Thursday, August 1, 2013

MFK Fisher's "How to Cook a Wolf" Roundup

First came the announcement, then the reminder, then the deadline and now it's time for the roundup of Cook the Books' June-July 2013 edition for which we read How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher (1942).

For each contribution (given in order of publication), I will give you the official information (author, blog name and post title) and a brief quote from it — a tiny morsel that will entice you to follow the link and read the details not only of the dish prepared, but also of how the reading inspired the activity in the kitchen.

Now, please, make yourself comfortable, then follow me on a little literary / culinary journey on the wings of M.F.K. Fisher's delightful prose.

Tina of Novel Meals prepared  Baked Apples

"Growing up we had several apple trees and my mother, another ingenious cook who made miracles with meager supplies, would use the fruit so many different ways. She made our applesauce, apple tarts, pies, roasted apples with pork and of course… baked apples. My father slathered the baked apples with way too much vanilla ice cream. "

Rachel of and then make soup prepared a Potato Cream Soup

"In the “original” recipe MFK Fisher states “…butter (no compromise here)” so I didn’t reach for my olive oil as I usually would. Oh my. I’d almost forgotten how onions smell cooking in butter. Wowza… Oh and I used Yukon Gold potatoes. Mmmmm, buttery!... That’s it! Simple, tasty, filling, and good hot or cold."

Deb of Kahakai Kitchen prepared Gazpacho

"I love the "herby" taste of this version of gazpacho--the tomatoes and juice are a player in the soup but unlike many gazpachos, the herbs really are the star here. This is a great soup to make after a trip to the farmers market. The freshness of the local ingredients adds a lot to the flavor. I think it tastes best after at least a day--allowing all the flavors to meld."

"This homegrown cauliflower was about half the size of my St. Bernard mix, and I wacked up the flowerets for an Indian-inspired cauliflower curry. However, my latest issue of Mother Earth News contained a short article about the edibility of cauliflower and broccoli leaves, and in the spirit of wolf banishment, I decided to experiment with them instead of consigning them to the compost heap."

"I'm utterly enamored with and utterly confused by this dish all at the same time.  When I read the line "Ah, spaghetti baked with honey and shaved almonds in a buttery dish!"... I knew that I'd never eaten sweet-ish pasta...and that I needed to remedy that immediately. The scent reminds me of those stands at the fair that sell warm, freshly sugared nuts in cones. I can't resist those, either."

"But, let’s consider the egg for this post.   Her chapter, “How Not to Boil an Egg,” is poetic. She writes that the egg is the most private of things; that is, until it is cracked... She continues to write about the best way to eat a fresh egg:  raw, boiled, fried or in some spectacular main dish like this frittata.  I am picking zucchini daily so my choice for this post was easy."

Claudia of Honey From Rock prepared Cold Potato Soup (Vichyssoise)

"It was hard to choose a single recipe, from such a plethora of excellent options, but one which I think captures that period of privation is potato soup, basically potatoes and onions.  Then you add the slap in the wolf's face, a bit of cream, and say,  "Ha ha, you haven't beaten me yet."  And enjoy your meal while he slinks away into the night.

"If beans were luxury eating for my relatives during World War II, polenta was their staple meal. They would eat polenta nearly every day... My grandfather was the polenta guru of the clan, cooking it over an open fire in the yard, and stirring it all the long time it needed to be stirred. Then he would take it to my grandmother who poured it onto a platter and flavored it either with petimezi (a syrup made from grapes), or with feta cheese. Polenta made either sweet or savory."

Simona of briciole (your host) prepared Tomato Soup Cake

"In the chapter "How to Comfort Sorrow" there is the famous War Cake, in which bacon grease can be used, "because of the spices that hide its taste." I was never tempted to try it.  The recipe that follows, on the other hand, Tomato Soup Cake, sounded quite intriguing... As the name suggests, tomato soup is one of the ingredients of the cake. Please, suspend your disbelief. Read the recipe and my experience realizing it, and then decide for yourself whether you want to give this cake a try."

A great Thank you! to everyone who joined in this edition of Cook the Books.

I believe all the submissions I have received are presented in the roundup. However, mishaps are part of life, so if you find anything missing or in need of amendment anywhere in the roundup, please do let me know.

We will give our judge Jeannette Ferrary some time to read the posts and come up with her decision. Then, I’ll be back with the announcement of our winner of the coveted CTB "winner’s badge." And after that, I’ll turn things over to Heather for our next pick The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy.

Arrivederci a presto!


Debra Eliotseats said...

Such a great and eclectic round . Thanks for hosting, Simona .

Rachel said...

What a fantastic array of posts and wolf-banishing dishes! This was indeed an inspiring Cook the Books selection.

Simona Carini said...

Thank you Debra and Rachel: I am so glad you enjoyed the book!

Deb in Hawaii said...

A great book pick Simona and a a delicious roundup of dishes. I love how inspired everyone was! ;-)

Tina said...

I see lots of tempting dishes posted here! Off to visit...thanks for the lovely comments on my site!

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Deb.

You are welcome, Tina.