Saturday, February 4, 2017

Quelle Horreur! Oyster Stew #FoodieReads


As February begins, I am forging ahead with my renewed Foodie Reads Challenge. A friend loaned me her copy of Love in a Dish...and Other Culinary Delights by M.F.K. Fisher.* I was only one chapter in when I hopped on Amazon and ordered a copy for myself; this is definitely one of those books I want to have on my bookshelf!

On the Page...
I have long been a fan of Fisher's writing. And I had never heard of this book which is a curated collection of Fisher's writing, selected and edited by Anne Zimmerman.

Fisher writes about potatoes...

"Baked slowly, with its skin rubbed first in a buttery hand...with a fat jug of rich cool milk or a chunk of fresh Gruyère, it fills the stomach and the soul with a satisfaction not too easy to attain. ...Although few realize it, to be complementary is in itself a compliment."

She writes about eggs...

"Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg until it is broken. ...It is a poor figure of a man who will say that eggs are fit only to be eaten at breakfast."

She muses about gluttony and cravings. She includes some recipes - Grandmother's Boiled Dressing, Eggs Obstaculos, and Francatelli's Quails À la Financière just to name a few.


But my favorite essay in this book was "Love Letter to an Empty Shell." She writes, "It would be fun to write about the first time a shellfish freak like me ate each new find: an urchin pulled deep off a rock in a siniter calanque between Toulon and Cassis...; cold boiled winkles and a pin to jab them with, in a small pub in Liverpool...; cherry-stones, small at crisp...when the world-of-the-moment seemed to be whirling out of focus except for that cool nutty taste."

In the Bowl...
When she described a good oyster stew to 'red-faced Burgundians' I chuckled aloud. "Quelle horreur, they have muttered: all this senseless murder, and milk, too! This is still to my mind, however, the best way to eat shellfish if they must be hot. A stew should be made fast, from the best oysters, the best milk and butter, the best paprika."


Just last week I received a share of Miyagi oysters from Tomales Bay. And I posted my recipe for oyster stew. I hadn't gotten to that part of the book, or I would have posted the recipe with this. 



So, I'm revisiting my fast stew, with barely cooked oysters, to accompany my thoughts on Fisher's book. Click to go to my original recipe for Oyster Stew with Shrimp and Sardines. The only real horror was that I didn't make enough for a second helping!!

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.



Here's what everyone else read in February 2017: here.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lovely, soothing book....much like this stew.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still meandering my way through her compilation "The Art of Eating", which is 5 books. Always enjoyable reading.

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