This 50th anniversary paperback reprint contains what Julia Child referred to as "the essence of M.F.K. Fisher." Fisher (1908–1992) was one of this country′s earliest food writers; her eloquent yet unostentatious prose has charmed generations. The 784–page collection brings together five works originally published under separate titles: "Serve it Forth," "Consider the Oyster," "How to Cook a Wolf," "The Gastronomical Me" and "An Alphabet for Gourmets." There are also recipes scattered throughout. ( Washington Post , April 28, 2004)
"Fisher (1908–1992) was one of this country′s earliest food writers; her eloquent yet unostentatious prose has charmed generations." ( Washington Post , April 28, 2004)
From the Inside Flap
More than 50 years after M. F. K. Fisher logged her musings an d memories on food, love , and life, her nuanced stories still entertain and enlighten. If you haven′t yet read Fisher′s work, you will thoroughly enjoy discovering its variety, richness, and honesty. If it has been a while since you last delved into her writing, you will be captivated once again. Here are a few passages: SERVE IT FORTH "The Standing and the Waiting" "We talked, and well, and all the dinner was most excellent, and the wine was like music on our tongues. Time was forgotten. . . . We watched as in a blissful dream the small fat hands moving like magic among bottles and small bowls and spoons and plates, stirring, pouring, turning the pan over the flame just so, just so, with the face bent keen and intent above." CONSIDER THE OYSTER "The Well–Dressed Oyster" "There are three kinds of oyster–eaters: those loose–minded sports who will eat anything, hot, cold, thin, thick, dead or alive, as long as it is oyster; those who will eat them raw and only raw; and those who with equal severity will eat them cooked and no way other. . . . The first group may perhaps have the most fun, although there is a white fire about the others′ bigotry that can never warm the broad–minded." HOW TO COOK A WOLF "How to Boil Water" "Probably the most satisfying soup in the world for people who are hungry, as well as for those who are tired or worried or cross or in debt or in a moderate amount of pain or in love or in robust health or in any kind of business huggermuggery, is minestrone. . . . It is a thick unsophisticated soup, heart–warming and soul–staying, full of aromatic vegetables and well bound at the last with good cheese." THE GASTRONOMICAL ME "The Measure of My Powers" (1919–1927) "The first thing I cooked was pure poison. I made it for Mother, after my little brother David was born, and within twenty minutes of the first swallow she was covered with great itching red welts. . . . The pudding was safe enough: a little round white shuddering milky thing I had made that morning. . . . I ran into the back yard and picked ten soft ripe blackberries. I blew off the alley–dust, and placed them gently in a perfect circle around the little pudding. Its cool perfection leaped into sudden prettiness. . . . Mother smiled at my shocked anxious confusion, and said, ′Don′t worry, sweet . . . it was the loveliest pudding I have ever seen.′ I agreed with her in spite of the despair." AN ALPHABET FOR GOURMETS "G Is for Gluttony" "I cannot believe that there exists a single coherent human being who will not confess, at least to himself, that once or twice he has stuffed himself to the bursting point, on anything from quail financière to flapjacks, for no other reason than the beastlike satisfaction of his belly."
From the Back Cover
RUTH REICHL "Mary Frances [Fisher] has the extraordinary ability to make the ordinary seem rich and wonderful. Her dignity comes from her absolute insistence on appreciating life as it comes to her." JULIA CHILD "How wonderful to have here in my hands the essence of M.F.K. Fisher, whose wit and fulsome opinions on food and those who produce it, comment upon it, and consume it are as apt today as they were several decades ago, when she composed them. Why did she choose food and hunger she was asked, and she replied, ′When I write about hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth, and the love of it . . . and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied.′ This is the stuff we need to hear, and to hear again and again." ALCIE WATERS "This comprehensive volume should be required reading for every cook. It defines in a sensual and beautiful way the vital relationship between food and culture."
About the Author
Mary Frances Kennedy (M.F.K.) Fisher is revered as one of America′s best food writers. Her personalized essays on the pleasures of cooking and eating made her famous. Her most popular books— Serve It Forth , Consider the Oyster , How to Cook a Wolf , The Gastronomical Me , and An Alphabet for Gourmets —were bound into one volume— The Art of Eating —in 1954. In 1990, The Art of Eating received the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame Award.