Have You Considered the Fork
When I’m not making pie, I’m somewhat of an avid reader. It’s always been that way. When I was in elementary school, my folks let me chose books, as many as I wanted, through Scholastic Book Club, and then I would find a way to be “sick” in order to stay home to read them the next day. My mom probably knew just what I was up to, but heck, staying home to read? Well, there could be a lot worse things. Yes?
So today, it’s raining a very tiny bit at Pie Cottage which is such a welcome relief from the bone dry days we have been having. My first thoughts are, of course, to light a fire…but, it’s just not cold enough for that. The weather will need to dip into the 40’s until I feel ok about striking the first match of the season to kindle a fire in my wood stove. But, a good book, a steaming mug of tea, and Gretapie and me cuddled up on the couch together? Now, that’s just the thing on a day like today!
Right now, I’m re-reading Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson. I first was introduced to this fabulous little book on a long drive with Duncan and Robin. Our first stop is always the library to pick up some books on tape. I saw the title on the shelf, a play on the words of M.F.K. Fisher’s classic Consider the Oyster that I loved when I first read, so I added it to our stack. It wasn’t until our drive back to Pie Cottage at the end of the first Pie A La Road tour that we popped the CD into the player. We were all immediately hooked.
The wooden spoon, cooking pot, measuring cups all have influenced our culture in the kitchen and beyond. But, it is the chapter entitled “Fire” that is at the heart of the book. The path from open flame, to gas and coal ovens, to microwaves…it’s all here. Wilson says, “There are signs that we miss fire and regret its absence from our lives.” For some like the historical baker and cook, Ivan Day, an open fire remains the focal point around which daily life is focused. (I sincerely hope that someday I will be fortunate enough to take one of his baking classes in England.) Perhaps, that’s why my thoughts turned to the first fire of the season, albeit early…and why I love baking so much.
Here are the fascinating chapters in Wilson’s book each one captivating in its own right:
- Pots and Pans
If you want to know the history of your fork, this is the book that will share the fascinating journey with you.
“Fingers were made before knives and forks.” —Old adage