Could This Be ‘The Emperor Of Ice-Cream’ (?)

I love this little bear!!! He is so cute!

And I love ice cream – I love it even more scooped into a sweet crisp cone where as it melts haste will demand focus be given a drip here! a sideways-falling there, onto the shirt-front or jeans – or worse. Have you ever had a scoop fall right off onto the ground? Plop!! There is no way to avoid deep mourning for the fallen scoop of ice cream, there is no solace! Unless, of course, it is to quickly get another scoop.

Food asks for celebration, it asks for lightness and joy, it asks for communion. And  yet it can symbolically represent the opposite of these things.

Wallace Stevens’ line from his poem ‘The Emperor of Ice Cream’ is so often used out of context that it is almost a little bit scary.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream

Separated, removed from context, stripped of all but the phrase – it sounds as if we should be worshiping ice-cream, that ice-cream alone can ‘save us’!!!

But here is the line, in context, in the poem by the poet, the poem which gave shape to the fullness of this phrase which likely – would have, just by itself, adorned with little glowing hearts and pen-drawn daisies – been left in the dust of multitudes of words marching out into the world each day.

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

This ice-cream of Stevens’ was not made in any factory. Nor was it made by some little old quaint person working away at an ice-cream crank. This ice-cream of Stevens’ was made by magic, and it is not ‘just’ cute and tasty. Far from it. It is rich and challenging and painful and questioning. It is life, this ice-cream of Stevens’.

As I said, I love ice-cream. I love too, that it can be much more than the sum of a twitterable line on a ‘status update’. There’s so much more to eat, that way!

wiki on the poem

When Handling Dough, Be Deft and Light-Handed

It sounds as if this baker has gotten buried under fifty pounds of flour – confusion reigns.

Must profess my ignorance. You ought to know what you are talking; or more properly what you are speaking writing about.

I can’t understand your signs.

Very sincerely,


Will a good loaf of bread fix all this? It might take a pie. Cookies. A cake, or creampuffs.

Living la Vida Weekend, Postcards From The Dinner Table in a Foodie Way

Some people don’t want to do facebook. I don’t know why. Maybe they want to have a few moments of free time, or maybe they don’t want to fall into the morass that is called ‘social media’ or maybe they are sane.

For those of you who refuse to enter the doors of time-sucking doom to read the facebook page attached to this blog, here’s a round-up of the week’s photos and links inspired by the daily postcard.

From berry to cake . . .

The cake is a home style simplified version of Lenotre’s Strawberry Cake, viewed below

If you go on a picnic you might want to make some ratatouille. Kittens like it.

It goes well with sausage bread (which kittens also like!)

Now, on to the topic of chewing.

less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe
more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be
yours’ – Swedish

And here is MFK Fisher on the food I think of when I think of a food that does not need to be chewed

What other writer do  you know – who could make ‘milk toast’ sound and feel the way she did?

Here, we learn about icemen of the olden days

And here we hear a scary story about ice being used in an unusual way

There is a beautiful ice palace with a dreadful secret . . .

1878 – Valery Ivanovich Jacobi

And the final thought for the week is summed up, for musing upon till something better comes along to muse upon

‘Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors’ – Alice Walker

Ciao, bellas! Enjoy the weekend!

x K