I just had a new culinary experience. I was able to escape for the weekend to an incredible beach retreat.** After a few hour drive with more than a touch of slow-moving traffic, my sister-in-law Eva and I arrived in the lovely coastal town of Newburyport, Massachusetts just in time for dinner.
While stuck in traffic we tried to think about where we would eat, but once there we just decided to see where our feet and stomachs would lead us. We found ourselves in Loretta, a small, cozy restaurant in the center of town with an interesting menu. Actually, each dish we shared presented something unusual and delicious, but it was the grilled romaine salad that surprised and delighted me.
I do live a rather small, parochial life, but I’d be interested to know if anyone else has ever had a grilled romaine salad. Fortunately, we were sharing, because most of a full head of romaine lettuce, each leaf brushed in olive oil and grilled whole, arrived before us, draped in a creamy and chunky blue cheese dressing, and adorned with some pickled beets and cherry tomatoes. The grilling of the lettuce lent a delicate smokiness and crispness to each bite that was wonderful. That salad was deserving of a haiku, which is what I initially sat down to write about.
As you may recall, in my last post, Dietary Haiku, I put out a request for such. I am so pleased to report, that I received four. Now, that may not sound that impressive but they are each so beautiful, and I want to share them with you in hopes that you will see, as I have, that I think I am onto something. I hope you will now be really inspired to compose your own and to send it my way.
In response to the mundane display of that Food Pyramid–really just a triangle if you ask me–and now supposedly,The Plate, in our food environment, I have decided to place one of these Dietary Haiku on each of my future posts. I think you will agree that they are more inspirational and joyful. Soon then, I imagine that this little idea will spread (and go viral) and we will have created a more meaningful message and conversation about food and eating that started right here.
I was discussing this idea with my daughter and her friend at the dinner table tonight, and they raised some good questions. Jonathan wanted to know if the themes had to be positive or could they be negative–like a 5-7-5 syllable format ending with that is so yukky! I said I would encourage everyone to keep the message affirming. Zena wanted to know how we would market or copyright this idea so that we might get rich, because someone else was likely to come along and start promoting Dietary Limericks. I didn’t have an answer to that, but if you do, can you please send it to me in lieu of or in addition to your haiku.
So, here are these beautiful poems in the order I received them, along with one of my own. Thank you to the four of you who got it and shared your little gift with me. I will keep rotating these and hopefully this collection will grow.
Are we what we eat
Or do we eat what we are
Are they the same thing?
The farmer’s market
Each egg at the dairy stand
A different color
Spread peanut butter
On whole grain, sweet, dark brown bread
Food made joyfully
As a gift of time and self
Feeds body and soul
— Anne Marie
Deep scarlet red beets
Reveal your sweetness to me
Slip out of your skins
–In health, Elyn
**My tiling abilities were partially responsible for getting me to the beach house–see post Wait,Wait Michael Pollan.