Poetry & Potatoes

#devilled eggs

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For the time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
~ Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things

#vegan deviled eggs

“The life of rocks, ice, mountains, snow, oceans, islands, albatross, sooty gulls, whales, seals, crabs, limpets, and guanaco once flowed up into the bodies of these people, and out came whale prayers, condor chants, crab feasts, and guanaco songs. Life went where there was food. Villages were portable. Food occurred in places of great beauty, and the feedback from living directly fueled their movements, dances, thoughts, and lives.

Everything spoke: birds, ghosts, animals, oceans, bogs, rocks, humans, trees, and rivers; everything made a sound, and when they passed one another, a third sound occurred. That’s why weather, glaciers, and each passing season were so noisy. Song and dance, sex and gratitude were the season-sensitive ceremonies that linked the human psyche to the larger, wild, weather-ridden world.

When did we begin thinking that weather was something to be rescued from? Why did we trade in our ceremonial lives for the workplace? Is this a natural progression, or a hiccup in human civilization that we’ll soon renounce?

I eat at a rustic bar with other travelers. It’s late when night comes, maybe 10:30. In the darkness, Perito Moreno is still calving and moving, grabbing snowflakes, stirring weather, spitting out ice water, and it makes me smile.”
~ Gretel Erlich, excerpted from her book The Future of Ice: A Journey into Cold

#deviled potatoes

“Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.”
~ Seamus Heaney, Digging

Deviled Eggs

Lindsay Nixon’s Deviled Eggs
From her new book, Happy Herbivore Light and Lean
Makes 12

6 small red potatoes
¼ c hummus (plain)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
pinch black salt
hot sauce (optional)
paprika, or smoked paprika (garnish)

Boil potatoes until fork-tender, then let cool completely. Meanwhile, mix hummus, Dijon, garlic powder, and onion powder together, plus a pinch of black salt, stirring to combine. (Add hot sauce here if you prefer a spicy deviled egg.) Taste, adding more Dijon or black salt to taste, then set aside. Once potatoes cool, slice in half long-ways and use a little spoon or melon baller to scoop out a small circle of the potato flesh (this is your “egg”). Spoon hummus mixture into the hole and garnish with paprika.

Chef’s Note: Black salt is also called kala namak. Not to be confused with Hawaiian black lava salt.

Per “egg”

Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Fat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.6g
Carbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.4g
Fiber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18g
Sugars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9g
Protein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1g
WW Points. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Our prize: Lindsay Nixon's new recipe book
Our prize: Lindsay Nixon’s new recipe book

Do you enjoy food poetry? There are gorgeous photos and beautiful recipes over here at Aloha, a new healthy food support for busy people.

Food, poetry, beauty – it’s all love really, isn’t it?


36 thoughts on “Poetry & Potatoes

  1. Thank you for this. And I have all the ingredients in my house!

    These words are as nourishing as food. I saw Seamus Heaney read digging about 15 years ago at UCSD. He was pretty awesome.

    1. You saw him at UCSD? How very lucky. That must have been a poetic juxtaposition in itself.

      Thank you, Pamela, for bringing a poetic vision, sensibility and quietude to the world, and the lives of so many you touch.

  2. I love poetry and wholesome, tasty food – both so nourishing for my mind and soul. Thanks for sharing them.
    The poems put into words some of my thoughts of late – that so many things today are a “hiccup” in civilization and if we can take a deep enough breath, they just may be cured. If we eat and breathe slowly, form an awareness of what nourishes us, we might avoid the hiccups!

    1. I love that, Linda. I love that you see the connection between poetry and potatoes, as Heaney did. Thank you for being a deep breathing presence of nourishment for our sometimes hiccuped world.

  3. Oh yummy! I am a big fan of Lindsey’s recipes & have this book on my wish list! My friend Jackie did the photography!

    I am inspired by nature & lately have been trying to live within the balance of seasonal transitions. I’ve been focusing on nurturing myself & working on becoming more attended to my dosha & keeping mind, body, & spirit nourished. It’s a dance!

    I was also very inspired by Bhava’s recent Journey into Yoga! I was so sad it came to a close, bit I am very excited to continue on the path of Deep Yoga!

    Great to see you Sunday! You are radiant!

      1. Oh, good. Thank you, Rhonda. I once had someone win a book but could never find her to get it to her. Will pick a name on Friday and announce it here. Thx.

  4. I loved reading each of these pieces Laura. Especially the Wendell Berry piece. (What a great name!) I/m not familiar with him and will look him up. The potatoes are fab – I look forward to trying them. Such a cute presentation – as always you keep us inspired. Thank you. xo

  5. I have read Dr. Esselstyn’s son Rip’s book, The Engine 2 Diet. I loved it but am curious about Nixon’s book and oil, as the Esselstyn’s are adamant about no oil whatsoever, while Ayurveda is good oil friendly.

    1. Hi Tommy, From what I understand, Lindsay is a student of the Esselstyn’s. You might go to her blog, Happy Herbivores, and ask her that question. My only add is that I have deep respect for Dr. Esselstyn, his research and his courage. Thanks!

  6. What a beautiful post with the addition of poetry! I was cleaning out the refrigerator tonight and have a container of hummus and thought what else could I do with hummus besides a dip. Great timing and then saw that it was 0 WW points, nice!

  7. What a great looking recipe! I’m very excited to try.

    As far as inspiration goes, food is definitely a big one for me. I love finding a new vegetable, flavor, color or texture to play with and then working to perfect it. Naturally the seasons have a lot to do with this, so nature and farmers markets are big sources of inspiration too.

    1. Dear Amanda, It sounds like you have mastered the power of Prana, the positive force behind Vata, that gives creativity, inspiration, enthusiasm, joyful right alignment. Congratulations to you! May you always live in balance and know your truth.

  8. Going to get some potatoes this weekend to try this, I have all the other ingredients! Thanks so much for your blog, I find I keep going back to it to pick up recipes from older posts (which was why I was on it this morning!).

  9. Soul nourishing poetry! So delicious in my cells. Thank you. Nothing like eating nourishing food grown by myself or local organic farmers and feeling the powerful wisdom of the earth dance into my body with every bite, chew, swallow. Love in every action heals all. Love you!

  10. Laura, I have this book but I had not had/made these! They were delicious! So much so that I just needed to comment!

  11. The photos, the food, the poetry- the passion of humans, the love that connects us. The divine is speaking to us in so many ways! Love to you.

  12. I tried these today and they where fantastic- If you eat natural produce, you will always feel better. It is wonderful to always try to live in balance and know your truth.

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