Monday, 19 January 2009

Geographic Gastronomy

Sunlight glinting on sugar crystals catches my eye.

The lady who cleans my office brings in
homemade onion bhajjis
in the most extravagant and eccentric shapes.

The tiny American academic tells of her Christmas holiday.
She travelled in rural parts of Japan
and ate ferns.

The Head of Department listens politely
and then describes the conference in China
where he ended up in a restaurant called
The House of Frogs.
Everything on the menu was based on frogs.

The tiny American academic rises to the challenge.
She tells us that she was the honoured guest
at a meal in China
and was given a bowl
and a plastic glove.
She retrieved the goose foot
from the bright orange sauce
and chewed it ostentatiously.
It was essential to show how much she enjoyed it.

The Head of Department retires gracefully.
The tiny American wins.

My tall, friendly academic from two offices down
explains that he is no longer vegetarian.
He stayed in a hotel in Wales with an amazing menu
and had an overnight conversion
so that he could eat the Full English Cooked Breakfast.

This ex-vegetarian describes a dish of duck
cooked with red onions and plum sauce
in such detail that it makes me feel hungry to think of it.

What will MasterM be eating
this time next week?

We pore over guide books
with recommendations for steak restaurants
in Buenos Aires.

He reminds me that his uncle
came back from South America
with bags of deep fried grasshoppers.

Roast Beef for supper.

Unless I go to the supermarket NOW
there will be no food in the house this week.
We might need to eat the pointsettia.
Which would be bad for Family Karma.

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