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How to Cook a Wolf (1942)

by M. F. K. Fisher

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5521236,117 (4.02)38
Written to inspire courage in those daunted by wartimes shortages,How to Cook a Wolf continues to rally cooks during times of plenty, reminding them that providing sustenance requires more than putting food on the table. M. F. K. Fisher knew that the last thing hungry people needed were hints on cutting back and making do. Instead, she gives her readers license to dream, to experiment, to construct adventurous and delicious meals as a bulwark against a dreary, meager present. Her fine prose provides reason in itself to draw our chairs close to the hearth; we can still enjoyher company and her exhortations to celebrate life by eating well.… (more)
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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I would be tempted to give an arm to write like she does -- about anything at all -- with such grace and humor and occasional acid precision. ( )
  RJ_Stevenson | Aug 19, 2020 |
This was originally written during WWII and re-edited in the 50s with a lot of extra commentary. The recipes are old fashioned and strange. I loved it when she complained about how disgusting processed cheese food is. Still is! So if you ever want to know how to prepare a calf's head... (January 28, 2006) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
This book is a valuable cultural artifact - a time capsule of food wisdom designed to help the enterprising housewives feed their families well during food scarcity brought about by war. The author's tone is authoritative, cynical, and no-nonsense. I fell in love with her voice. She is a woman who has seen much and feared none of it. She's not afraid of bombs, starvation, or war.

These recipes were very interesting to me and I harbor a secret desire to cook my way through them someday. Love love love it all. ( )
  Juva | Mar 16, 2019 |
Not exactly what I was expecting- but then again, I really wasn't all that informed. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Oct 29, 2016 |
This was written in 1942, to help people cope with the shortages during the war. It also has some notes inserted by the author ten years later as a retrospect, which can be amusing.

I wasn't blown away, but it is a product of its time. She seems to think she is speaking to and for every homemaker, but I don't think she has a lot to say to the farmer's wives or lower middle class women. She rather assumes that everyone has a fond memory of living or traveling abroad before the war, or of flitting to cocktail parties, etc. Also, I did not find most of the recipes appealing. However, her philosophy on food, our enjoyment of it and our treatment of it is very modern, interesting and instructive. It was also interesting to read about some of the food shortage issues which I hadn't known about for WWII. For instance, she mentioned fish, because so many of the fishing waters had been mined, the Italian fishing fleet out of San Francisco had been stopped, and the Japanese workers in the canneries had been placed in custody.

By the end of the book, I was tired of it. Tired of her "wit" of her assumptions and her tone. Still, I will read more of her writing to see where it leads me. ( )
  MrsLee | Mar 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
'There's a whining at the threshold, There's a scratching at the floor. To work! To work! In Heaven's name! The wolf is at the door!

C.P.S. Gilman
Dedication
For Lawrence Paul
First words
In spite of all the talk and study about our next years, and all the silent ponderings about what lies within them for our sons... it seems plain to us that many things are wrong in the present ones that can be, must be changed.
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Written to inspire courage in those daunted by wartimes shortages,How to Cook a Wolf continues to rally cooks during times of plenty, reminding them that providing sustenance requires more than putting food on the table. M. F. K. Fisher knew that the last thing hungry people needed were hints on cutting back and making do. Instead, she gives her readers license to dream, to experiment, to construct adventurous and delicious meals as a bulwark against a dreary, meager present. Her fine prose provides reason in itself to draw our chairs close to the hearth; we can still enjoyher company and her exhortations to celebrate life by eating well.

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Legacy Library: M. F. K. Fisher

M. F. K. Fisher has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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