Pears

PearsI was tweeting with my friends, USA Pears…handle? @USApears. Follow them!  I told them I wrote and illustrated a pear poem and they asked me to share it with them. It is from my second book: MORE Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies.  (This book has yet to be published…in fact, I am still seeking a publisher…any publishers out there interested in taking a peek?)  First, check out the original Poems & Odes book…Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies.

Without further ado…

Pears 

Five pairs of pears sat in a bowl

‘til there were eight left of the whole

 

Four pairs of pears sat in a bowl

‘til there were six left of the whole

 

Three pairs of pears sat in a bowl

‘til there were four left of the whole

 

Two pairs of pears sat in a bowl

‘til there were two left of the whole

 

One pair of pears sat in a bowl

‘til there were none left of the whole

 

A pair of friends, for five days straight

Each ate a pear, and they were great

 

 

As Seen on the West Orange, NJ Public Schools Website

NJ Illustrator/Author Judith McLaughlin Returns to Pleasantdale SchoolPleasantdale School Visit

Back by popular request of students and faculty, NJ illustrator/author Judith McLaughlin spent April 24th at Pleasantdale School helping students to celebrate the school’s third annual “Poem in Your Pocket Day.”  Each student sported a poem in his or her pocket while attending one of McLaughlin’s three assemblies. Students surprised McLaughlin by reciting her “Peppers” tongue twister poem that they had been practicing for the occasion. McLaughlin, in turn, delighted the students by reciting a new tongue twister from her upcoming sequel to “Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies.” Asked how she felt about returning to Pleasantdale School for another “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” McLaughlin replied that although her April “Poetry Month” calendar always is booked with school visits, she loves coming to Pleasantdale School for ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day’ because across the grades, the students are so enthusiastic about helping brainstorm, compose, and share a group poem.

After presenting her poems, it was McLaughlin’s turn to be the audience for student-poets. McLaughlin was especially moved by the reasons given by more than fifty students, grades kindergarten through grade five, for wanting to sacrifice their recess to share a poem with her. “It is a humbling privilege to have youngsters say that my visit last year inspired them, and that they have written their first poems for me.” One of the teachers gave McLaughlin high marks for instilling some usually shy students with the confidence to risk reciting poems in public as long as McLaughlin was in the audience. “It doesn’t get any better than helping students stretch their potential.” “I’ve never done anything like this before,” one fifth grader confided before reciting her poem. “I love this poem and I think she will enjoy this poem, too.”

Giving each student-poet her full attention and insightful feedback, McLaughlin, who has heard many students’ poems during author visits throughout the years around the state, commented that there were many firsts among the poems the Pleasantdale students shared. Notable among them was an entertaining “two-voice” poem performed by a fourth grader and her proud mother, a moving poem recited in Bengali by a talented fifth grader, a joyful poem played on piano by an outgoing first grader, and an original thoughtful poem, composed and recited by two sensitive second graders.  “Make no mistake,” one teacher commented following the recess poem sessions, “Ms. McLaughlin’s impact on our students’ relationship with poetry has been huge since her visit last year. Once again, Ms. McLaughlin filled our poetry buckets, and the children, in turn, have reciprocated—they have filled hers.”

Noting that April 24th was National Poem in Your Pocket Day, Principal Dr. Joanne Pollara observed, “In addition to the wonderful literacy experience our Pleasantdale School students enjoyed in our building, their experience was magnified knowing that they were partaking in something larger than themselves. They were experiencing something in common with students throughout the country. There is something very powerful in that connection. We are very grateful to everyone—parents, students, and faculty and staff who supported our Fall bookfair. It is the proceeds from that event that enables us to support literacy enrichment programs such as the Poem in Your Pocket Day author visit. Thank you! And thank you to all the teachers who worked so hard with their students composing original poems—acrostic, shape, haiku, diamante, to name just a few—that beautifully adorn the halls of our school. Thank you!

 

April Fool’s Day and the ARTICHOKE

 

Artichoke PictureIt’s April Fool’s Day!  If you don’t eat artichokes, then as the poem says, the Arti Joke’s on you!

My favorite way to eat them is my Nonny’s stuffed artichoke recipe.

Stuffed & Steamed Artichokes

1. Prepare the artichoke…cut the stem off the bottom of the artichoke to make a flat surface. Trim off the top of the artichoke too.2. Prepare stuffing…. mix 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (add more or less of any of these ingredients to your taste. Trust me, you can’t go wrong.)

3. Stuff the inner leaves of four artichokes with the bread crumb mixture.

4. Place artis in pot with 1/2 inch of boiling water. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Check doneness by pulling a leaf out of the center. If it pulls out easily, artis are done. If not, simmer longer until done.

