Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

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Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Mac & Cheese and Too Many Cooks...

July 13, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, Summer Poem Swap, ponderings, poetry, macaroni and cheese poem, found poetry, recipe

No worries - I didn't deface this particular book. Just wanted to show you the found poem with a little help from Photoshop!

Happy, Hot July!

While I typically prefer something cool this time of year, I do love me some hot and bubbly Mac and Cheese. Happy to join the ranks celebrating Macaroni and Cheese Day today! (Our Poetry Friday Rounder-Upper, Terrific Tabatha, ran with the idea, originally served up by Diane. See link at end of post.)

This week as I was pondered poetic options while in the grocery store, I noticed, to my amazement, an entire magazine devoted to Mac & Cheese! A special publication, it seems, getting a new issue for this summer because of past popularity.

I also noticed the vast array of pre-packaged macaroni and cheese dinners, taking up a good swath of aisle. Remember when it was just the little box of Kraft with the neon orange powder? (If you’re my age, I’ll bet you do.)

Macaroni and Cheese is just one of those comfort foods. My hubby loves to cook, and as kids have grown up and out, I am more likely to “fix” now and then than actually cook. But when a family in our church recently juggled some medical challenges, I offered to take over a little meal, and – you guessed it – I made some mac & cheese.

In the picture you’ll see the basic recipe I use, straight from our circa 1980s Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. . I’m not good at precisely following directions; the artist in me improvises all the time. I usually embellish with a few spices, cheddar cheese instead of American, and a healthy sprinkling of Parmesan all across the top.

I thought it would be fun to find a poem in the recipe, and most of the time I challenge myself to keep the words in the order they appear – pretty much making a black-out poem as it were, much like the one I recently sent to Joy for the Poem Swap. (I used a page from a wonderful old book she’d given me a while back. She shared it last week here. )

This week, I do not know WHAT got into me… the heat, maybe?

An innocent, familiar recipe took a surprisingly sinister turn…. Enjoy?! ;0)

Too Many Cooks: Lot’s Wife Misbehaves in the Kitchen

1 medium

all at once
till bubbly stir 1 to 2

Turn into

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

Please join all the fun with Tabatha today at The Opposite of Indifference, where you’ll find more Mac & Cheesy poems and other poems for every taste. Eat up! (I’ll see you again week after next, as we’ll have our grown kids here for vacation starting today.)


  1. July 13, 2017 8:42 PM EDT
    I love your poem, Robyn, it's wonderfully sinister and silly, the end is perfect, touché!
    - Michelle Kogan
  2. July 13, 2017 8:48 PM EDT
    I love macaroni and cheese too, but only when it's homemade and baked in the oven. None of that blue box stuff for me! Love your very creative and fun poem, Robyn! Enjoy your vacation.
    - Linda
  3. July 13, 2017 9:25 PM EDT
    Hi, Michelle - thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed. ;0)

    Linda, definitely the homemade variety over here, too. Thanks for the kind wishes. Happy mid-summering!
    - Robyn Black
  4. July 13, 2017 9:50 PM EDT
    I always felt bad for Lot's wife--but never pictured her in the kitchen, in the middle of a Mac and Cheese recipe. Very clever and fun!
    - Buffy Silverman
  5. July 13, 2017 10:15 PM EDT
    The Kraft stuff used to be one of my least favorite foods ever. I can stomach it now, but much prefer the homemade kind. Loved your take on Lot's wife.
    - Rebecca Herzog
  6. July 13, 2017 10:41 PM EDT
    I'd elbow one medium cook if she got in the way of my macaroni and cheese! Happy Mac & Cheese Day!
    - Diane Mayr
  7. July 13, 2017 11:37 PM EDT
    Robyn, your humor delights me. What a great blackout poem. Maybe, I will try that one day when I come across another great recipe.
    - Carol Varsalona
  8. July 14, 2017 12:15 AM EDT
    Love the surprise of being able to get your last line in there from a "found poem"!
    - Donna Smith
  9. July 14, 2017 12:42 AM EDT
    Robyn, nice dark turn for the usually happy mac n'cheese. Unexpected ending. Poor Lot's wife. She just couldn't follow directions.
    - Brenda
  10. July 14, 2017 2:07 AM EDT
    Your poem reminds me of when we played a game called "Bring Your Own Book" using cookbooks. It was a challenge! You definitely rose to the occasion, with humor and a twist!
    - Tabatha
  11. July 14, 2017 5:54 AM EDT
    Fantastic! I love your thinking. #stillsmiling
    - KatApel
  12. July 14, 2017 5:54 AM EDT
    Ha! Turn into salt....too many cooks, 1 medium cook. Love the laughs in this. Great job with the theme. It's always a fun visit here.
    - Linda Mitchell
  13. July 14, 2017 6:58 AM EDT
    You are so clever, Robyn! I especially love "elbow 1 medium cook" Thanks for sharing!
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  14. July 14, 2017 8:34 AM EDT
    Happy bubbly cheesy comfort food time, Robyn :)
    - Bookseestudio/Jan
  15. July 14, 2017 8:48 AM EDT
    Encountering Lot's wife cooking mac and cheese was TOTALLY unexpected! As you are first in the roundup, I'm sure more surprises await!
    - Mary Lee
  16. July 14, 2017 8:49 AM EDT
    Dear Robyn, I am loving this elbow as a verb and getting a little taste of your dark side... xo
    - Irene Latham
  17. July 14, 2017 9:00 AM EDT
    Hi, Buffy - I always thought she got the short end of the pillar, too. Great to see your name - miss you!

