Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Kitchen Touch

[inspired by the prompt at Totally Optional Prompts. The short poem offered as the prompt inspired me to write something about the sense of touch.]

The Kitchen Touch

You can use a spoon

to toss two kinds of potatoes with oil

and with salt, pepper, and oregano

but it is faster

to turn the slices and smear them around

with your hands

although then you will have to wash them.

You can use a fork

to mix meatloaf,

mixing together the meat and egg

with the onions and seasoning

and matzo meal

but it is much faster

to mash it together evenly

with your hands

although then you will have to wash them.

You can use tongs

to toss a green salad

jumbling together the fragile leaves

with the chunky bits,

but it is just as fast

to gently mix it together

with your hands

although then you will have to wash them.

You can use a rubber spatula

to push cookies off a spoon

dropping them onto the cookie sheet

but there is nothing wrong

with using your hands

although then you will have to wash them.


Rethabile said...

Very nice. I'll do it with the hands anytime, thank you.

sister AE said...

me too!

paisley said...

and girl let me tell you if i can i do!!!!!! i love using my hands when cooking!!!!!!

Jo said...

Yep, me too. I am very hands-on!

sister AE said...

Hi, paisley and Jo.
Sounds as though we're a like-minded bunch so far.

I know a lot of folks who don't cook at all, and some of the ones who do seem to be afraid of the food until it ends up on their plates (and sometimes even then!)

The implied coda to this piece is "and there's nothing wrong with that."

wendy said...

although then you will have to wash them.

God, how I love the repetition of that line.

rwellsrwells said...

of course you have to keep your fingernails really short.

Indian friends have told me you can't really taste your food unless you eat with your hands. Interesting that most Indians, in my experience, wash their hands after the meal rather than before (and after.) When in India do as the Indians, and I did, and got fairly proficient at eating with my hands - there is a technique, and it involves scooping with the fingers, and then moving the food to your mouth with your thumb.

Back in the USA, my wife prefers I use silverware.

tumblewords said...

I like this! Although I don't care to cook at this point in time, when I did - it was a handy experience.

gautami tripathy said...

I do most things with hands! I AM Indian!

I loved the poem!

Holly Mac said...

Gosh, I love this. I have always felt a little guilty because I derive a secret pleasure from mixing chocolate chip cookies with my hands. It's so pleasing.
Thanks for reminding me that it's okay and I promise I will wash my hands after (and before).

Maria said...

Well...either wash them or lick them.

...deb said...

I related to this on a visceral level. I like the repetition and your implied coda.

sister AE said...

thanks, wendy!

hi, rwellsrwells. "you can't really taste your food unless you eat with your hands" - i like that concept.

hello, tumblewords. thanks.

gautami - i'm so glad you like it.

you too, holly. you would love a recipe we have that involves crumbling a freshly-baked cake into smaller pieces before mixing it with other things. (sort of a messy trifle.) definitely brings out the little kid in everyone.

hi, maria - i thought of licking too - well, at least after the cookies. this made me think of licking the beater from cake mixes too.

thank you, deb.

Jessica said...

I love the tactile imagery and the invititation to interact with our food.

sister AE said...

Thanks, Jessica. I'm glad you stopped by.

jillypoet said...

I love poems about cooking and the kitchen, especially poems about getting into the kitchen with your whole body! This was so visual and of course sensual. I loved it.

I don't cook a lot, but when I make meatloaf, I start out about to mix with a wooden spoon until I remember HEY! It's better with the hands! Happens everytime!

sister AE said...

Thanks, jillypoet. I'm glad this rang true for you.

sophie said...

I was beaten to the punch about the licking of the hands aftermixing cookies, but count me in that category as well.
I also am a very tactile cook. Love this!

sister AE said...

Thanks, sophie. I'm blown away by how many people identified with this.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is great! I love making pastry, and when I lived in Malawi I learnt to enjoy eating with my hands. Its something i still like to do, given the right sort of food!

sister AE said...

thanks, Juliet.

daisies said...

fantastic ... i love using my hands :) mmmmm cooking!

sister AE said...

Welcome, daisies - and thanks.

Miss said...

First, thanks so much for your visit to my bookblog (bibliotica) via Michele.

Second, I love, love, love this poem - I don't trust people who cook without their hands, and stop to measure everything perfectly. Cooking should be from the heart and soul and fingertips, like art or writing, or sex.

Third, I'm inviting you to check out a new meme/community/thing I've just opened:

You're just the sort of person I'd kill to have among the participants.

Finally, I'm adding you to the blogroll of my main blog (MissMeliss: Escribition) at missmeliss dot com. I hope you don't mind?
-- Miss Meliss

sister AE said...

Hi, MissMeliss. I'm glad you like the poem. I'm flattered you are blogrolling me, thank you.

Cafe Writing looks like it could be fun. I'll give it a try and will see you there.

Clare said...

Hi Sister AE! I LOVE this!! Hands WANT to touch the ingredients of life and food with their warmth and sensitivity. I really like the repetition of the last line in this also, and the wonderful descriptions of yummy meals.

sister AE said...

Hello, Clare. I'm please this hit the spot for you.