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‘If’ Rudyard Kipling were a foodie….

by on January 16, 2010

…..what would ‘IF’ be like?

I have a passion for writing poetry, albeit it completely overshadowed by my love for cooking.

One of my favourite poems ever is ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling. I can still remember clearly a teacloth we had growing up, which had the words on it (thanks to my English teacher of a mum).

Nested citrus

The words fill me with hope, with courage, with zest and zeal. Portions like this comfort me and strengthen me and I think and wonder…..

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

…what he would have written had he been one of us?

Since I knew I would be getting no answers, I decided to give it a go myself…..!

But first I’d like to say a big thank you to mademoiselle délicieuse of spoons, forks & chopsticks;

over the top

and Nora, the Kitchen Splorer for giving me an award and Sarah too of Maison Cupcake, for kinda giving me one :-)!


I’d love to pass them on……but I have to answer some Q’s which require a bit of thinking 🙂 so they’ll be the subject of a future post. Thanks!!!!!

And now on to our star piece for the day:

Star Frosting

If you can keep your tongue and stomach focused
When others are frowning and spitting stuff out…be it samphire or oysters;
If you can trust your cooking when some recipes fail you
But make allowance for succeeding too,
If you can wait to try that steak recipe again and again
And not be put off by your first error and failures to come,
Even when it just makes it second time around;
But have hope knowing the time will come.
Lemon thyme salt on steak
If you can dream of winning brussel sprout recipes and not make chocolate your master,
If you can think of making puff pastry and not only think but make,
If you can meet with the Triumph of perfectly soft-boiled eggs and the disaster of a gluten-free cake,
And treat those two as opportunities just the same,
If you can bear to hear your husband say he doesn’t like your choc cake and still serve him tasty meals
Forging on and not losing sight or giving up.
Or watch that beautiful birthday cake crack right across the centre just like an earthquake, … right before you frost it,
And still gather it together and frost it just the same.
Plum-studded gluten free cake mix
If you can make a supreme mess and render your kitchen useless
All to make one beer cocktail of apples and vanilla
And promptly bin it, for its lack of worth and taste
But still forge on and try yet another, ignoring the state of your kitchen
And when that’s done, still clean up,
Knowing that the tolling bells herald midnight;
And keep the faith when absolutely nothing works….
But hold on to the fact the fact that each man holds a gift with food…..or not (and that my friend is true)
If you can take criticism and continue cooking;
Have friends who don’t worship food and not judge their cooking,
But enjoy their pleasant offerings, as and when, and learn too from them
If you can fill 1 minute with a no-cook, fuss-free dessert,
Then this voyage of discovery and all the mysteries along the way will be conquered
And – what is more, my friend – you’ll be a cook, man, woman, son or daughter!!!!!!!!!


So what would you add? or change?…..assuming you love Rud like I do.

A gift of plums

On a great note, my foot is back to good health, save for a clicking ankle, which is a bit noisy in my quiet corridors at work. I managed to take a lunchtime walk but….think I should go easy.

Though I didn’t have any beans this week, I did make some totally veggie fennel soup, with gnocchi nero. You’ll see that soon.

Take care X X X.

Leave a reply »

  • Hauwa
    March 20, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    I love it! Now I will have two versions to memorize. Job well done.


  • January 24, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    Just wanted to say – this photo is stunning. Really beautiful.

    (I appreciate the finer details in life!)


  • January 24, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    hi Kitchen butterfly – thanks for dropping by and saying hello – I love this poem and it led me to find your plum jam recipe which i have just made it and it seems just wonderful – saved some very squishy plums from the compost – it is not yet cold but it seems so lovely I wanted to let you know how great it was – am looking forward to some jam on toast for breakfast in the morning


  • January 19, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    I must confess that I am not that familiar with the original poem (my poetry knowledge is limited to Jabberwocky) so this will always be the version I know best!


  • Krista
    January 18, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    I adore Kipling!!!! His short stories are amazing and “If” is a treasure. 🙂 You did a marvy job, dear Oz! 🙂


  • January 18, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    IF – is my Dad’s favourite poem – used to be mine too until I realized that the one you’ve written up suits me more!


  • January 18, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    More like poEAT laureate! That’s fabulous – I wish we’d been friends when I still ran the End of Month Egg on Toast extravaganza as we were always doing foodie literary parodies & the like 🙂 Now you’ve made me think about composing my own…


  • January 18, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Such beautiful images and sage advice full of generous spirit….you are a poet, my son (er daughter!) I don’t know how many times trials become trying and you want to thrown everything into the bin and go out to dinner and never pick up a camera again… courage and sally forth!


  • January 17, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    Thanks Oyster culture.

    And Celia…would rather a much more fragrant tiara of rosemary!

    Thanks Velva, for EVERYTHING

    mademoiselle délicieuse, I didn’t make the gnocchi nero :-), very well purchased from a shop!!!!!!!!

    Joan… literary foodie then…

    HH, thanks 🙂 for considering me clever. However, I konw pple who would think otherwise! You’re such a darling!

    Sippitysup, proud to entertain!

    Sugarplum, thanks. Don’t know if the PW recipe is the same, since I only drooled and never bothered to look at the ingredients list….


  • January 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    Omigod-u are overflowing with elciouness here-what lovely pics too.great blog.
    is the pioneer woman rugelach recipe the same.


  • January 17, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    This is clever and very entertaining. Thanks GREG


  • January 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Congrats on your awards daaaaaahling, I wanted to give u one too, but I saw Maison cupcake already did :). Love your reworking of the poem, you are a clever creature.
    Hope you are having a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH


  • January 17, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    Bravo! Why not a literary foodie?!


  • January 16, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    Ooohhh, gnocchi nero! Now that I am definitely looking forward to reading about as well as your award ‘answers’ =D


  • January 16, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Your food blog awards are much deserved. I enjoyed reading your post today.
    Glad to know except for a clicking ankle, your foot is healthy once again.


  • January 16, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    “Poet Laureate” seems appropriate – you deserve a crown of laurel (bay leaves) for that effort.. 🙂


  • January 16, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Congrats on your well deserved awards, and what a fun read, thanks so much for sharing!


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