Culinar-literar: Kate Christensen – „How to Cook a Moose”

Filed under: Culinar-literar,FRAGMENTE DIN CARTI SI BLOGURI — afractalus @ 12:09

Kate Christensen - How To Cook A Moose

Kate Christensen – How To Cook A Moose

   – Highlight Loc. 149-58 :In 1942, the great food writer M. F. K. Fisher published a treatise on how to survive poverty and hardship called How to Cook a Wolf. Written during the wartime era of rations, shortages, and scrimping, the title refers to the proverbial beast with open jaws that shows up, slavering with hunger, in times of need and poverty, privation and sacrifice. To keep the wolf from the door means to have enough money, barely, to eat and live. Throughout the book, Fisher provides techniques and recipes with limited ingredients for surviving the lean times the country had fallen into in the 1930s and early ’40s. These recipes have humble names like Quick Potato Soup, War Cake, Addie’s Quick Bucket-Bread; there’s also a very basic but serviceable Boeuf Tartare. Chapter headings include “How to Keep Alive,” “How to Comfort Sorrow,” and “How to Be Content with Vegetable Love.” It’s an unusually (for Fisher) straightforward, didactic book about “living as decently as possible with the ration cards and blackouts and like miseries of World War II.” But her tone is anything but grim, or rather, any grimness it contains is undergirded with humor. In the introduction, Fisher writes, “War is a beastly business, it is true, but one proof that we are human is our ability to learn, even from it, how better to exist.”

– Highlight Loc. 162-66 : In one of the book’s final lines, Fisher writes, “I believe that one of the most dignified ways we are capable of, to assert and then reassert our dignity in the face of poverty and war’s fears and pains, is to nourish ourselves with all possible skill, delicacy, and ever-increasing enjoyment.” This last sentence echoes one of my own most deeply held convictions: that eating both well and wholesomely, insofar as it can be done within one’s budget and means, with elegant balance and the occasional indulgent luxury, is an expression of hope and dignity as well as a cause of happiness.

– Highlight Loc. 623-34 : Buckwheat Blini with Crème Fraîche and Salmon Roe Acadians in northern Maine and Canada have a long tradition of eating crepe-like buckwheat pancakes called ployes. Every Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, I make blini for breakfast. I use Acadian buckwheat flour fine-milled by Bouchard Family Farms in Acadia, all the salmon roe I can afford to buy from Browne’s Trading Company on Commercial Street in Portland, and thick, buttery crème fraîche that comes in a little pink tub. I serve these crepes with mimosas made of cava and blood-orange juice. They are festive and delicious, filling but light, the perfect kickoff to a day of occasional eating, and a tip of the hat to Maine tradition. 2/3 cup buckwheat flour 1/3 cup gluten-free baking flour 1/4 tsp baking soda 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 2 egg yolks 2 egg whites, beaten till stiff 1 T melted butter Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the buttermilk and egg yolks and stir until it’s a smooth batter. Fold in the egg whites, then stir in the melted butter.

– Highlight Loc. 634-37 : Drop spoonfuls of batter into very hot butter in a skillet to make small, thick, round pancakes. As soon as you drop the dough in, turn the heat down to low and let the pancakes sit until they bubble on top, then turn and cook them till browned. Slather crème fraîche on top and garnish with plenty of salmon roe and chopped chives. Serve them 3 to a plate. Serves 4, with a few blini left over for snacking on later with cheese.

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