August 13, 2010

M.F.K. Fisher's Mushrooms

The Guardian is doing a great series on the fifty best cooking books, most recently featuring M.F.K. Fisher's With a Bold Knife and Fork.  Fisher is a new love of mine.  I mean, I've always heard about her, but never actually read her work.  Then I discovered a book of preserving which she annotated, and I fell in love! (I am not going to link to it because there are only a few on Amazon, and I haven't gotten around to ordering mine yet!  But you clever ones can surely find it.)

Anyway, this clip from With a Bold Knife and Fork is just fabulous. While on a holiday hike with her mother in Switzerland, they stopped into a little inn and ate morel mushrooms on toast. And then they ate some more: 

Finally she went into an elaborate and almost Jesuitical rationalization of the plain fact that she would like to eat another croƻte, or perhaps one between us. The gist of her argument (against her mother's early training? Her damaged liver? Her lifelong war with her voluptuous nature?) was that she knew she would never taste such a beautiful thing again. It was that simple!

Read the whole excerpt, and recipe, right here.  They won't be good in all this heat, but you should bookmark the recipe for later this year.  You can use any kind of mushrooms, but if you can wait for the spring, morels are in season again. 

(Also, be sure to check out the whole series.  I especially was fascinated by the book by food journalist and historian Florence White, called Good Things in England, which was recently republished by Persephone Books.  She chronicles English cooking since the middle ages, with traditional recipes.)

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