    Thanks, Rebecca - I remember liking the box kind as a kid, but now I have to have homemade. ;0)

    Happy Mac & Cheese Day, Diane - And, ha! Remind me to stay out of your way in the kitchen....

    Carol, Many thanks! And would love to see what you come up with. These poems become addicting.

    Hi, Donna - It jumped out at me, so I just threw some salt over my shoulder and went with it. ;0)

    Brenda - you are TOO funny! And, like Buffy, I've always sympathized with her in the story.

    Hi, Tabatha - that sounds like a VERY fun game for all of us word nerds. Thanks for hosting this cheesy party today!

    Thanks, Kat - a little snark is good for the soul sometimes, no? Mrrow.

    Hi, Linda - virtual visits are the next best thing to real ones! But would love to do a real lunch with you, too. Thanks for coming by!

    Glad you enjoyed, Catherine - thanks for popping in for a bite!

    Same rightbackatcha, Jan - and have a terrific weekend!

    If I can surprise YOU, Mary Lee, that gives me a wry smile. What a fun theme today!

    Hello there, Irene - glad to give you an off-centered grin today. XO
    - Robyn Black
  18. July 14, 2017 9:28 AM EDT
    Brilliantly clever! Oh Robyn, you are sooooooo clever. I love the poem you derived from a mac and cheese recipe. Good thing you have that recipe memorized and don't need the Better Homes and Gardens page. Just curious, what recipe was on the page Lot's wife would have looked back on?
    - Joy Acey
  19. July 14, 2017 10:06 AM EDT
    Haha, great stuff!
    - Ruth (
  20. July 14, 2017 10:08 AM EDT
    Hi, Joy - and, Ha! I wonder what recipe that would have been? (No worries re. mine - the yellow highlights are courtesy of Photoshop! My memory's not that good... ;0) )

    Thanks, Ruth! Happy Mac & Cheese Day!
    - Robyn Black
  21. July 14, 2017 10:15 AM EDT
    Nailed it! I might have to try a recipe black-out too. I think perhaps a shared theme bumps everyone's game up a notch, don't you, while we all try to make sure we're doing something a little different than others? Huzzah for originality!
    - Heidi Mordhorst
  22. July 14, 2017 10:56 AM EDT
    Oh my! What a sinister (but poetic) turn indeed!

    And imagine an entire cooking magazine issue dedicated to mac and cheese - I had no idea there were that many different ways to make it!
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  23. July 14, 2017 10:59 AM EDT
    Heidi - I think you're right - we all love a challenge! Can't wait to make the rounds in a bit and see what fun awaits... . Thanks for coming over!

    Hello, Jane - Isn't that something? I flipped through, and there were lots of recipes in there... who knew?! Happy Weekend.
    - Robyn Black
  24. July 14, 2017 2:44 PM EDT
    I love the snark and the inventiveness of your poem, Robyn - well done!
    - Tara
  25. July 14, 2017 4:36 PM EDT
    So very clever! Trying to imagine how you went from a recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese to Lot's wife. You creative geniuses never cease to amaze me!
    - Carol Wilcox
  26. July 14, 2017 6:14 PM EDT
    Thanks, Tara - this was a fun one. ;0)

    Ha! Thanks, Carol - I'm not sure exactly how I went from one to the other either... Happy Mac & Cheese Day!
    - Robyn Black
  27. July 15, 2017 10:54 AM EDT
    Oh my, that is a surprising turn from recipe to poem. I love the twist!
    - Kay McGriff
  28. July 15, 2017 11:53 AM EDT
    Thanks, Kay - A silly diversion from the subject of your keen post this week! :0!
    - Robyn Black
  29. July 15, 2017 12:07 PM EDT
    Yummy poem, Robyn! I like the strategy of recipe to poem. Thanks for sharing!
    - Kiesha Shepard
  30. July 16, 2017 5:08 PM EDT
    It takes great wit to come up with that much oomph in a poem taken from a recipe! Well done!
    - Keri Collins Lewis
  31. July 17, 2017 10:59 AM EDT
    Hi, Kiesha!
    Hi, Keri!
    Thanks much - these are so fun to try....
    - Robyn Black
  32. July 17, 2017 2:49 PM EDT
    Hahahha! I LOVE this, Robyn!
    - Laura Purdie Salas
  33. July 17, 2017 8:23 PM EDT
    Surprisingly sinister, indeed!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  34. July 18, 2017 2:28 PM EDT
    Hi, Laura - glad you enjoyed. ;0) Thanks!

    Matt - mwah ha haaa.... Thanks for coming by!
    - Robyn Hood Black

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