Monday, December 14, 2015

"Pfefferneuse Memories"

Day #16 of A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Photo Credit:


Spice rocks
covered in snowy sugar
rolled around the bottom
of the ceramic cookie crock
till Mommy finished them;
dunkers in her coffee cup

except for the time
I told Mommy
I’d invited classmates
for a party
and she told me
it wasn’t my birthday
there’d be no party
and the classmates
arrived anyway
Her only offering:
those spicy clunkers
in the bottom
of the crock

As a young mother
with new recipes
at Christmastime,
I stirred thick batter
darkened by molasses
cinnamon, nutmeg
clove and pepper dash
Couldn’t quite pinpoint
the old familiar fragrance
wafting in the air

Pinched a bit of dough
rolled it between my palms
placed it on the shiny
aluminum sheet, then
again, again and again
in three neat rows
of smooth brown domes
one inch apart.

I baked them
removed them to racks
dusted them
with confectioner’s sugar
and while still warm
picked one up to sample…

and laughed heartily.
Now I was the mom
at work in my kitchen
baking for my children
the very same cookie
I consistently spurned—

Will these rich, fragrant
(made by my hands)
clink in the crock
like the stale clunkers
of my youth
and wait only to be dunked
in my coffee cup
when the crocuses
push their heads up
through the snow?

Maude Carolan Pych

*I think I’ll add a few pfefferneuse to the cookie platter at the holiday event coming to the Ant Bookstore & CafĂ© in Clifton, NJ, this Saturday at 7 p.m. I will be the featured poet with a variety of Christmas poems to share. There will also be holiday music and treats and a festive atmosphere. Come, join the fun! It’s free!

The Ant is located at 345 Clifton Avenue.

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