Sunday, January 30, 2011

To bring her all these things and watch her eat

I love this passage, both for the floridity of it's food list, and for it's tenderness. It reminds me of some of Chantelle's fruit poetry...

From The Cookbook Collector:

Sentimentally, he thought of Jess. Irrationally, he imagined her. Sadly, he despaired of having her. But this was not a question of pursuit. ... His fantasies were nurturing, not predatory. If he could have Jess, he would feed her. Laughable, antique, confusingly paternal, he longed to nourish her with clementines, and pears in season, fresh whole-wheat bread and butter, wild strawberries, Comte cheese, fresh figs ad oily Marcona almonds, tender yellow beets. He would sear red meat, if she would let him and grill spring lamb. Cut the thorns off artichokes and dip the leaves in fresh aioli, poach her fish--thick Dover sole in wine and shallots--julienne potatoes, and roast a whole chicken with lemon slices under the skin. He would serve a salad of heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and just picked basil. Serve her and watch her savor dinner, pour for her, and watch her drink. That would be enough for him. To find her plums in season, and perfect nectarines, velvet apricots, dark succulent duck. To bring her all these things and watch her eat.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cracked with the strain

While journeying home
I dream of a house
and in the house a room
and in the room a table
and on the table a wooden bowl
cracked with the strain of containing.

Fruit of all kinds;
pineapples spike the air with tropical promise
electric oranges, juice ready to burst
at the pressure of my teeth
apples and pears wafting harvest
pomegranates ripe with seed
berries fragrant and fragile
lemons shining yellow
dates dark with syrup
mango lush as a woman’s hip
peaches cleft with down
figs, densely feminine
bananas curved in arcs of invitation
grapes promising wine.

Their scents assail me
a cloud of seduction
whispering to be touched;
smooth and bare
furred and soft
rough and scratching.

Desire stunned, I gape
Though I didn’t know I was hungry
I want to tear off peels
and break off pieces
stuffing my mouth
in a frenzy of feasting.
And after that initial ravishment
to slowly quiet
my still-burning appetite
one fruit
one bite
at a time.

I close my eyes
and the image lingers
thirsting to be consumed.

But mine is not this feast.
Though I stretch out my hand
it is beyond my reach.
I can’t let it touch my lips
nor steal a bite
nor feel the tender flesh melting on my tongue.

Mine is to hunger.
The fruit at which I can but stare and breathe
a promise;
the gift not in the eating
but in the yearning.

While journeying home
I dream of a house
and in the house a room
and in the room a table
and on the table a wooden bowl
cracked with the strain of containing.

--Chantelle Franc

There is such a thing as excellence

From The Cookbook Collector:

There is such a thing as excellence, and I do know it when I see it, and when I find it I am fulfilled. I don't want to keep on hunting endlessly. If I'm restless, that's not because I want to be or because I can't help it. I'm not chronically dissatisfied; I've been disappointed. There's a difference. When I discover something beautiful and right and rare, I'm happy. I'm content. I am..."

--Allegra Goodman

Friday, January 28, 2011

Much sweeter than the kiss itself

From The Cookbook Collector:

His lips touched hers. So this is kissing, she thought. She couldn't taste anything. It wasn't that kind of kiss. It was the kind that hung in the air, beautiful and abstract, like a theorem to contemplate. The moment afterward was lovely, much sweeter than the kiss itself. They could breathe again.

--Allegra Goodman

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Because she could not dissolve herself

From The Cookbook Collector:

When he touched her and stroked her face, all the longing of the past weeks eased. Or did it? Even as they kissed, she missed the kiss before, and the one before that. How strange the way every moment contained and at the same time hollowed out the last. She thought she should be satisfied, but she wasn't. Why? Because she could not dissolve herself.

--Allegra Goodman

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hungering for the beautiful and authentic

From The Cookbook Collector:

He had established bulwarks of skepticism against disappointment. And yet he hungered for the beautiful, and the authentic--those volumes and experiences impossible to duplicate. How sad, he thought, that desire found new objects but did not abate, that when it came to longing there was no end.

--Allegra Goodman

Monday, January 24, 2011

New blog on writing

Hello to any of my readers who check in periodically to see if I've begun writing here again. I'm keeping the blog up for when I write on topics that fit this venue, though I've been instructed for the time being to focus my writing elsewhere. Interesting, His instructions, particularly when they don't line up with what you'd assume He'd want...

I will be writing under a variation of my maiden name, and if you'd care to pop in periodically to see how things are going, feel free to check out (

Lifting you in prayer now...