an old cookbook 1942, and a new one

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by tacmotusn, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    These two books might show insight to us all as to making do with what you have, or what you can get.

    1942 many foodstuffs were rationed because of the war. WWII

    The new book revists the first book and writes a modern version with a slant towards possible shortages today.

    Here is the Article that put these on my purchase list.

    Fri. 06 Jan '12Cooking | NATIONALM.F.K. F.T.W.
    A lesson from M.F.K. Fisher, renewed and revisited

    Left: M.F.K. Fisher | Right: Tamar Adler. When we first heard the conceit of Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal ($25), we were flummoxed.

    The book is built on the bones of M.F.K Fisher's How to Cook a Wolf ($11), a wartime chronicle about cooking (and enjoying) even the most meagerly outfitted meals, which was published in 1942. Fisher's prose in Wolf still holds up as intimate and often hilarious--but more than her other books, Wolf is a period piece, riddled with instructions meant for the time.

    Why, then, would a young cook with access to a surfeit of ingredients choose a book about their absence as her inspiration?

    Well, both books have little to do with ingredients. Instead, each focuses on processes--the dependable, simple ways to treat what you have, whether it's a handful or a walk-in-fridge-ful.

    As we read through Adler's essays, we were reminded of foundations (boiling water, roasting vegetables) that constituted our first lessons in the kitchen; reminded, because we've overlooked many of them for complicated recipes and pedagogical pursuits of flavor.

    How to Cook a Wolf, we realized, also served as a reminder for its time. Fisher recalls how, when listening to the women of her generation talk about the economies of war, her grandmother snipped; "I never knew before that using common sense in the kitchen was only stylish in emergencies!"

    What Fisher's audience needed rations to rediscover, Adler is offering us under comparatively less despondent circumstances: the lesson of intuition--that we can feed ourselves more and better with less than we think.

    An everlasting meal

    How to cook a wolf

    I put up new links for the books, sorry about the ones that didn't work.
    Cephus, Sapper John and DKR like this.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    They look like interesting books tac

    They look like interesting books tac. I'm a sucker for cook books from the pioneering to WWII eras and have several of them in my collection. They offer simple, tasty, nutritious, commonsense recipes using basic uncomplicated cooking methods. The meals were usually hearty and generous....the antithesis of Nouvelle Cuisine....have I ever said how much I hate Nouvelle Cuisine?

    M.F.K. Fisher looks like a film noir femme fatale.
    Cephus likes this.
  3. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    thanks for the heads up.

    guess i'll be buying the book myself, thanks!
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