Crops

I thought this was corn meal (from maize) when I first saw this postcard. But it’s wheat. A friend said it looked like turmeric, another mentioned Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were the kids (just look at the faces, it’s so true!). I love their little outfits, but really. What part of Kansas is this? Maybe the one next to where Dorothy and Toto live . . .

Eastern Oregon appears to have strong teams of horses. Also it looks like a couple of ghosts are leading the team from the top of the harvester. I love the pointillism showing in the mountains in the background – it works well with the ghosts.

“Interior section of the largest wheat warehouse in the world, Tahoma Washington”

Is it still there I wonder? And is it still the largest?

Utah says this is their best crop.

“Just babies, babies, healthful, fair

From where the Wasatch lion leaps.

From sunless snows, from desert deeps,

Just babies, babies, everywhere;

Just Babies in arms, at mother’s breast,

And robust boys with girls at play,

With pounding fists, too full to rest,

As chubby, fat and fair as they.”

(Joaquin Miller in the San Francisco “Bulletin”)

My goodness, there’s ample opportunity for commentary on that poem! But I won’t go there . . . let’s see what the sender of the postcard says.

A very straightforward message, from Dick.

Crops. Always worth thinking about.

Oranges and Lemons, The Bells of St. Clements

Oranges and Lemons

“Various theories have been advanced to account for the rhyme, including: that it deals with child sacrifice; that it describes public executions; that it describes Henry VIII‘s marital difficulties.”

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

Not sure if I’m still hungry for that pie . . .

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

the month of May/Is comen

The month of May is goen too. And with it will go the chance to post this psychotropic postcard offering the pleasures of May wine.

This postcard is from Maders Restaurant, which was featured in an earlier post on chefs, branding, and fame. But instead of pork shanks being run through the dining room by chef seemingly pumped on speed, there is an exhortation ‘For Your Pleasure!’

That’s nice. I do like my pleasure.

The idea of strawberry May wine has been around for a long time. It is one of the few natural seasonal drinks – the first new wine, the first new berries, a sprig of new herbs from the woods – all combine to make that serendipitous moment that does only exist in nature for ‘a moment’ and not much longer. But this drink has fallen out of style.

Should it have? In terms of taste, it can’t really compete with some finer wines. It is rather a peasant drink in ways. Simple, with a lack of pomp. It belongs on a picnic table or should be tossed back laying on a blanket in the sun – so much potential for messy clothes here!!

Here is a bit more from wiki on May wine, and here is an ‘authentic’ recipe.

And here is what the postcard says:

This famous spring wine drink has been a feature here at Maders for many years. It is a wine with a distinctive flavor all its own. On the continent it is served in the spring of the year when the Waldmeister Plant (its main ingredient) is in full Bloom. At Maders it is mixed in a bowl with luscious. ripe strawberries to bring out its best flavor. The next time you stop at Maders be sure to ask for this famous drink.

Now – why I used the title I did for this blog post is that last time I had a title that was ‘suggestive’ to readers the blog hits zoomed to twice the level of readership. Probably they had no interest in food or postcards, but so what. Now my goal in life is to write suggestive titles.

Here is where this title originated – Chaucer, of course.

Whan than the month of May
Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
Farewel my bok, and my devocioun!

Farewel my blog – till tomorrow maybe? I must make some May wine before May is over.