La vie est belle !

Mise en place

Telemann’s flute concertos are just right for today. CD player – on. Yes, the right mixture of baroque flute, harpsichord, cello…a comforting ambiance, calm, tranquil. I have all the time in the world for just this.

The leeks have no skin to peel off.  They have many white layers, like rings of an old tree, delicate circles falling apart in the bowl like a pile of tangled thread. They smell green and onion-y.

The skin of the garlic is thick and crisp. It peels away with a crackle like a vellum envelope, revealing the creamy smooth surface of the clove within. This must be finely minced and I have a very tiny bowl for it right next to the leeks.

The skin of the carrots is thin and glides off in golden strips with the swishing of the peeler. I make them into a pile of coins in the bowl next to the garlic.

The skin of the potatoes is thicker and waxy, yielding easily to the sharp blade of the peeler. Within its skin, the flesh is firm and silky, the color of ivory. I place the small cubes into the next bowl.

The green beans have no skin to peel away. I need only snap the ends off, a satisfying motion that reminds me of an afternoon spent in my grandmother’s kitchen. Just a quick flick of the wrist and they are snapped into bite-size pieces in the next bowl.

The skin of the tomatoes is very thin, but very tough, tenaciously protecting the delicate flesh. I cut an X in each one and give them at trip to the “Nordic spa chez moi.” First the hot water, then the ice water, and the skins part from the treasure inside. A bowl of translucent red cubes now sits next to the beans.

The “skin” of the corn gets stripped away like many sheets of wrapping paper, revealing the sweet kernels. I shave these from their cobs into the bowl next to the tomatoes. Then I pour out the right amount of olive oil and vegetable stock.

Now all is ready. The parade of prepared veggies is waiting to become the soup we’ll have for dinner with that piece of crusty bread alongside. How perfect for a cool autumn night.

This is part of the writing 201 – poetry course at BloggingU.

Assignment Day 3: 

Prompt – Skin

Form – Prose poem

Device – Internal rhyme

Don’t hesitate, chers lecteurs, to offer criticism. I have not experimented with form or indeed with poetry very much since college, back in 199…yeah. A while ago 😉


This post was inspired by Alton Brown’s “Garden Vegetable Soup” recipe. 


16 Responses to “Mise en place”

  1. Sonya

    I think what makes this poetic is the repetition at the beginning of each paragraph and of the action of peeling and/or dicing vegetables. There are a couple of internal rhymes in there and they add to the notion that this is a poem rather than prose. I like it.

    Oh, and the soup sounds delicious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Le génie

    Chaque légume “musicien” joue sa partition dirigée par le chef . Les notes ont la forme, la saveur et la couleur d’une mélodie baroque….
    La peau devient sensation car la soupe devrait être sensationnelle….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Deborah

    I am enjoying what you’re doing with the poetry course. You could ALMOST lure me to try it myself. But for now, I’ll just immerse myself vicariously in your images. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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