M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens

M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens

M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens

M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens

Synopsis

From her very first book, Serve It Forth, M.F.K. Fisher wrote about her ideal kitchen. In her subsequent publications, she revisited the many kitchens she had known and the foods she savored in them to express her ideas about the art of eating. M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans, interspersed with recipes and richly illustrated with original watercolors, is a retrospective of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher's life as it unfolded in those homey settings--from Fisher's childhood in Whittier, California, to the kitchens of Dijon, where she developed her taste for French foods and wines; from the idyllic kitchen at Le Paquis to the isolation of her home in Hemet, California; and finally to her last days in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. M.F.K. Fisher was a solitary cook who interpreted the scenario of a meal in her own way, and M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans provides a deeply personal glimpse of a woman who continues to mystify even as she commands our attention.

Excerpt

Amanda Hesser

Of all the lush food descriptions in M.F.K. Fisher’s writing, the one that remains most vivid in my mind is that of the tangerines that Fisher once roasted on her radiator and then chilled on the windowsill in her pension in Strasbourg.

“Peel them gently,” she instructed.

Do not bruise them, as you watch soldiers pour past and past the cor
ner and over the canal towards the watched Rhine. Separate each plump
little pregnant crescent. If you find the Kiss, the secret section, save it
for Al.

After you have put the pieces of tangerine on the paper on the hot
radiator, it is best to forget about them…. On the radiator the sec
tions of tangerines have grown even plumper, hot and full. You carry
them to the window, pull it open, and leave them for a few minutes on
the packed snow of the sill. They are ready.

… I cannot tell you why they are so magical. Perhaps it is that lit
tle shell, thin as one layer of enamel on a Chinese bowl, that crackles
so tinily, so ultimately under your teeth. Or the rush of cold pulp just
after it. Or the perfume. I cannot tell.

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