Tuesday, August 28, 2018

City Tavern: A Taste of History

City Tavern: A Taste of History

I raise a glass to two hundred years
(or more), gather knives, measuring cups,
bowls, don apron, open "the book"...
did I mention "test" the wine?

Begin my journey of fashioning
Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits
with pecans, (trees we've touched at Monticello)
cinnamon, and ginger rolled -n- baked

served beside pumpkin gratin, fennel puree,
smashed red potatoes surrounding
roast turkey with Madeira gravy.
(A good Madeira's woefully underrated -
I increase one cup to two (wink, wink)

Turnips and parsnips "hide" in potatoes mashed,
(kids and husband will never know)
court chestnut stuffing upon antique china plates

and tummies gathered table side magically find room
for Martha Washington's chocolate mouse cake,
not to mention blueberry cobbler, raspberry tarts,
and pumpkin pie (perhaps a few hours later).

Everyone walks away happy, content, sleepy;
quilted tablecloth weary with a few more battle wounds,
(I forgot to mention cranberry relish)
husband clears while I make sure
wine doesn't go to waste...

and shelf the cookbook "stuffed" as well
with another year's blessings
of laughter, stories, celebration
snuggled within trusted, well-worn pages.

by Margaret Bednar, August 28, 2018

linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge - Let's Eat" and "https://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-tuesday-platform_28.htmlhttps://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-tuesday-platform_28.html".

My husband and I ate at the City Tavern (historic Philadelphia, PA) almost 20 years ago and the meal, prepared by Chef Walter Staib (author of "City Tavern Cookbook") was absolutely amazing.  We loved the setting, the history and Thomas Jefferson's biscuits!  Martha Washington's cake was amazing... It is an experience we have never forgotten and I honor it with cooking many of our family's Thanksgiving meals with the recipes from this book.  When I don't, we always feel like the day fell flat a bit... the food is that good.  It takes a lot of work, but I never regret it.  I have learned to make a few dishes a day or two before (keeping hands off the food is no easy task!)  I remember the first time I prepared a huge meal from this book it took like 12 hours... I think we ate at 8:30 pm and no-one was in the best of moods (especially me)  ha!  (for the record, I was a young and rather inexperienced cook).

I have found a YouTube a clip showcasing a cooking series Chef Staib is in - currently 8 seasons on Amazon Prime.  One can also go to the website HERE and buy videos.

The cookbook can also be purchased on the website above or just google it.

Friday, August 24, 2018

After the Storm

After the Storm

Off the slivered moon comes a faint light,
of the sky, a sprinkling
reflected in street puddles
as I night walk,

tip my toe, scattering poems.
Watch them pulsate to life,
silence dispersed,
gently whispering prose.

Mid-day my son,
helmetless, reckless,
rides island's backroads,
saturated and swelling,

amusement overflowing,
a slam celebration;
poems now spirited
with youthful passion and voice.

by Margaret Bednar, August, 24, 2018

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - On the Edge of a Starry Night" -
we are to take the line: "In the street of the sky night walks scattering poems" (the last line of E.E. Cummings poem "The Hours Rise Up Putting Off Stars And It is".

I broke up the lines into four segments and used my artistic license:

I changed night walk(s) to "night walk"
and (the) is taken out so it now reads "in street puddles"

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Totem Song

Totem Song

Does the eastern breeze ruffle your noble mane
as you crane your neck toward centuries old?

Do you gaze toward Northern Sea,
hear Roman Legions march, seek Hadrian's Wall
as we pause beneath sky's china blue?

Do clouds conjure ancient battles of Munster,
Aduard, and Cologne as you lean against me?

Do our hearts beat as one
as you rest your head upon mine?

Totem-like we stand
as eastern breeze calls your beauty black,
resurrecting a spirit bold.

by Margaret Bednar, August 18, 2018.  

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Challenge - Totems (hosted by Brendan)"

I owned this horse for a while (he is in a fabulous forever home).  His name is Sebastian and he is half Friesian.  He always takes my breath away as there is majesty about him.  He is the first animal that comes to mind when I think of a totem.

This poem is a re-working of two poems I wrote years ago and a few new lines added.  My daughter is with Sebastian in the photo above and below shortly after we got him (he was still a "baby" at four years of age and was growing in his winter coat...)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Man

My Man

Looking back, he really was romantic 
strong arms laden,
uncomplaining, toting (my) beach essentials,
and I, brazen
did follow, admiring view from behind,
a fair maiden
quite taken with her man; today more so -

sweetly wadin’
through sand and surf, his burden heavier,
yet unshaken
for he’s quite blessed with six children and wife.

By Margaret Bednar, August 12, 2018

Linked with “Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Fussy Little Forms - Cavatina”.  10 syllable line followed by a rhyming 4 syllable line repeated at least 3 times, ending with a 10 syllable line. 

We are on our annual family vacation on the Outer Banks of NC - Ocracoke. We DO help haul our “day camp” to the beach - but John seems to still handle the bulk of the stuff - we were pondering the possibility of a charcoal grill... can you believe he said “No”?!  Ha ha. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018


Acrylic painting by Margaret Bednar

Pink painted toes sink into buttercream sand,
white paint flakes from Adirondack
as ocean's sapphire sweeps my skin.

Swear I'm living within a sonnet,
a poem lovely as a first kiss.

by Margaret Bednar, August 9, 2018

This poem will be linked to a challenge in the near future but I have written it early as I will be on vacation ... Hopefully replicating a day such as this!

I wrote this early as stated above... here is the link to the challenge:  "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Micro Poetry - A Poem Lovely As"

The line "a poem lovely as" was our departure point from Joyce Kilmer's "Trees".

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Acrylic Painting by Margaret Bednar

Bees, like amber drops, roll in the petals
their buzz industrious, not threatening,
my childhood phobia placated.
(I avoided flowers, 
tiptoed through dandelion patches
afraid of being stung)

Perhaps it's the Adirondack chair
and the sun, both slanted just so
as to make movement nigh impossible
(like the stone bunny next to me).

Mid-summer I'm supine, moony;
observe crows at forest edge,
breath in fresh-cut grass,
mower’s distant whir a lullaby,

content to cloud watch,
thoughts shape-shifting spiritual mirages..
Perhaps it's part dehydration,
swear I'm floating on angel wings,
weightless, prayer frivolous
as I childishly plea summer never end...

and the bees drone on.

By Margaret Bednar, August 8, 2018

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman - Piggyback Poems".

The first line is from The Roses a poem featured in American Primitive - poems by Mary Oliver 

Friday, August 3, 2018



My youngest still likes hugs and kisses,
not in public, but allowed behind closed doors.
Sometimes he forgets, holds my hand
as we walk sidewalk or street; almost brings me to tears.

Perhaps little boy sweetness lingers a bit longer,
as my girls flirted with independence
far too early.

Yet I've found a way to wrap myself around them -
carefully choose color and pattern,
piece and pin often past midnight,
prayerfully secure layers with flourishes of design ...

an heirloom perhaps, worn-out, treasured,
maybe bring tears to their eyes
knowing they are loved.

by Margaret Bednar, August 3, 2018

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads -Tuesday Platform"