It's wonderful to participate in Cook the Books once again! Lots of changes kept me away from this blog altogether, but I knew it was going to be only a matter of time before I returned. My endeavors will be a bit more limited this time around, I mean to join all the Cook the Books to come, and Simona's Novel Food, for sure, and then there is Deb's Souper Sundays...
But there are other things taking up my time, and you can read some of them here! I mean poems of course, and the more of them there are the better. Just like soup, and books, and flowers and pasta. Poems! Yes, the more of them, the better. But, Imaginings in Verse will stay on the back burner for today, so that I can spend time here at Sweet Almond Tree. Where do I come up with these names?
For this round of Cook the Books, we read "Sustenance and Desire, A Food Lover's Anthology of Sensuality and Humor"
Chosen for us by Rachel, from the Crispy Cook, the book is edited by Anne Bascove, who goes by the mononym of Bascove, and Bascove also supplied the paintings appearing in the book, because after all she is an artist/illustrator. Have a look:
|Still Life with Eggplants|
There are some wonderful pieces of prose and lots of good poetry also that Bascove chose for this anthology. Some of the authors represented are Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Wislawa Szymborska, Czeslaw Milosz, Marcel Proust, Allen Ginsberg, May Sarton... should I go on? Get the picture? A lovely compilation, in a book that should stay on your shelf and be available to frolic with every so often.
I decided to focus on a poem by Langston Hughes for my entry here. Not only is it a beautiful poem, but just yesterday, February 1st, was the commemoration of the author's birthday, so it seemed very apropos that I say thank you Mr. Hughes, your poetry has made a difference in our lives and in our culture. The poem is called "Harlem Sweeties," and on the Internet it can be read here.
I was inspired by the poem to make a uniquely flavored drink.
|drops of honey, and sticks of cinnamon and a dusting of cocoa and a sprinkling of cloves|
It contains honey, cinnamon, there is coffee for the most part because it is after all a type of coffee drink, there is cocoa also, and a few cloves are thrown into the mix.
All these earthy flavors are in keeping with Hughes' theme, which is that there is an untold and uncounted variety of hue in the integumentary aspects of Harlem sweeties, that there is a lusciousness in the skin color of people of color. Hughes is offering a hymn of praise to African Americans, and by extension to all people who show their courage by embracing their difference. Thank you Langston Hughes, and Happy Birthday!
1/3 cup ground coffee
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
In a coffeemaker basket combine the coffee and cinnamon. Prepare four cups of brewed coffee according to the manufacturer's directions.
Meanwhile combine milk, sugar, cocoa, cloves and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for about seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the hot milk mixture into four coffee cups, then add the cinnamon-flavored coffee. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.