Blog 3 – Yasai Ramen (Maya Aravapalli)

Yasai Ramen 

In the middle of winter,

Waves going back an forth,

The sun sets,

Sky painted orangish-red.

We sit at our table,

Only one thing on my mind: Yasai Ramen.

Yolk as bright as the shining sun 

Broth as warm as a hot spring 

Absolutely sublime

And tears fall from my eyes

For this precious time

 

1.   What piece did you choose to imitate?

I chose to imitate the poem, “A Noodle Poem,” by Cheng Ji (Third century AD)

2. Why did you choose this piece?

While I was reading the poems, this one stuck out to me because of its vivid imagery that allowed me to picture the poets words. Its allusion to nature in the first stanza, and description of food in the second stance provided a sense of connection between nature and the food. I really liked this concept because all food essentially comes from nature and the world around us, and when the speaker of the poem is in the setting described, they immediately remember Bing. Throughout this class, there is an underlying theme of how food is an experience. I chose this poem because I believe it captures that theme in a beautiful and descriptive manner.  I wanted to connect a special moment in my life to the food I was eating.

3. What did you learn about the culture of the original author through imitating his or her style?

I learned that some food is seasonal, and the way the poet divided the poem in half emphasizes this point. The first part describing the season and the second describing the food. It also seems that the ingredients are from different places and it takes a lot of effort to make the food; therefore, it adds a sense of speciality. It shows certain aspects of the culture,  such as holidays where special food is served. Through imitating the poet, I learned a different way to structure a poem and I learned more about the Chinese culture and their tradition of following the lunar calendar and cooking certain foods for certain holidays.

4. What did you learn about your own culture while writing?

While Ramen noodles aren’t a part of my culture, the tradition of going to Naples, Florida over winter break has been in my family for years. Every evening we go to the beach and sometimes we eat at the restaurant by the beach. I always order Yasai Ramen. The last time I visited was the winter break after my first semester at Emory, and when we were at the beach eating dinner I was so happy to be back with my family that I cried. Being on the beach and watching the sunset is an uplifting feeling, but eating the noodles is an experience that brought my family together. The connection of nature and food caught my attention in this poem and I realized that it is a family tradition to go to the beach and eat food there. Also eating these noodles remind me of the times I spent in college with my friends. These memories are those I will cherish forever. More than what I learned about my culture, I learned more about traditions and cherished memories.

 

5. Is there cultural DNA embedded in the piece you read and in your piece? How does this DNA manifest in the texts?

The tone of this poem is happy, and festive. I feel that it also emphasized oneness with nature and how food is connected with natures patterns sometimes. For example, “the second month of autumn” reminds him of Bing. Therefore, in my piece I wanted to add my experience of eating noodles in December of last year that was a special moment for me. I think a major part of both Chinese and Indian cultures is sharing meals with the family; therefore, I incorporated this into the my piece as well. In the end, where the poet says “your heart will pound” it shows some physical reaction to the food. So I talked about how I teared up being in the restaurant with my family, and eating a meal that warmed my heart.I think every culture has some form self actualization, and I believe being the presence of nature is an uplifting moment that allows one to feel something bigger than oneself. Therefore, the poets connection between nature and food could also imply the art of cooking and viewing food as a way to achieve this uplifting feeling described by many philosophers. This idea is embedded in the piece I wrote and pieces that I have read this week.

 

Celebration Noodle_Jeeyoung Kim

 

Celebration Noodle

Jeeyoung Kim

When my mom made celebration noodle,

She would fry Kimchi in oil.

She would boil broth with anchovy and seaweed.

With an appetizing sound she would chop pumpkins and onions.

She brought thin white dried noodle from the shelf.

Then she would spread it in the water

In thin white threads

Beautiful like Hansam.

In a bowl of noodle,

We would see a rainbow on a white snow

After finishing the noodle

An affection from your mom will be in your heart, the body will soon warmth.

1. What piece did you choose to imitate?
I chose to imitate Noodles in Broth by Hong Junju.

2. Why did you choose this piece?
I chose a beautiful poem Noodles in Broth by Hong Junju because I was fascinated by the atmosphere of this poem. I especially loved the last line, “A smile would come to the lips, the body would relax.” This line embodies the affection and care that was carried in the food. As an international student who leaves apart from hometown and family, I this poem reminded me of happy memories I spent with my families sharing food. Also, it was interesting to read the specific instruction how to make noodles in broth, so by imitating this poem, I also wanted to both share my mom’s love in my favorite Korean noodle, which is called Jan-chi noodle also known as celebration noodle, and her recipe of making the noodle.

