When I’m in a dark mood and feeling depressive,
I tend to turn inward and vanish recessive.
The fog steals my voice and my urge to create,
and drags down my thoughts with an infinite weight.
The kitchen, perversely, is one place I go
when the tides of my spirit are ebbed to full low.
Creating in food is an uplift of sunshine —
and I don’t need a muse, just a recipe’s outline.
So today I approached my first giardiniera
Like Peter Cetera.
(America’s favourite balladeer sure looks like a guy who appreciates a good homemade pickle. Work with me, here.)
The recipe’s guidance was quickly fulfilled;
Some chopping, some boiling, some mixing, then chill.
The vegetables radiate crispness and sun,
while the brine lends a tang and some heat to each one.
Would I make this again? I think I wouldn’t say no;
but I’d put on some gloves when I chopped jalapenos.
I’ve cut them before, and you’d think I’d be learning
that it’s harder to cook when your fingers are burning.
(The heat nagged at me like a long-broken promise,
and stung my John Thomas.)
Now I’m three jars richer of home-pickled food,
And find myself in a more positive mood.
Which is the better reward? I don’t know;
but I welcome each one for its own type of glow.
There’s dangers in linking your food to emotions,
so this isn’t the greatest of curative notions.
Still, I welcome relief wherever it’s found,
and I hope that my veggies will help it stick ’round.
And in a few days I’ll eat giardiniera
On firma terra.