To Begin Again – MFK Fisher

Jul 11

To Begin Again – MFK Fisher

My nice father sent me this collection of short stories and memoirs by MFK Fisher from 1908-1929. Ms. Fisher authored 16 books over her 83-year life. Her voice is witty, perceptive, and invariably ends up on the subject of food.

Fisher delves into her past with relish. She is from a very specific upbringing in California. She is part farm girl, partially a spoiled princess, always a sibling and a daughter first.  Her grandmother’s “nervous stomach” forced the family to eat the blandest of food; when grandmother was away, the clan would gourmandize to the highest degree. That fact and a string of family cook from various ethnic backgrounds solidified a life-long love affair with food. When grandmother passes away, MFK notes: “One of the fine feelings in this world is to have a long-held theory confirmed. It adds a smug glow to life in general.”

My favorite short story was the painful tale of a school-age friend named Gracie. It was heartbreaking and all too familiar to anyone who ever survived elementary school. The best character in the book was Rose, a potty-mouthed former prostitute who came to work for the family.

This book was a quick peek into another time, and a vastly different up-bringing than the one I endured. I laughed, I got hungry, and I cringed at some of the borderline racist terms tossed about freely.

 

 

2 comments

  1. I enjoyed this little book with her brutal honesty and a quaint way of expressing herself. She must have been a character..

    • Sandwich Gal /

      Exactly! She would have been great company at a fine meal, to be sure.

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