I decided we would keep with the theme of love until Valentine’s Day. I also decided that I am going to talk in the royal “we.” I hope that doesn’t make some of you cringe. And there is nothing that says, “I love you,” like a good poem and some homemade jam. That’s right, jam. Jam makes everything taste better: boxed pancakes, stale bread, frost bitten vanilla ice cream. Hell, I’ve been known to stuff a cupcake or two with jam.
I’m not much for poetry, but when I am in the mood, I stick to the poets I know like Sylvia Plath or our man of the hour E.E. Cummings. Cumming’s poems can act like a vessel for the reader to create his or her own version of a poem by rearranging certain lines. In the case of his poem I Carry Your Heart With Me, the reader has a few options.
Option A- Read the poem as is.
Option B– Read the lines in each stanza throughout the poem that are not in parenthesis first, then read the lines that are in parenthesis.
Option C– Read the lines in each stanza throughout the poem that are in parenthesis first, then read the lines that are not in parenthesis.
Option D- In each stanza, read the lines that are not in parenthesis first, followed by the one’s that are. Repeat this for each stanza.
Option E- In each stanza, read the lines that are in parenthesis first, followed by the one’s that are not. Repeat this for each stanza.
Confused yet? If yes, then stick with option A. If no, then give it a whirl.
I Carry Your Heart With Me
by E.E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
Because Cumming’s did not use capitalization and very little punctuation, the lines between the start and finish of each line, stanza, and the poem, are blurred. Consequently, the reader is given the freedom to make the poem his or her own.
For this poem, I made pocket sized heart cakes known as petit fours. More specifically, vanilla almond petit fours with a blackberry jam. It’s not as pretentious in person as it reads over the computer.
Ingredients (For the Jam)
2 Cups blackberries
2 Cups white sugar
4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
4 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Large orange peels
2 Large lemon peels
1 Cinnamon stick
5 Tablespoons cornstarch
Ingredients (For Petit Fours)
1 Cup butter, room temperature
2 Cups white sugar
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
4 Egg Whites
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup almonds ground into a flour like consistency
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup buttermilk
Ingredients (For Royal Frosting)
1/2 Cup water
8 Cups confectioners sugar
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring, optional
- To make the jam, muddle the blackberries in a saucepan using a wooden spoon, then turn the heat onto medium. Add the sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon peel, orange peel, salt, and cinnamon stick. Allow the juices to come out and come to a hard boil. A hard boil is when the mixture continues to boil when you stir it. Then, turn the temperature to low and add the cornstarch. the consistency will thicken up. Allow the jam to come to a soft boil. Then, set aside to cool.
- For the petit fours, preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Ground 2 cups of almonds in a food processor until it takes on a flour-like consistency. Then, sift together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. In an electric mixer, mix the butter and white sugar together until it is fluffy. Then add in your eggs and egg whites one at a time. Once they are all incorporated, add in the vanilla extract. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients. Once it is mixed well, pour mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and put into the oven to 10-15 minutes or until it is fork-clean. When the cakes are done, allow them to reach room temperature. Then, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the cakes into little hearts. If you do not have a cookie cutter, you can cut them into even squares using a knife.
- For the royal frosting, place a glass mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water to create a double boiler. Combine the water, confectioners sugar, light corn syrup, and vanilla extract and mix until it is lump free and heated through, but not boiling hot. Then add in any desired food coloring.
- To Assemble, spread some of the blackberry jam onto one of the heart-shaped cakes. Place another cake on top of it and coat it with another layer of jam. Place a final cake on top until you have a three layer mini-cake. Using a spoon, coat the top of the petit fours and let gravity to it’s thing as you guide the frosting down the sides of the cake. The royal frosting tends to harden quickly so stay need a microwave and heat up the frosting in 30 second intervals. Repeat these steps for the rest of the cakes and garnish as wished.
You will have extra jam so I suggest putting it in jars and placing in the refridgerator. It will go quickly!