Recipe from a chinese cook book


“Moon Duck cake—
Is best, how you say, to steer clear,” said Soo Tan.
But it had such a swooning secret glidiness about it
felt I would turn in corridors
to new rooms of open flowering yellow faces.

“Cook fat
three weeks in preparation,” said Soo Tan;
He inhabited a provisions store by the railways and bloomed
buttery in the gloom; had such exciting corners in that shop—
hiding pungent dried mushrooms, hanging ginger
and bubbling yeast.

“In China
are radishes big as pumpkins,” sang Soo Tan.
With other curious rhymes he lured me
but with worried eyes saw the moon ducks
kept returning.
For three weeks the fat simmered and stood;
but moon ducks wouldn’t keep in this climate—
so never did find the handle to Soo Tan’s closely guarded East.

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