3. What did you learn about the culture of the original author through imitating his or her style?
While I was reading the poem, I did not notice that the author is introducing a noodle that is simple to make. However, the noodle conveys the significant meaning of love. This contrast between simplicity and complication emphasized in this poem was interesting. The meaning of the food and emotions delivered via food is even highlighted and stressed with this contrast. Therefore, I also wanted to write about the noodle with a simple recipe to emphasize the love of my mom.

4. What did you learn about your own culture while writing?
Similar to the culture of the poet or the speaker of this poem, my culture also emphasizes collectivism and sharing. Especially in our family, the gathering is a significant part of our culture. I have three siblings, and they are all currently studying abroad in the United States, so we can only gather as a whole family during winter break and summer break. Therefore, though there is a lot of Korean food in the United States, our longing for the taste of mom’s food always exist in our heart. During breaks, we always try to eat breakfast together, and my mom will always cook for us.

5. Is There cultural DNA embedded in the piece you read and in your piece? How does this DNA manifest in the texts?
The general tone of this poem is nostalgic. While I was imitating the poem, I felt his love of food and the emotions carried through the bowl of noodle. The speaker in this poem thinks the food is more than a tool to survive but is a memory and culture. Also, the speaker had two bowls of noodles in a row, which can be interpreted as a great compliment to the chef Cui, who made the noodle for the speaker. In China, asking for more meal and wanting to serve more for the guest is a symbol for caring and love, so having two bowls reflects the affection of the chef and the speaker to each other.

An UnPHOgettable Poem by Jennifer Lu

“An UnPHOgettable Poem”

We are in the break of dawn

The bird’s songs have filled the air,

I wake up groggy

The mornings are bright.

In this situation,

I can only think of one word: pho!

 

Fragrant as fresh banana leaves from the forest,

White as the meat of a coconut,

Their aroma will salivate your mouth before the noodles touch your lips

And your eyes will shoot open at the mere sight of them.

 

 

  1. What piece did you choose to imitate?
    1. I choose to imitate “A Noodle Poem” by Cheng Ji.
  2. Why did you choose this piece?
    1. I chose this dish because it really reflected more of the situation and sensory details of the dish rather than the individual ingredients or preparation. It opens up the conversation about food being eaten based on a time of year. This poem opens with the image of the time of year being the “second month of autumn.” In this case, my imitated poem discusses the morning environment and eating pho, a traditional breakfast food in Vietnam. This was important as both dishes are eaten around specific times. Also, the original literary work focuses on the appearance of the bing dish by comparing it to fine jade powder from Huashang and white silver paste Liangfu. In the author’s poem, the places like Huashang and Liangfu are mentioned in the assumption that readers would understand their location. I compared pho to fragrant banana leaves and white as coconut meat in order to compare the smell and appearance to someone who would understand the comparison.
  3. What did you learn about the culture of the original author through imitating his or her style?
    1. In their original poem, the author compares the dish to “Fine as jade power from Huashan, White as silver paste from Liangfu.” This comparison leads me to believe that these products were considered high-quality goods from foreign areas. Comparing the dish to these expensive goods emphasizes the rich quality the author is trying to convey of the dish.
  4. What did you learn about your own culture while writing?
    1. In my own poem, I replaced the author’s example of jade power and silver paste with banana leaves and coconut meat. I replaced these examples because while writing I realized the author chose those places and examples since their readers would know these places back in the third century. I realized that in Vietnamese cuisine we used a lot of banana leaves and coconuts in our diet. I thought comparing it to those things would relate it to an audience who understands Vietnamese cuisine.

Dan Dan Noodles with Pork

By Michelle Boamah

Green are the leaf blade clusters that form bok choy,

they are separated and blanched in noodle water.

Dried white noodles can be found in any farmer’s market,

they are combined with chili sauce, leafy greens, and pork.

They are put in a bowl ready to be eaten,

people enjoy hurriedly with the looming thought of it being gone.

Different textures can be seen from the chopsticks,

from the noodles to the Sui Mi Ya Cai.

Simmering on my taste buds it is spicier than most dishes,

I encourage others, offering them like pearls of wisdom.

I wish to go walking off in the streets,

skipping off to taste this dish from every street vendor.

The trip is long, and I worry about getting tired or running out of money,

but the need to experience this dish is far too great.

Finding the dish among a sea of people was a minor thing,

standing in line makes clear my intentions.

Right across from me,

they place the noodles in a big pot.

