Bob Schwartz

Category: Food

Pantry (Morning Explorer)

Pantry (Morning Explorer)

In the beginning is
The same breakfast
Or so it starts.
But the pantry shelves
Are so full of wholesome ingredients
It seems impossible to ignore.
It isn’t the prospect of a new tasty dish
It is the possibility the morning sun offers
Who am I
Creative cook and diner
To ignore it?

© Bob Schwartz 2017

Note: Yes, it is the last morning of Passover, and yes, it has been a week since breakfast was pancakes, and yes, this should be a picture of matzo brei. But this poem containing a breakfast metaphor arose spontaneously today, and Passover or not, pancakes are a beautiful breakfast sight. Tomorrow.

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Refugees and the Bread of Affliction

Passover begins this evening. As part of the festival, many Jews will be eating the flat dry bread of matzo at seder tonight; some will eat it for the next eight days. Matzo is known as the bread of affliction, commemorating the hardship of slavery and the hardship of the flight to freedom.

As we break bread—flat or otherwise—we might also remember the plight of millions of refugees around the world. To help ease their affliction, we might also consider contributing to UNHCR.

חַג שָׂמֵחַ

Chag sameach.
A joyous festival.

Clearing the Table

Table Top

Clearing the Table

Big plate small plate bowl
Fork knife spoon
Glass cup
Napkin folded.
Napkin crumpled
Dishes in disarray
Clear the table
To begin again.
If not for
Cooking serving cleaning
How would we eat?
If not for clearing
Every time
How would we see
The table top
So plain?

Coffee Paradise

Bodum

Coffee Paradise

The coffee’s not making itself
Arriving on its own
No cook or chef
No waiter or waitress
No server or servess.

The discipline of
Water pot
Grounds and heat
Is good for you
Poor stir press pour
Mindful walk
To kitchen and back.

But where is the angel or
The winged cup
This is a morning
For that lazy heaven.

Bodhi Day Riddle: Fig Newtons

Fig Newtons

Here is a riddle for Buddhists, scientists, cookie lovers or anyone else who likes a challenge:

Why should Fig Newtons be the official cookie of Bodhi Day, the day of the Buddha’s enlightenment?

(For more serious posts about Bodhi Day, see here and here.)

Good Fortunes

fortune-cookies

Good Fortunes

A mountain of fortune cookies
For a feast.
Cracking one then another
All good.
One then another
All bad.
You have missed
The real meal.

Sweet Things Happened on Election Day Too

cupcakes

Eight dozen cupcakes were baked, filled and decorated here on Election Day, having nothing to do with Election Day. Lemon, red velvet, chocolate raspberry, etc. Sweet things from the heart happened and will continue to happen. (They are delicious!)

Music of Other Tables

Breakfast

Music of Other Tables

Half listen so
Duets from other tables
Are sounds minus meaning
Words to notes
Scales of breakfast
And lives.

Govern a nation as you would fry a small fish

Sardine

A message to candidates and voters from the Tao Te Ching. It is the first line of chapter 60, in various translations. Please read and feel free to interpret as you like. Comments are welcome.

If I were moderating a presidential debate, I would simply recite this line and ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump what this means to them. What illuminating fun that would be.

Govern a nation as you would fry a small fish.

Directing the flow of affairs of a large country
Is like cooking a small fresh fish.

Govern great nations
like frying small fish.

Ruling a large country is like cooking a small fish.

Taco Trucks on Every Corner. Pizza Shops Too.

Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez said yesterday “My culture is a very dominant culture. And it’s imposing, and it’s causing problems. If you don’t do something about it, you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner.”

This was meant as a comment on immigration, not food. Without going into the complexities of immigration or the bizarre backwardness/cluelessness/meanness of the Trump campaign, it does make you think about the connection.

If we had done something about the Italians (and we tried) maybe we wouldn’t have pizza shops on every block. Same for the Chinese and Chinese restaurants. Same for Eastern European Jews and bagel shops. And so on.

We do have pizza shops and/or Chinese restaurants and/or bagel shops on many blocks, even in the smallest towns. Taco and burrito shops too. We are better for it. This probably doesn’t tell us how to deal with the very difficult issue of immigration. But it does tell us something about America and American values and American culture. Just as the remark by Gutierrez tells us something hard to digest about Trump and some of his followers.