serve it up in, within your poem. Consider the setting and perhaps another person who might share this food with you. Your poem can be funny. Or romantic. Or beautiful. Or, it could even ask a question. If you like, title your poem with the opening words “Recipe for…”.
Recipe for Strawberries
One plain, white bowl.
Your crimson appetite.