5. To eat, pull off one leaf at a time. With stuffing side in, run your teeth along leaf and eat. Discard leaves.
ENJOY!!

Do you have a favorite artichoke recipe? Share it now.

ENJOY!

Artichokes

by Judith Natelli McLaughlin

Artie chokes on chocolate chowder

Artichokes on rice

Artie chokes on pumpkin pie

Laced with pepper spice

Artichokes on fettuccine

Barley, beans and peas

Lasagna, parmesan

And on pecorino cheese

Artie chokes on chile

Made with ice cream and beef chuck

Artichokes on Caesar salad,

Sushi, roasted duck

Artie chokes or artichokes

Confusing, it is true

But if you do not try this food?

The arti JOKES on you!

 

Pink Grapefruit

I love twitter!  Follow me! @judynmclaughlin

I have made so many great connections via tweeting.  Including @Sunkist — they are the folks at Sunkist Growers. One of @Sunkist’s tweets today?  How do you eat your grapefruit – au naturel or sprinkled with sugar? I tweeted back.  I’m au natural. My kids like to sprinkle sugar on top. Fav fruit in our house.

This exchange made me think of my Pink Grapefruit poem and watercolor picture from the “yet to be published” MORE Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies.  Check it out!  And @Sunkist, hope you take a peek too!

ENJOY!  And remember, healthy eating starts with a poem!

Pink Grapefruit

Pink shirt

Pink socks

Pink bow

Atop my locks

Pink pants

Pink boots

Best of all

Pink fruits

The only one of which I know?

The pink grapefruit pictured below.

GRAPEFRUIT

Asparagus

asparagusI was just checking up on twitter when I found a great recipe for an Asparagus Frittata! Thanks @DonnaFaz. It looks simple to make and delicious to eat. Can’t wait to make it. Check it out at Donna’s Blog: In All Directions.

And of all things, the word, frittata, a delightful word to say, makes an appearance in my Asparagus Poem, from Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies.

If you were ever wondering if there REALLY was such a thing as an Asparagus Frittata, now you know! Enjoy the poem, try the frittata, and remember, healthy eating starts with a poem!

Asparagus by, Judith Natelli McLaughlin

Asparagus spears

Make asparagus pie,

Or asparagus quiche,

Or asparagus soup, or

Risotto. I don’t know

A thing you can’t do

With asparagus spears

Even put them in stew

     Pan roasted asparagus perfect to please

     Frittata?  De nada ­­– just add eggs and cheese.

Asparagus spears

Make asparagus salad,

Asparagus flan,

Or asparagus fry.

Packaged like pencils

In red, green or white

Put asparagus spears

On your menu tonight.

Pineapple Poem

Dole PineappleI have been tweeting with my friends @DoleFoods. I shared with them videos of me reciting my Banana and Watermelon poems. Both are from Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies – Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. To my delight, @DoleFoods tweeted back asking, “any odes for pineapples? :)”

Indeed I do have a Pineapple poem. It is from MORE Poems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies – which has yet to be published. This picture is of a Dole pineapple found on the Dole Foods website. Without further ado, my Pineapple poem:

Pineapple by Judith Natelli McLaughlin

Its skin’s the scratchy, prickly kind

And palm-like leaves on top you’ll find

But right inside this hidden treasure

Lives a taste too great to measure

Past the moon and furthest star

A treat…the sweetest one by far

This yellow, juicy fruit’s no fake

It’s used in upside-down baked cake

And yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese

Or by itself, it’s sure to please

Now can you name this tropic fruit?

The one that wears the prickly suit?

Did I hear you?  Did you say?

Pineapple?  Hooray!  Hooray!

First Harvest

harvest 1I haven’t posted any garden updates in quite a while. So long, in fact, that today I picked my first harvest! Two grape tomatoes, one beafsteak tomato and a huge bunch of basil. I popped the two grape tomatoes in my mouth immediately. Couldn’t resist and they were delicious! (In fact, I popped the first one before I snapped this pic, that’s how impatient I was). Finally, I remembered to photograph the harvest.

Tonight’s dinner? Filet Mignon, Tortellini with Homemade Pesto and a Tomato, Cucumber, Basil Salad.

Homemade Pesto

For my pesto I put the entire bunch of basil in a blender with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 5 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup almonds. Then I blended until smooth. I needed to add a bit more olive oil to get to the consistency I like. The beauty of pesto is you can do it as you please…more garlic, less garlic, pine nuts, or walnuts or no nuts. Whatever you choose. This exact recipe was just delicious. Tweak it as you wish and let me know how you do it!

And remember, like I say in P0ems on Fruits & Odes to Veggies, healthy eating starts with a poem!