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Frederick Livingston

Tamarind BBQ Sauce

Maybe wash potatoes first
there’s still tamarind in the pantry
you’ve felt this way before, remember:

- honey
- paprika
- salt, to taste

nothing goes to waste
not a half-used can of tomato paste
     not love
     (most famous among secret ingredients)

- Tickle kettle to song
- summon slumbering oven
- ease seeds from stringy flesh

with scalding water

cayenne dash
layering heat
some roots are worth roasting slowly

     coaxing sweetness
     from bitter earth

Excise unsightly potato eyes

from peel

you’ll feel this way tomorrow still
cooking is looking
for the first time
again and again at

- tongue-dance
- weight
- brightness
- and spice

spoon never stepping in the same sauce


Some mistakes are worth making:
too-sour tamarind
      softens bitter cinnamon

salt stokes pepper embers

harmonize with honey

you cannot pick just one

and call it love

Oh! brussels sprouts
languishing in the crisper
aching for language in the crisp air
on the park bench where your lips

didn’t taste hers

turn down

to simmer

loss arises

from something
worth having

- Halve the sprouts
- lay them out
- something else
to think about, for now
dip in batter

or leave bare

no need
to set a timer
you’ll smell when they’re tender

Aromatic alchemy: change is in the air
your only error

was ever thinking

- feast with your eyes
- eat with your fingers
- lick lingering flavors
like the chickens

that tore your garden apart


- glowing
- growing
- beating


About the Author

Frederick Livingston plants seeds: grounded in regenerative agriculture, experiential education and environmental science. He hopes to grow peace, community and delicious food.

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