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Recipe for a Peckish Palate or How to Manage February Blahs

As a chef,
I’m often asked
How to woo an errant appetite,
Peckish with some wound
How to enliven a hunger that’s gone south.
When dreams are detoured
Leaving only doubt

So I say,
Coax it with herbs,
Green and fresh
Soothe it with lemon balm
Or uplift it with ginger —
Entice it with wine-red chilli
Pungent with deep heat -
Love it with vanilla beans
Familiar and sweet —
Cool it with mint
Let it settle and heal
With lavender tea, roses, cinnamon and orange peel.
A lost appetite will wake up
Once vital, it will indeed revive —
It simply has no other choice
And in time what was quiet and still
Will once again rejoice.

But how to bring spirit to the plate
When the palate is empty
Bereft of sentiment or even sunny chatter -
How to court an unsung heart
When dark moods have come to prey
When the inner pantry feels bare
And tumbleweed blows
Through the spice shelf of life
When the heart is caught not singing
What then?

Well, dear heart,
The tonic is the same
The ladle ever poised, still pertains —
Love that heart in great measure
Don’t stint on the elixir
Coax it with the breeze of the trees
Soothe it with kisses
Let it rise and breathe
Don’t leave warmth to choice
And in time,
What was quiet and still
Will once again rejoice

Written by

Cookbook Author, Master Baker, Writer, contributer to Huffington, Washington Post, PBS Next Avenue. Find me and betterbaking.com.

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