Balancing

Challahs cooling on the counter

Balancing

The sky is streaked with cinnamon,
there’s coriander in the clouds,
the saffron sun, not yet winter-faded,

glows on
the squirrels gathering walnuts,
from trees with nutmeg-sprinkled leaves.

My arms are still summer-browned,
the basil, a bit spindly, still green and fragrant,

but in my spice-scented kitchen, pumpkin simmers
in soup, apples bake in cake, vanilla floats in the air,

and round, golden challahs cool
on the counter

as the cockeyed world balances,
for a few moments

we’re caught in a honeyed glow,
the last bees of summer,
the waxing moon, waiting for fullness.

For my prompt on dVerse today. Next Sunday night is the start of Rosh Hashanah this year. I’m not religious, but I like the rituals, traditions, and having family get together. And the food! I like the symbolism of dipping apples in honey and eating a round challah for a sweet year. I will probably start my challah baking marathon tomorrow and do other cooking over the next few days. The autumnal equinox (vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere) is on Thursday.

Tasting Traditions: Quadrille

Long ago,

a Moroccan woman made soup like this,

in Mediterranean climes

stirred spices into her pot

(here mirroring Autumn leaves)

cinnamon red and saffron gold

yellow split peas and pumpkin,

symbols of success, simmering,

signaling the turning of seasons

tasting sweetly of tradition

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Pumpkin-Yellow Split Pea Soup

This is a quadrille for dVerse. Mish asked us to use the word spice—or some form of it.

I make this soup every year for Rosh Hashanah—though we’re having it a bit late this year. It’s based on a recipe from Claudia Roden, a Moroccan soup. Mine is vegetarian and spicier.  The golden color is supposed to symbolize a prosperous new year. The photo is from last year’s dinner.