As I stare at the scrunched up papers,

Snow white and corrugated

A distant memory resurfaces

Of a young girl not more than six years old.

Running about Grandma’s kitchen,

She stops and stares in awe

At little perforated plastic cups,

Filled with a creamy mixture,

Snow white and splendid.

And as at school,

We sat in rows and rows,

Ready to learn and grow, Standing to attention,

So are they, set in rows and rows,

On trays ready to be aged.

Grandma picks a plate,

Flips the plastic cup on its head,

And gently as though by magic,

As wobbly as a toddler learning to walk,

A little white ġbejna emerges.

Sprinkled with pepper and love,

This one is for you,

The rest will be aged and later eaten.”

“Let’s go to Gozo,”he said.

They have the best ġbejniet there.

We need to buy a jar for every household.

Because everyone wants to have a taste.

And as I sit here, eating dinner,

Distant memories settle in my mind;

Of Grandma making Ġbejniet,

Sprinkled with Pepper and love.

Of a ferry ride to Gozo,

And jars and jars of aged Ġbejniet,

For every household across the land.

by Gabrielle Muscat

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Grotto Tavern                             

9/10/12 ,                                       

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Rabat, Malta

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