Later in the day when another customer is ready for a treat after a long day,

this flavor too will be needed for the occasion.

 

  1. I chose to imitate Cold Noodle Soup with Sophora Leaves by Du Fu.
  2. I choose this piece because I enjoyed how it described the process and ingredients used to make this dish. I also enjoyed how the culture surrounding Cold Noodle Soup shone through the poem and I wanted to do the same with another type of noodle dish.
  3. I learned about the importance of food to the author’s culture. From the detailed description of the meal and its ingredients to the mention of the emperor also consuming said meal. This shows that the meal is an important aspect of this society because even the highest-ranking person in this society enjoys and looks forward to this meal.
  4. The way food is portrayed in this poem by Du Fu is similar to the way my family views food. We also view food as an important aspect in our lives. Food allows us to bring the whole family around for an enjoyable experience. We love to share food with our neighbors and friends because it is an expression of the love we have for one another. My mother, during holidays like Christmas and Easter, will cook meals for our family friends as their gift, instead of giving them traditional store-bought gifts, because she believes that food is able to express the love she has for them more than any gift could. Food is a way that we say I love you without using our words.
  5. There is cultural DNA embedded in his piece by Du Fu shown through his eagerness to share the noodle dish with everyone. In the eleventh line he says, “I urge others, offering them like pearls.” This showcases how noodles have become food for all. There is no hierarchy as to who can enjoy this dish. It is meant to be experienced by all. This is also shown in the last two lines when he says, “Late in the day when the ruler is enjoying the cool, this flavor too is needed for the occasion.” Reaffirming the view that noodles can be enjoyed by all and also showing that it is something that can bring people together by giving them something they can all connect with and enjoy. This poem also showcases Du Fu’s title as a civil servant and his pride and love for his country by his eagerness to introduce others to the dish so dear to his heart.

Blog 3 – German Chocolate Cake – Jenna Grace Cooper

German Chocolate Cake

by Jenna Grace Cooper

 

When my mother made German chocolate cake,

She would beat the eggs.

She would prepare the garnish on the granite counter,

With a wooden rolling pin, I crushed the pecans.

She whipped the batter until small lumps formed.

Then we would combine the wet and dry

In a large glass bowl, poured

Brown like chocolate ribbons.

Baked in two nine-inch pans,

We would eat with two forks at once.

After warm coconut flake on our tongues,

 

A glaze would form in her eye, a memory would return.

 

1. What piece did you choose to imitate? I chose to imitate the poem, “Noodles in Broth,” by Hong Junju.

2. Why did you choose this piece? I chose to imitate this piece, because I was compelled by imagery provided in the narrative poem. I enjoy cooking, and I often did it with my family. So, this poem relates heavily to watching my parents, mother especially, bake goods around the holidays. I would always try to help, and my mother always let me crush the pecans with a rolling pin. So I wanted to encapsulate a moment in which I could transport my reader to the same feeling of nostalgia.

3. What did you learn about the culture of the original author through imitating his or her style? I learned the simplicity of the poem and the act of cooking. This poem has a strong sense of nostalgia and associations with family. The emotions related to cooking are present in the strong imagery the poem has with the sights and smells of the noodles in broth dish. The Chinese culture, the family is one of the most important aspects of life. That feeling is present throughout the poem and magnified in the final four lines which describe gulping soup together at once in one bowl and the emotional result of that cultural act.

4. What did you learn about your own culture while writing? While German chocolate cake is not German, my mother’s mother and grandmother always made her a German chocolate cake on her birthday. When reflecting on my relationship with food, I noticed I always have an affinity towards sweets and baked goods. I enjoy eating them warm and with my family on a shared plate, similar to the Chinese. We would “dig in” as soon as it came out of the oven. I learned that like the Chinese, family and traditions are some of the most important aspects of my life. My mother continues to make me homemade German chocolate cake, and she often gets emotional since the death of her grandmother.

5. Is there cultural DNA embedded in the piece you read and in your piece? How does this DNA manifest in the texts? The culture of the poems is reflected in the narrative. Both capture a short moment in time, filled with family, joy and warmth. I think that the DNA manifests particularly with the repetition of pronouns such as he for chef Cui. It makes it more familiar and provides a sense of casual encounters. For my poem, I tried to embody the same repetition patterns with the use of she when referring to my mother. I then inserted a pronoun for myself to insert myself into the narrative and create a more personal attachment to the story which is true to the tradition. The DNA is embedded in the imagery with each personal touch of the chef or baker to the final product and the result, without that description it would distant to the reader.