Recipe for American Stew

Recipe for American Stew
By Kathryn Chupp

Step 1: Preheat the Melting Pot

Find a pot, claim it as your own.
Explain “finders, keepers” and dominion.
Examine its textures:
cast iron and porous pockets, your resources.
Balanced and rich: so much to strip.
Take what is yours, then
whitewash, wither, deface—
any remnants will be forced into black
cracks and corners. Remember, it’s your possession now.

Step 2: Make the Broth
(A most important procedure:
this flavor will permanently coat the pot.)

Add your dominant ingredient:
the one that has put itself on the highest shelf.
It will congeal the broth’s culture
and poach every other ingredient.
this broth won’t incorporate much diversity,
but homeostasis of the homogeneous is key.

Step 3: Simmer the Stew

Allow an occasional stir that doesn’t disturb
the broth’s “natural” separation. If done correctly,
this stew will follow its manifested destiny:
to let the white cream rise,
to suppress the rest to the bottom
where they must only
simmer and boil and reduce.

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