Synopses & Reviews
"For decades, food-lovers have taken enormous pleasure in the stories, the characters and the inimitable prose style of M. F. K. Fisher. Now we discover the kitchens and the dinner tablesand#151;the very meals that inspired M. F. K. Fisher to write. In this insightful and evocative book, Joan Reardon distills Fisher's life to its culinary essence and reveals her to us anew."and#151;Laura Shapiro, author of Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century
"Reardon's commentary reveals an intimate understanding of the personality of M. F. K. Fisher. Few who enjoy food and read M. F. K. Fisher's work do not thirst to know more about this woman, and knowing about the places she lived and cooked gives a greater understanding of her writings, her feelings, her passions and frustrations."and#151;Jerry Anne DiVecchio, Senior Food Editor, Sunset Magazine
and#147;I've always admired M. F. K. Fisher's gastronomical ingenuity and vivid culinary imagination. In this rich portrait, Joan Reardon eloquently shares with us Mary Frances's great lesson: to cook well, you need only the most elementary kitchen, a mortar and pestle, and full awareness of your own five senses.and#8221;and#151;Alice Waters
and#8220;Deftly told. . . Reveals the origins of her awareness of the power and pleasure of food.and#8221;
and#8220;Reardon delivers a history that, like Fisherand#8217;s famous dishes, is at once simple and hugely enjoyable.and#8221;
and#8220;The charm and timeless inspiration are immediately accessible in this gorgeous volume.and#8221;
“Charming tribute.” Orange Coast Magazine
and#8220;A brisk, charming biography of the beloved food writerand#8217;s life, through the lens of where and what she cooked.and#8221;
and#8220;An informed and elegant treatise on the kitchens in which. . . probably the greatest food writer of the 20th century worked and cooked.and#8221;
and#8220;Summarizes key points in Mary Frances' life and complicated relationships, but through the intriguing slant of the many homes she lived in.and#8221;
and#8220;Insightful. . . Needs to be enjoying a primo position on your bookshelf.and#8221;
and#8220;A reissue most worth paying attention to.and#8221;
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 settingsand#151;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.
Interspersed with recipes and richly illustrated with original watercolors, this work presents a retrospective of Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher's life as it unfolded in the homey settings and the kitchens where she developed her taste for French foods and wines.
A portrait of the life and career of noted culinary writer M. F. K. Fisher is set against the background of the many kitchens that she had known, the foods she had consumed in each of them, and their influence on her ideas about the art of eating, in an evocative retrospective complemented by original watercolors and personal recipes.
About the Author
Joan Reardon is a culinary historian and author of Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M. F. K. Fisher and M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table, among other books. Avram Dumitrescu is an Irish artist and illustrator specializing in food, architecture, and animals. His work has been featured in the Southern Review, Gastronomica, The Writer magazine, and the Ulster Tatler.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Amanda Hesser
i Whittier and Laguna Beach, 1908and#150;1922
ii At Boarding School, 1923and#150;1928
iii From Dijon to Eagle Rock, 1929and#150;1936
iv At Le Paquis, 1936and#150;1939
v At Bareacres, 1939and#150;1949
vi California and Provence, 1949and#150;1961
vii In St. Helena, 1961and#150;1970
viii Last House, 1971and#150;1980
ix The Lodestar, 1981and#150;1992