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A Culinary Puzzle

by
 In our dainty little kitchen,
Where my aproned wife is queen
Over all the tin-pan people,
In a realm exceeding clean,
Oft I like to loiter, watching
While she mixes things for tea;
And she tasks me, slyly smiling,
“Now just guess what this will be!”

Hidden in a big blue apron,
Her dimpled arms laid bare,
And the love-smiles coyly mingling
With a housewife’s frown of care—
See her beat a golden batter,
Pausing but to ask of me,
As she adds a bit of butter,
“Now just guess what this will be!”

Then I bravely do my duty,
Guess it, “pudding,” “cake” or “pie,”
“Dumplings,” “waffles,” “bread” or “muffins;”
But no matter what I try,
This provoking witch just answers:
“Never mind, just wait and see!
But I think you should be able,
Dear, to guess what this will be.
” Little fraud! she never tells me Until ’tis baked and browned— And I think I know the reason For her secrecy profound— She herself with all her fine airs And her books on cookery, Could not answer, should I ask her, “Dearest, what will that mess be?”

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