Poetry Potluck: Blueberry Grunt

Food and poetry have long been a perfect pairing. In “Poetry Potluck,” we share a recipe and poem duo to feed all the senses. To submit your own pairing, e-mail cpoetry@msu.edu and include the recipe, poem, and a brief introduction as to why they are meaningful to you. This week’s pair is brought to you by Fall Writing Series visitor Jim Minick.


Blueberry Grunt from picker Kathleen Ingoldsby

In a deep 9″ skillet, combine 1 1/2 C water, 1/4 C sugar, half a large lemon, thinly sliced, and simmer 10 minutes. Add 3 C berries, simmer 2 minutes.
Meanwhile mix 1 C flour, 3 T wheat germ, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, (1/4 tsp. salt optional). Add to this, barely incorporating, 1 egg, beaten, and 1/3 C milk to make dumpling batter. Gently plop batter over as much of the surface as you can manage. Cover and simmer 15 minutes ’til done. Serve with berry sauce on top of biscuit dumpling. Good for breakfast.

An explanation of this dessert’s name:
Grunts or Slump – Early attempts to adapt the English steamed pudding to the primitive cooking equipment available to the Colonists in New England resulted in the grunt and the slump, a simple dumpling-like pudding (basically a cobbler) using local fruit. Usually cooked on top of the stove. In Massachusetts, they were known as a grunt (thought to be a description of the sound the berries make as they stew). In Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island, the dessert was referred to as a slump. From http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/CobblerHistory.htm.

“The Intimacy of Spoons”
Jim Minick

Knives with serrated edges, their solid singularity and sureness of purpose;

Forks too with fang teeth
and slots of air,
their habit of piercing—

Neither will ever know
the intimacy of spoons.

How they hold each other—
knees cupped, thighs touching,

the long curve of spine
soft against belly and chest,

the nuzzled narrow neck,
this ladle of bodies.

Slowly your breathing softens, falls
into that space of sleep

where you twitch in dreams
and I hold on.

Published by cpoetrymsu

The Center for Poetry opened in the fall of 2007 to encourage the reading, writing, and discussion of poetry and to create an awareness of the place and power of poetry in our everyday lives. We think about this in a number of ways, including through readings, shows, community outreach, and workshops. We are at work building a poetry community at MSU and in the greater Lansing area. Contact: cpoetry@msu.edu (517) 884-1932 http://www.poetry.rcah.msu.edu

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