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April 26, 2011


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Evan. I met M.F.K. Fisher in 1983 and asked her advice for a young cook - me. She paused, took a sip of wine and then responded "feed as many people as you can". Wisdon like that is priceless.

David - Awesome story. Her private letters and public writings reveal such a clever mind, a crackling wit. Thanks for sharing this.

Mary Frances, definitely was a clever person with wit, wisdom, and a writing voice that no one has yet (in the food world) come close.

Her life took many tragic turns, and she wasn't always a nice person to her friends and especially to her daughters, but that only proves that greatness springs forth from people with faults that we all share.

My interest in food (and writing in general) was stirred immeasurable by Mary Frances' work.

Next person deserving of a biography: Elizabeth David.

...who, by the way, proposed this as the most revolting dish ever devised:


1 pint cold cooked macaroni
½ pint cooked or tinned pears
½ pint grated raw carrot
French dressing to moisten
2 heaped tablespoons minced onion
½ pint cooked or minced string beans

Mix the chopped macaroni and vegetables; moisten with French dressing, flavouring with garlic if liked. Serve on a dish lined with lettuce leaves. Decorate with mayonnaise and minced pimento or chives.

Not sure where you are heading, Peter, and if that recipe is from Mary Frances I'll say that she was not a gourmet cook; she was, however, a gourmet food writer. Not exactly the same thing. It's kind of like the dichotomy between a winemaker and a wine critic... ;)

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