Steve Gerson​

Recipe for Savory Love

After the recipe writing challenge.

Love isn’t sweet, like taffy that pulls at your cavities and makes you wince in sugar-pain. Love certainly shouldn’t be sour, serrated like a steak knife or edged in rancorous sarcasm.

The best love is served savory. It combines the salt of experience and the spice of passion.

To create a savory love cake, follow these steps:

  1. Set aside a small mixing bowl (for love is a mixture of chromosomes from people of unique DNA, people who aren’t each other but who want to be as attached to each other as Peter Pan’s shadow, lovingly sewed by Wendy).

  2. Using a pestle and mortar, borrowed from Romeo’s apothecary (Act 5, Scene 1), grind together into a fine powder 12 rose pedals and a teaspoon of cayenne. The roses provide the perfume of promise; the cayenne flavors love with mild heat and vibrancy.

  3. Add a bite of Eden’s apple for tartness and tongue of serpent for frightful knowledge.

  4. Sprinkle upon the mix three shakes of Bogart’s selflessness and Bergman’s Casa Blanca devotion, plus an ounce of the pang both suffer in their loving remorse.

  5. Stir into the bowl the angst-ridden patience of June Carter.

  6. Carefully remove any broken bottle shards from Johnny Cash’s shattered psyche.

  7. Pour this mixture into a small cake tin, fit only for a shared dessert at a Parisienne bistro table for two.

  8. Bake the mixture with heat! Then cool, panting if necessary.

  9. Ice the cake with Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s forgiveness for each other’s pride and prejudice.

  10. Drizzle upon the icing the Tabasco lust of Brando screaming “Stella” in a ripped t-shirt.

The resulting cake should taste savory, not the goo of young love that kisses with one eye closed and the other eye open to check dating apps. Not the old love of complacent forbearance (you knit while I watch TV reruns). Instead, savory: love that knows spouses leave lights on at night and forget to lock doors but love that remembers how to slowly, sensuously unbutton a blouse or whisper breathlessly in an ear – experience baked into passion.

About the Author

Steve Gerson writes poetry and flash about life’s dissonance. He’s proud to have published in Panoplyzine, Route 7, Poets Reading the News, Crack the Spine, Decadent Review, Underwood Press, Dillydoun Review, In Parentheses, Vermillion, and more, plus his chapbook Once Planed Straight: Poetry of the Prairies from Spartan Press.