Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Prayer for Stroganoff

There is a prayer in the way salt gets thrown
Into the Big Boiling Pot, sitting like Capone
In the corner of your stovetop
Water crests and foams, stream clings on my face

Dear God, please make something of these things
Left in the side drawers, these bits discarded forgotten
These leftovers from other recipes, from other Master Plans
Remnants, ink smudges, stroganoff

It is a last ditch effort, stroganoff.
That bit of beef that was insignificant, less than prime.
Wide egg noodles, thick hipped and lush
It’s sexy and it knows it, stroganoff.

There is comfort in the pepper grinder,
In its weight, in its imbalance. The sound
Is the same as shells crunching beneath my feet
Bare on volcanic sands, Mt. Etna at my back.

The cream and stock were meant to be together.
The cream’s decadence lingering in the roux
Brown, comfortable, dependable, brown
Flecks of yellow mustard sparkle, recessed like stars

And each time stroganoff is charming, soothing
Each ingredient proud but not dickish about it.
Like gypsy violin, or a proper kiss

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