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Poem: "Can She Bake a Scary Pie?" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Can She Bake a Scary Pie?"

This poem came from the October 5, 2010 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was prompted by eseme and sponsored by marina_bonomi.  I had fun with this one -- there are bits of Italian culture and European folklore, and Fiorenza is a basically a young wisewoman with an empirical streak.  Just the thing to solve a pesky vampire infestation!

Can She Bake a Scary Pie?


Fiorenza moved through the village
as lightly as a flower drifting in the wind.
She was the best gardener.
She was the best baker.
She was the best herbalist.

So when the villagers began to sicken,
it was Fiorenza who set out to discover why.
What she learned was that
those who came down shaking and pale
with a pinprick rash at their throats
were mostly those who grew tomatoes.

"It's the devil's fruit," the priest said sagaciously
when Fiorenza explained the connection.
"That hardly accounts for the hornworms,"
said Fiorenza, "and they like tomatoes too."
So she ignored the priest and cross-referenced her list
against the people who neither grew tomatoes nor got sick
and the people who grew tomatoes but still didn't get sick
and that's how she discovered the uses of garlic.

From there it was a simple trick
to adapt her recipe for pizza pie
to include garlic as well as tomatoes --
a tasty treat for humans,
but for vampires a deadly bait.

After the problem was solved,
Fiorenza wrote down the new recipe
underneath the one for belladonna rat poison
so that she could teach it to anyone who needed it.

From then on, when a girl
moved into their village,
the mothers would ask,
"Can she bake a scary pie?" --
and if the answer was "No,"
they sent her to Fiorenza to learn how.

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11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: October 6th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Perfect! :-)

This one made me laugh aloud.

Many of our traditional recipies include garlic (sometimes quite a lot of it), we even have a very popular spagetti dish (spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino) where the name and the recipe are one and the same, the 'sauce' is made mixing olive oil, pressed garlic and hot peppers (fresh or dried) with some Parmesan or old Pecorino cheese sprinkled on.

It sounds like a very good trick to play on vampires, in fact I wouldn't mind if young Fiorenza became another regular character in your fishbowls.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Perfect! :-)

>>This one made me laugh aloud.<<

Yay!

>> Many of our traditional recipies include garlic (sometimes quite a lot of it), we even have a very popular spagetti dish (spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino) where the name and the recipe are one and the same, the 'sauce' is made mixing olive oil, pressed garlic and hot peppers (fresh or dried) with some Parmesan or old Pecorino cheese sprinkled on.<<

Hmm ... that sounds rather tempting. My partner would probably like that one. For myself, I'd have to tone down the heat, maybe swap in tomatoes and use just a little of less-molten peppers. I'm fond of olive oil as a cooking base or flavor boost, and we like ravioli. Must ponder.

>>It sounds like a very good trick to play on vampires, in fact I wouldn't mind if young Fiorenza became another regular character in your fishbowls.<<

That has potential. She's a more complex character than I usually see appearing in a poem -- three prime skills (related yet distinct), with a bifocal affinity for both magical and scientific thought. The obvious counterpoint is that some people would feel threatened by that, and she's not a good fit for any one traditional role. That's enough to complicate her life and make her able to respond to all different kinds of challenges.

Sure, feel free to suggest her any time she seems to connect with the theme, or if you want to see if I can find a connection.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: October 6th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Perfect! :-)


Ah, I forgot to add that, in that recipe, the three ingredients are adjusted to taste, no need to put in a lot of either garlic or hot peppers, they are there to season the oil and the pasta, it must be savory but not overwhelming, and yes, it can be a good base to play with.

Yes, Fiorenza has the potential to find herself in a lot of 'interesting' situations I think, I'm definitely looking forward to that and Will keep her in mind for the next Fishbowls.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 7th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Perfect! :-)

>>Ah, I forgot to add that, in that recipe, the three ingredients are adjusted to taste, no need to put in a lot of either garlic or hot peppers, they are there to season the oil and the pasta, it must be savory but not overwhelming, and yes, it can be a good base to play with.<<

That's probably why the recipe engine in my head interpreted it as a base, then. Hee! Thank you for the tip.

>>Yes, Fiorenza has the potential to find herself in a lot of 'interesting' situations I think, I'm definitely looking forward to that and Will keep her in mind for the next Fishbowls.<<

*anticipatory wriggle* You give good prompts.
tuftears From: tuftears Date: October 6th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yum, pizza. Not only tasty but wards off vampires! ^_^
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

It seemed like an interesting variation on the original garlic flowers. *ponder* Though now I have to wonder if garlic chives, or their flowers, would suffice. That, I grow in my herb garden.
siege From: siege Date: October 7th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

In some tellings, it is the intensity of the smell which holds the vampires at bay. Asafoetida, perhaps?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 7th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

*laugh* That would sure do it! I use asafoetida and sea salt to banish gremlins. Ought to work for vampires. Heh, and that's a powder -- ideal for dust bombs. You're giving me wicked, wicked ideas.
eseme From: eseme Date: October 7th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow! How fun. I like this, and I really enjoy her cleverness. Yay for cross-referencing!

And mmmmmm, pizza.

I would enjoy seeing her turn up in poems again. She and the ink-scryer are interesting, vivid characters.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 7th, 2010 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)

*grin*

>>Oh wow! How fun. I like this, and I really enjoy her cleverness. Yay for cross-referencing!<<

Thank you.

>>I would enjoy seeing her turn up in poems again. She and the ink-scryer are interesting, vivid characters.<<

It's fun when people latch onto a character and ask for more. You're welcome to do that.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: December 16th, 2011 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I recently found out that Bram Stoker, when he wrote Dracula, mixed Romanian vampire lore with Scottish vampire lore, and some of the traits of his vampires he borrowed from Unseelie Fae.
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