MFK Fisher and Me
I can’t remember the first time I read about MFK Fisher. I know it was in NYC in the early 2000s and Ruth Reichl had something to do about it. I subscribed to the now defunct Gourmet magazine and I regularly read Reichl’s editorials, probably the only magazine editorials that I’ve ever read. Her autobiographical books Tender to the Bone and Comfort me with Apples were my first taste of the food writing genre. They inspired me to seek out MFK Fisher’s writing. Enter the Gastronomical Me written by Fisher in 1943.
MFK Fisher’s story resonated with me at a deeply personal level – I too, was a newly wed in a new city with my first kitchen, a very small one at that. I dined all over my new city with my husband, experiencing for the first time sushi, goat cheese, artisanal bread, blueberries and beefsteak tomatoes. Her prose was magical and even after 15 years I still remember her poignant description of her time in Vevey, her recipe for cauliflower casserole, and her technique for scrambled eggs.
But most importantly, her book Gastronomical Me introduced me to these words by George Santayana.
Measure of my powers – what am I capable of? What am I really good at? and do I know my power? Have I accepted it or am I still in humble denial?
Fruits of my passion – one or more achievements in my field where be demonstrated my powers and realized a favorable result
Learned my place in the world – as a direct result of my capabilities and achievements, places where I feel home.
Santayana’s words have become my guide to building a life that is purposeful and rewarding at every level. I have realized that happiness is fleeting and the three “ingredients” change with time and in every life stage. What stays constant is the need to live my best life each day.