Monday, 17 December 2012

Every Hand in the House

We feed it year-long.
Its sixpence heart waits for the great reveal

(through summer's parched dominion,
through another bastard year of inferior cinnamon)

and mellows with every month
and every lavish swig.

Every hand in the house had stirred it.
And as another Christmas shivers in

we take it from its cupboard home,
dense as a neutron star and burning blue.

A Molotov pudding, a brandy sun –
every hand in the house presents a spoon.

Jody Porter is Poetry Editor for the Morning Star. His poetry blog is All Deciduous Things.

O My Dears One Learns Something New Every Day

        How painful to admit
                                  so many cakes later
                    that due to sloth
& one’s terror of inadvertent
                                        flour inhalation
                    one has missed
                                                  a trick
         but one is not above
                        confessing one’s peccadilloes.
  One speaks, O my dears, of decades
of denial:
                         all that faff
                                           with the sieve
                                resulting, as it turns out,
                  in a lighter sponge.
    Who knew?
                One will now don
                                 one’s sheepish apron
hold one’s breath,
                   sift as if one’s life depended etc,
            apply heat          
                                & revel in
  this frankly indecent expansion.
             O my dears, how

Jacqueline Saphra's latest collection is The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions. You can read more of her work on her blog.

Paul Hollywood’s Chestnuts

 The seller sang The Christmas Song,
rustling up the blackened beauties
in paper bags, thrusting them to us.

'That’s two quid, mate.'

Within the wrapped-up crowd I peeled;
I tasted. I offered up the bag.

‘Mary,' I said,

'I'm not sure about the bake.’

Lara Jakob's blog is Word of Mouth.


Heap up the dried fruits, let them marinade
all night, a second honeymoon of booze;
an upset of almonds with their whiff of cyanide;
sultry cherries in their violated glory;
bittersweet, the candied taint of peel
we once discarded. Add citrus zest
to this pirate’s chest of jewels, sprinkle
cinnamon for regret; swing a great censer
of nutmeg absolution, a covet of allspice,
slow-blending muscovado. Help me preserve
all these good things against the winter. Bind
with butter, eggs and flour, bake it loveblind
in a bedding of brown paper, the fragrance
hotter now than summer. Let us make
a new abundance in this kitchen.
Let there be a sticky handfasting
of gritty marzipan and fondant icing.
Let there be more fruit than cake.

Judi Sutherland is a poet and writer, she blogs at There Must Be More To Life Than Having It All.


The silver medal bears the firm’s name
not her’s. No matter. I know
how she formed fancy from sugar and water:
roses in woven work, scrolls, waves.

On a snow day we’d sit in the back-kitchen;
she’d steady my hand, but there was always
something: the piping bag too fat for my grip,
the dummies resistant, their cardboard hard,
nothing like the riches of cake.
They smelled of must, not sweet-soaked fruit
brandied each week since October
with the Georgian crested ladle.

‘It’s practice’ were words of discomfort.
I’d sooner stop, watch her layer
a royale ice rink into winter’s wonder.

Kate Noakes blogs here. Her first collection Cape Town is published by Eyewear.