Melany Pearce

Melany Pearce
3 Poems



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The Mother Sauces of French Cuisine
(And a couple of offspring)

Butter, clarified
With egg yolk, emulsified;
Add lemon juice, water, beat,
Be careful with the heat.
Some salt and cayenne pepper
Adds another flavor layer.
Whisk till size doubles.
It’s worth the trouble,
This clever “mother sauce”
Called Hollandaise.

Daughter, Bearnaise,
An accidental child,
Gets all the praise
As sauce for steak,
A delicious mistake.

The very versatile,
Sauce Españole,
Adds concentrated tomato
To veal stock and brown roux.
Savory herbs, aromatics,
A few more acrobatics,
You’ll have Bordelaise
Or a great Demi-Glaze.

Velouté sauces begin
With fish or chicken
Stock thickened
With a roux or a liaison deux.
Curries, White wine,
Or mushrooms define
Secondary sauces. . .
Simply sublime.

Escoffier thought Sauce
Tomat should be codified;
He applied himself
To labor intensive,
Rendered pork belly,
Crushed tomatoes,
Veggies, garlic, bay,
Simmered most of the day.
What a genius, that man!
This is how Ketchup began.

So. . .four mother sauces
And a daughter, all with hints
Of additional uses.
Now time to glimpse
What Béchamel produces.

With milk as a base,
Thickened white roux
Is the avenue
To some of the best menu items
Ever to grace a table.
Béchamel is able
To transcend any other roux.

Flavored with onion or shallots,
A little nutmeg, completes
My favorite ‘Post Turkey Day’ delight:
Given three wishes from a Djinni?
Pass the Turkey Tetrazzini!

To this mother,
Add some cheese,
Call it Mornay, if you please,
Cooked pasta pellets,
Any shape will do,
This dish will appease
anyone over two:

Voila! Macaroni and Cheese.
Mon Dieu!

May 2019 Wichita, Kansas

In the not-so-merry month of May
Lightning flashed, thunder rolled,
Days were sodden, dull, and grey,
Streets were flooded, cars got stalled.

Water pooled, washed out farmers’ fields,
Home gardeners also had their problems
Compromised crops meant sparser yields.
Rotted roots and stunted blossoms.

Rain–thirteen to seventeen inches:
Some basements leaked, sump pumps failed,
Kansans snarled and griped like Grinches.
Against Mother Nature they all railed.

Many a Kansan could impugn
May 2019, the month of monsoon.


A former Executive Director of a professional society, Ms. Melany Pearce is more used to writing press releases and brochures. Having written occasional light verse for thirty years, after retiring in 2011, she joined a weekly poetry group and began devoting more time to the craft of poetry. She holds a Master’s in Communication and taught Communication Arts at the university level for many years. She lives in Wichita, Kansas with her two cats, Mac and Cheddar.