Grandfather's Memory: A Ballad

By Betsy, age 17, Idaho

She mixed together delicious nuts
The way her grandfather did
Walnuts, almond, hazelnuts, pine
Like she was taught as a kid

She remembered the way he'd said
"Nipote, ti amo!"
In his strong Italian accent
As he sampled the dough

Now she added the delicious bits
Into the nutty mix
Candied peel, raisins, cocoa, chocolate
Going by taste was the trick

Her tears fell into the mix
How she missed her nonno
Why did he have to leave her now?
Just when she needed him so?

The spices were next: this she knew
Cinnamon, nutmeg,
Coriander, pepper so strong
"Can we add more?" she'd beg

Her nonno was gentle, understanding
"Too spicy, nipote.
Let the gusto pieno shine through!
Always be careful," he'd say

Last she stirred in the honey, flour, fennel
The batter was ready
"Finito! Delizioso!"
Why was her hand not steady?

Now time for the chocolate glaze
After the cake was baked
She spread the chocolate on the cake
But oh, how her heart ached

They'd eaten this together
When it was Christmas time
From Emilia-Romagna
In Italy, in his prime

As she took the very first bite
From the recipe he had taught her
The tears entered her lonely eyes
And made her vision blur

Her cake was perfect, the way he loved
She remembered his wrinkly eyes
"Mi manchi, nonno," she whispered
Her head thrown up to the skies

She remembered the way he'd said
"Nipote, ti amo!"
In his strong Italian accent
As he sampled the dough

Bravo Nonno

Betsy's Notes: I originally wrote this poem for my British Literature class for the assignment to create a ballad. A ballad has a specific rhyme scheme: ABCB, and a specific syllabic scheme: 8-6-8-6. Ballads are usually in the third person, telling a story through the context of conversation. I would like to note that this poem is not related to me in any way - it was actually inspired by the recipe for "Spiced Italian Fruit Cake" in one of my sister's recipe books. However, I use baking as a sort of therapy; when my aunt passed away, I baked a cake in her memory, adding things to it that I knew she loved. Focusing my emotions into a productive activity, such as baking or art, helps me to understand and think over my feelings.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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