Recipe no. 1 – Sweet and sour rememboree

(A poem with instructions on how to cook memories)

(Listen to the poem here)



Start with the and.
Select a photograph of someone you have
lost or crossed,
shared days then parted ways with
and watch it softly
(think of a gaze on tip-toes),
five minutes for each side,
first at the picture, then
at the picture gone,
turning slowly, clockwise,
like time itself
until you have
a good emulsion in your mind.

Put in a bowl,
add rainbow root,
stir with
a fork in the road
and set aside.

Now for the sweet.
Chop up some thyme,
add mint to it
and store in a dish,
you’ll use it near the end.
Pick two or three of your best
good-sized memories;
snip off associations
which may have sprouted with the years
and dust with your favourite colour.
Pour on a  glass of
(K301 is good ),
note by note,
until the music is all
taken up.
You’ll know it’s ready
when you find you’re smiling.
Put in a pan with rum and essences of Eden
and cook as gently as you can.
Don’t stir, you mustn’t change
the shapes.

While this is going you can
make the sour.
Over a big bowl shake
out a dictionary, concise
will do
until you get the hang of it,
and pick out
all the words
you never should have said
if there are any turgid ones
prick with your conscience –
they will deflate a little.
Roll them together with a rolling pin
until you get a paragraph,
shape into a loaf
which you will cut
with your sharpest knife
into accusing finger shapes.
Use biting winter wind
for seasoning.
Add some tart wine or
something equally ungrapeful
and then fry furiously –
two minutes or
until you hear them snap
Drain well. Place in a serving dish
Pour the emulsion on.
Add all the herbs to
the sweet memories and
arrange them around
the side of the dish.
The freshly minted thyme
will make them taste brand new.
Serve straight away.
Unlike revenge it’s best
when piping hot.
Then at the table-
on top of everything
toss handfuls
of (almost too much)

                                                                    Phillip Hill 2007

Mozart K 301


(This poem is included in my book The Observation Car which is available from

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