1. when you cook chicken (breast, thigh or fillet)
make three thin nicks with a serrated knife
(okay, it’s more for bread than poultry
but it was the only knife within reach).
stuff rosemary in each pocket
& smell the divinity in your kitchen.
2. most things are better crushed.
take garlic, mint, ice, an empty can:
press down on the flat of your knife (or)
smush up leaves, admire your green thumb (or)
take your blender/hammer: now pulse/smash (or)
bring your foot down hard on the can
(extra points for panache)
& smell the divinity – and beer – in your kitchen.
3. don’t take offense if people ask
for salt or pepper with their food.
everyone has a different palette,
and besides, you always ask for hot sauce,
so why hold others to an unfair standard?
just bite your tongue,
nurse your ego in a separate room,
& smell the divinity of food shared in your kitchen.
4. they say that food cooked with more than five ingredients
is not as good as food cooked with three ingredients.
i’m not sure what the significance of three is,
but look: rice, meat and yogurt.
that’s three, but that does not biryani make.
now toss in the garam masala, saffron, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, fennel, bay leaves, salt, cardamom, cumin and peppercorn
& smell the divinity of your grandmother in your kitchen.
5. don’t be disheartened when you realize that english is
all you can write any poetry in.
your mother sings a silken tongue, but no good chef is the sum
of a single ingredient, however rich (or organic).
persian, arabic, turkish all threw in their loans,
but english lends itself nicely to being spun so soft
it can melt in your mouth like the best of them.
so forgive your insecurities,
& smell the divinity of poetry in your kitchen.