The Poet’s Occasional Alternative
by Grace Paley
I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have had some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper
the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor
everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it many friends
will say why in the world did you
make only one
this does not happen with poems
because of unreportable
sadnesses I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership I do not
want to wait a week a year a
generation for the right
consumer to come along
1 cup butter
1.5 cups white sugar
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 cups toasted almonds (slivers or flakes)
8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate (bar, chips, etc.)
1 qt. pot
2 qt. pot
double boiler pot
13×9 inch pan
- Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with some butter on bottom and sides. Put 1 cup of almonds in a bowl handy by the stove. Keep the pan close by.
- Put parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
- Put water in the larger pot and set the double boiler on top. Put chocolate in. Break up if it’s baking bar chocolate. Turn heat on medium. The water will heat up and the chocolate will melt.
- Put butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup into the smaller pot. Turn stove on to medium. Affix the thermometer inside the pot so it makes contact with the melted ingredients but doesn’t touch the bottom.
- Stir constantly while mixture cooks. When it reaches 300F on the candy thermometer, remove from heat, add almonds and stir quickly, then pour the entire mixture into the 13×9 pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan. It cools quickly.
- Let the candy cool in the pan. (You can put it in the fridge to speed it up.)
- Once cool, gently turn the pan over onto the parchment paper and press. The candy should drop onto the paper.
- Using a spatula, spread half of the melted chocolate on the candy, then sprinkle .5 cup of almonds over the top. Allow it to set. (Again, refrigerate to speed it up.)
- Turn the block of candy over carefully and coat that side with remaining chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Let set.
- Try not to eat it all at once.
This can be broken into smaller pieces for gifts.
Husband brought this home for me from work. This is a routine snack in their fridge — “microwave 60 seconds and enjoy.” I was at wits’ end with a crying baby, so he thought I needed this.
P.S. After 25 minutes of hysterical crying (not me, my daughter) I went back and picked her up to rock her. She went instantly limp into a doze in my arms. Husband came home 20 minutes later and she woke. He held her for 20 minutes, talked quietly, she fell asleep, and now she is asleep in her crib. It’s not fair! (But I’m grateful that he is such a good father and that she will fall asleep for someone.)