Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher is to cooking what Elizabeth Zimmerman is to knitting and Gene Logsdon is to farming. Another brilliant, contrary writer! I am uncertain as to what makes me gravitate toward ornery authors but I can’t seem to get enough of the bare facts, down to earth, stepping on toes sort of writers.
MFK Fisher is just such a writer and for those with a penchant for some harshness in their cookery, With Bold Knife and Fork is an interesting read. Her entire introduction reads thus; This book is about how I like to cook, most of the time, for people in my world, and it gives some of the reasons. These have made life enjoyable, so they may be of interest to other human beings.
With Bold Knife and Fork is not a recipe book like any other you have ever seen, I’m sure. It is made of several long monologs with recipes interspersed. I actually shut the book at one point, vowing never to read another by MFK when I saw Bisquick mentioned but I forgave her when I saw her sheepish confession to keeping it and Minute-Rice in the kitchen for convenience sake and decided to read another chapter just for the sake of forgiveness.
An egg should be…SHOULD BE…fresh. But how is one to know the first subtle date, unless he has actually reached under warm feathers at the risk of a good protective peck and pulled out the fruit? Now, with refrigerating methods and computered chemical feeding and controlled hatching and all that, a graded government-inspected eggs will remain edible for shameful lengths of time…
Here is her recipe for scrambled eggs.
“MY” scrambled eggs should take about a half hour to prepare, and they are worth waiting for, it is generally agreed. I used to start with a cold skillet, but by now my way is to warm a heavy one, melt some sweet butter in it and add some cream, and break the eggs into this gentle puddle. Then I mix them with a spoon, but never beat them, and let them warm with the pan, gradually pulling in the sides as they cook. When they are lightly blended and set, they are done, in large soft curds. Herbs or grated cheese can be put in with the eggs, halfway through the dreamy process. The trouble with this recipe is that few people will take the trouble….and it will not succeed if the cook is either hurried or harried.
So slow down and stir the eggs!
My full review of With Bold Knife and Fork will hit the blog when I complete the book. I wouldn’t think if writing it before for fear of the ghost of MFK rapping my key-tapping fingers for working out of order!