Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gary Snyder

How to Make Stew in the Pinacate Desert
            Recipe for Locke & Drum

A. J. Bayless market bent wire roller basket buy up parsnips,
onion, carrot, rutabaga and potato, bell green pepper,
& nine cuts of dark beef shank.
They run there on their legs, that makes meat tasty.

     Seven at night in Tucson, get some bisquick for the dumplings.
Have some bacon. Go to Hadley's in the kitchen right beside the
frying steak--Diana on the phone--get a little plastic bag from
Fill it up with tarragon and chili; four bay leaves; black pepper
corns and basil; powdered oregano, something free, maybe about
two teaspoon worth of salt.

     Now down in Sonora, Pinacate country, build a fire of Ocotillo,
broken twigs and bits of ironwood, in an open ring of lava: rake
some coals aside (and if you're smart) to windward,
keep the other half ablaze for heat and light.
Set Drum's fourteen-inch dutch oven with three legs across the

     Now put in the strips of bacon.
In another pan have all the vegetables cleaned up and peeled and
Cut the beef shank meat up small and set the bone aside.
Throw in the beef shank meat,
And stir it while it fries hot,
lots of ash and sizzle--singe your brow--

     Like Locke says almost burn it--then add water from the jeep
add the little bag of herbs--cook it all five minutes more--and
then throw in the pan of all the rest.
Cover it up with big hot lid all heavy, sit and wait, or drink bud-
weiser beer.

     And also mix the dumpling mix aside, some water in some
finally drop that off the spoon into the stew.
And let it cook ten minutes more
and lift the black pot off the fire
to set aside another good ten minutes,
Dish it up and eat it with a spoon, sitting on a poncho in the dark.


--Gary Snyder

fr. The Back Country
[New York: New Directions, 1968]


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