Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Found Poem No. 8: Would you like spice with that?

A few weeks ago I grumbled to the poet Ruth Valentine about the lack of cumin seeds in Upernavik. The prospect of cooking soup without them was bleak, and no food supplies were sheduled to arrive by boat until the spring. Life is tough in the Arctic!

Ruth Valentine is a woman of action. A few weeks later, a mysterious parcel arrived by helicopter, and was handed over reverently by the postman. I opened it to find not only cumin, but enough spices to create a whole series of dishes. Seal korma, whale a la mode, and, since there is star anise, I might even manage a watery halibut bouillabaisse. Ruth also pointed out that I could add cardamom pods to my kaffe, should I feel inclined. When I run out of material for poems, I plan to begin work on the first English guide to Greenland's gastronomy.

I love the way Ruth packaged up the spices, with neatly-written labels - found poem ... or artist's book? The jury is out on that issue, but meanwhile the contents diminish.

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