I owe it to Martha Goes Green, a recipe book like no other.
Most dishes have been worth the time and care to follow to the letter, until familiarity bred improvisation and I threw caution out of the pot, to create dishes of my own.
Mushroom risotto, carrot and lentil soup, pea and feta frittatas, but none has embedded into our lives, requiring no tweaking, like the vegetarian pho. A glance at the ingredients on first go read like a who’s who of the spice world. Writing the shopping list gave me cramps- it read longer than flash fiction.
Peeling, chopping, counting out pieces- the preparation was a meditation in beauty, as I composed a still life of cinnamon sticks, shallots, star anise, ginger, garlic, cardamon and cloves that spoke of goodness, an abundance of sensory delights.
Bubbling and boiling, filling the house with the scent of the seductive brew, we waited, salivating in preparation for the feast.
three little birds trill
final medley- spice of life
transcend sum of parts
I laid out finely chopped chilli, coriander, garden fresh Vietnamese mint, spring onion with equal parts bite and crunch, and a citrus tang of quartered lime.
Long thin strands of vermicelli floated in the steaming bowls before us, coloured with a sprinkling of this and that from the selection on the table. The chilli made us feel alive and we ate our fill, indulging till the last drop.
bowlful of fragrance
trill song of bird’s eye chilli
savoured final slurp
Many more enjoyable serves have followed, particularly once my partner was inspired to pick up the recipe and recreate the dish, meaning there are times I can wait idly as the pleasures of pho magically transpire, steam unfurling in a pattern of our signature dish.
Prompt courtesy of RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge two word prompt (trill, final).
Postscript: not wanting to breach copyright, I didn’t include the recipe in the original post, BUT, I have since found the very recipe published online which I assume has the authors’ okay, as they have been featured in that publication. Here it is: THE RECIPE!!! If you try it, let me know how you go. Bon appetit! or perhaps I should say Ăn nào!