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Mustard

10 Feb

We had a snow day on Sunday. No church. No walk. (Superbowl for hubby, though – the TV wasn’t snowed in.)

I used the gift of those extra hours to tidy up my gmail and in the process came across a poetry prompt that I couldn’t resist. So I also wrote a poem.

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Mustard

Seeds the size of faith
ground and added to young wine
became the fiery condiment
must-ardens*

Sauce as ancient as Indus and Rome,
modern French’s, dyed paprika and turmeric,
drips from every summer hotdog
stains every childhood shirt.

Hulled or whole-grained, sophisticated mustard
mixes congenially with vinegar, wine, water
lemon juice, whiskey, beer; remains
a wholesome but tart foil to ham, chicken, cheese.

Bavarian or Dijon, sweet or hot
honeyed, spiced, fruited, or Poupon
yellow to brown this world citizen
is welcome at tables on every continent.

A jar of French’s still lives in my Canadian fridge—
faithful standby for sausages, wieners, mayonnaise
parson at the emulsification nuptials of oil and vinegar
and a spread for a 5-year-old’s favorite sandwich.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

* How it came to be called “mustard”:

The first element is ultimately from Latin mustum, (“must,” young wine) – the condiment was originally prepared by making the ground seeds into a paste with must. The second element comes also from Latin ardens (hot, flaming).

Source: Wikipedia.

The post that contains the prompt: “Eating and Drinking Poems: Barbara Crooker’s ‘Ode to Olive Oil’“ quotes Barbara Crooker’s wonderful poem in full.

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Katy at her blog The Logonauts.

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31 Comments

Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Objects, Poetry Friday

 

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31 responses to “Mustard

  1. Leigh Anne

    February 10, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Leave it to a snow day to launch creativity about an everyday item – mustard! And I learned a few things about mustard along the way.

    Like

     
    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you, Leigh Anne! I learned lots too. I love writing poems that need a little research.

      >

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  2. jama

    February 10, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Mouthwateringly wonderful poem!

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks, Jama. That means a lot from a foodie like you!

      >

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  3. Tabatha

    February 10, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Educational AND delicious!
    I especially like “parson at the emulsification nuptials of oil and vinegar” 🙂

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks, Tabatha. Wasn’t sure how to include that little ability of mustard’s. Glad you think it worked.

      >

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  4. Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    February 10, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Delicious–and informative. I will appreciate my mustard even more now.

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      I left a lot out too, Kay! One thing I learned about mustard is about its anti-bacterial properties. One doesn’t even have to refrigerate it—though we still do.

      >

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  5. Brenda Davis Harsham

    February 10, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Yum, I am a mustard fan. Now I miss summer more than ever.

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks, Brenda, You’ll have to cook something that could use mustard even in the winter… or use it in one of its many iterations (like honey mustard dip!)

      >

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. Kiesha Shepard

    February 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I love it! Even mustard must have its day in the poetry world!

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      That’s right Kiesha! Everything is grist for the poet’s mill.

      >

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  7. Jane the Raincity Librarian

    February 10, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    I so love this celebration of the everyday – who knew that mustard could inspire such poetry? 🙂

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks, Jane! When I read the prompt “Write a poem about a condiment” mustard was the first one that entered my head. I wonder, what would you, what would others choose as a condiment to write a poem about?

      >

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      • Jane the Raincity Librarian

        February 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        KETCHUP. I’d absolutely choose ketchup. I’m famous in my family for being a ketchup fiend. “Would you like some fries with your ketchup?” 😉

        Liked by 1 person

         
  8. haitiruth

    February 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    This is wonderful – and so is the prompt! I’m holding on to it for later! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 10, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks, Ruth! I’d love to read a condiment poem by you!

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  9. katswhiskers

    February 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Wow. I love the way you wove fact into your poem, yet spiced it with creativity.

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  10. Linda Mitchell

    February 11, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Oh, I do love it when a poem helps us understand a bit of history. I didn’t know anything about mustard! Now, I do. Well done, Violet! My favorite line: welcome at tables on every continent.

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 11, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks so much, Linda! I have a new respect for mustard after researching it a bit.

      >

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  11. lindabaie

    February 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Ah, that faithful standby. Wonderful to read and celebrate, Violet, and I learned the word origin too, interesting. I keep it in my fridge too, & yes, for the grandkids, but prefer a grainy brown.I like spicey things a lot!

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 11, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you, Linda! Actually we have several mustards around too, and reading about all the different kinds has made me curious to try even more. I must look for something spicy… I love spice.

      >

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  12. mbhmaine

    February 12, 2017 at 4:27 am

    What a great prompt! Your poem was such fun to read and I learned a lot, too–great combination. Next time I open my fridge I’ll be eyeing that door shelf filled with past-expiration condiments a little bit differently. Thanks!

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 12, 2017 at 5:14 am

      Thank you!

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    • Violet Nesdoly

      February 15, 2017 at 5:36 am

      “Past expiration condiments” I hear you! how many times don’t we buy a bottle of something for a special recipe, it gets used once and then languishes in the fridge door! Thanks mbhmaine!

      >

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  13. maryleehahn

    February 12, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Thank you for teaching me about mustard! I have to admit, I’m drooling just a little, thinking about a crisply roasted hotdog with bright yellow mustard…

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  14. Alice Nine

    February 12, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Lovely, just plain lovely, Violet! I must say you took a very common subject and created a wonderful expository poem. Great mentor poem. Mustard of any kind for me. Definitely on hot dogs and corn dogs. When I was a kid, my mother made vegetable soup using beef bones, she’d pull the meat from the bones and serve it on the side with a bowl of the soup. I loved a dab of plain yellow mustard on those juicy, tender pieces beef.

    Like

     

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