Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Limerick Day: Pickles, Popcorn and more...

I wouldn't dream of serving a literary meal on Limerick Day. I will however, try to brighten the day by bringing some kickshaws to your daily table. I figure why not? There's no need to rehash the biography of Edward Lear. Albeit, that particular website is short, concise, and darned with Lear prospective. For instance, did you know Edward Lear was not only a writer of "nonsense verse" he was also a professional painter and according to Audubon House one of the greatest ornithological artists of his time. He was even commissioned as drawing master to Queen Victoria. Today, May 12, [1812] is the day of his birth and that means it's Limerick Day. Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of Edward Lear!

"What is a Limerick," you ask? I know they're meant to be funny. I also know they are often the very first poems learned and memorized by young children. Hickory Dickory Dock, anyone?

The limerick, whose name comes from the town in Ireland, is a five-line joke of a poem...Edward Lear is the best known of limerick writers, and some say he invented the form, but there are many anonymous limericks that date back further than Lear’s time (the 19th century).(source)

Below is an example in celebration of International Pickle Week. Don't tell me you didn't know pickle week is lurking in the month of May. Let me explain. First celebrated in 1948, International Pickle Week usually spans two full weekends and includes Memorial Day weekend. Yes, I know there are seven days in a week, It seems International Pickle Week has 10 days. Sponsored by Pickle Packers International, who promote the idea that pickles are the world's funniest vegetable, some say International Pickle Week marks the discovery of the pickle in India over 4,000 years ago. Here's a link just in case you need some clipart for Pickle Week. I won't be posting for Pickle Week. I'm heading to Idaho on May 18th to attend my grand-daughter's dance recital and my grandson's graduation from nursery school. But, more about that another day. Here's a limerick for Pickle Week and one from Yours Truly:) (Keep in mind, I'm no Lear:)

There was a young fellow named Perkins

Who had a great fondness for Gherkins

He went to a tea

And ate twenty-three

Which pickled his internal workins

~Edward Lear~
A diet of five (For Louise)

Keeps her alive (as she pleas)

Dressed light and zany (do not divulge)
Mustn't eat many (You know ol' midrift bulge)

Laughter the dessert should contrive (A pop, no a crack, Whew! just a sneeze)

Nonsense Cookery

"...they dined on mince and slices of quince which they ate with a runcibile spoon"

The following recipe for Crumbobblious Cutlets is from The Complete Nonsense Book by Edward Lear, edited by Lady Stachey, copyright 1912. There's a chapter in the book titled Nonsense Cookery. It begins on page 193 in the online edition, which is copyright free.

Extract from "The Nonsense Gazette," for August, 1870.

OUR readers will be interested in the following communication from our valued and learned contributor, Prof. Bosh, whose labours in the fields of culinary and botanical science are so well known to all the world. The first three articles richly merit to be added to the domestic cookery of every family: those which follow claim the attention of all botanists; and we are happy to be able, through Prof. Bosh's kindness, to present our readers with illustrations of his discoveries. All the new flowers are found in the Valley of Verrikwier, near the Lake of Oddgrow, and on the summit of the Hill Orfeltugg."

My first thought was to include a recipe titled To Make Gosky Patties but when I got to the part of beating the pig, thought not. However, if you follow that link, you will not only find the recipe To Make Gosky Patties, you will also encounter a few other "experimental subjects" ambushed by Katerina la Vermintz. The recipe To Make An Amblongue Pie wasn't quite as violent. I'm just not accustomed to "4 & 20" pies and pigeons, I suppose. I really wanted to include something, anything! This recipe is actually amusing. With a dollop of creativity perhaps, possible. Leave out the hair-brush. Oh wait, that was the pattie recipe. It just beats the heck out of me what Crumbobblious Sauce might be. Maybe you can figure it out.

To Make Crumbobblious Cutlets
Procure some strips of beef, and, having cut them into the smallest possible slices, proceed to cut them up still smller, eight, or more perhaps nine times.

When the whole is thus minced, brush it up hastily with a new clothes brush, and stir round rapidly and capriciously with a salt-spoon or a soup ladle.

Place the whole in a saucepan, and remove it to a sunny place, say the roof of the house, if free from sparrows or other birds, and leave it there for about a week.

At the end of that time add a little lavender, some oil of almonds, and a few herring-bones; and then cover the whole with gallons of clarified Crumbobblious sauce. When it will be ready to use, cut it into the shape of ordinary cutlets and serve up in a clean table-cloth or dinner napkin.


One of the greatest rewards when skimming by wire is, you can do it all by yourself. No one will ever be the wiser. Whip yourself up some finger foods and take a gander at the story of the Four Little Children Who Went Around the World. Come on, don't tell me you haven't wanted to spurtle things up with a Spork a Runcible Spoon and a theevil. On second thought, best leave the actual operation of the runcible spoon to the The Owl and The Pussy-Cat. However, knowledge of Portable Utensils is a must. You just never know when you might be invited to a banquet.

O! My aged Uncle Arly!

Sitting on a heap of Barley

Thro' the silent hours of night,--

Close beside a leafy thicket:--

On his nose there was a Cricket,--

In his hat a Railway-Ticket;--

(But his shoes were far too tight.)
Uncle Arly
~Edward Lear~

In his book on Edward Lear, available @ google books, Peter Levi states, Lear was a good bug hunter, he had been interested in the subject since childhood." Edward Lear also enjoyed a good game of cricket. What a perfect opportunity to share some Cricket Cookery. No, not the bugs sillies, although I do have a cookbook titled Cooking with Insects, I'll save that for another day. This children's book of twenty-eight whimsical recipes for easy-to-make dishes is presented in verse form and gleefully tuned to popular songs. For instance, Grand Slam Chicken on page 30 is cooked to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Cricket Cookery was published by Pauline Watson and the editors of Cricket Magazine. Published by Random House in 1977, the charming illustrations were done by Marylin Hafner.  

Decisions, decisions, decisions, everything looks and sounds so "Lear." What's a girl to serve for Limerick Day? Grand Slam Chicken, Dumpty Devilled Eggs (prepared to the tune of This Old Man, Oh Banana Bread (Mixed to the tune of Oh, Susanna or Oh, My Darling Sugar Cookies (mixed to the tune of Clementine.) I decided on Rainy Day Popcorn just because...(click to enlarge)

1. A Taste of Nonsense
2. Edward Lear by Peter Levi @ google books
3. Never Mind the Pussy Cat the Ornithological Art of Edward Lear (exhibit)
4. Irish Food Page Limerick Ham
5. More Fun with Dr. Seuss


  1. There once was a young man named Lear
    Of whom ambloguses had quite a fear
    There was reason behind it
    They'd lined many pies bit
    By Lear who had thought them quite dear!

  2. Informative post... limericks...I learned about it in school when I was young but I already forgot...

    Hehehe...love that nonsense cookery!

  3. Cricket's Cookery looks like a very cute book. I have lots of kids cookbooks but not that one. I'll have to keep a lookout for it.

  4. I missed limerick day? ARG!! I must create some limericks about pie...and jalepenos.

    Tell your children Queen Bitty dissaproves of their gift choices...

  5. Hi Karen,
    Such talent. I'm sure Mr. Lear would approve.

    Thanks for stopping Sidney. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Isn't it amazing how everything leads us back to food?

    Oh Rochelle, it is a delightful book filled with charming images and such fun too!!! I'll keep my eyes peeled for another one:)

    Jalepeno Pie, now there's a limerick waiting to be baked, duckie:) I will be sure and pass along Queen Bitty's sentiments...


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise