I am not a "foody"--though I like good food. I am amazed that M.F.K. Fisher is able to spend so much time and effort discussing food, past and present. While I thoroughly enjoyed the more autobiographical The Years in Dijon, the Art of Eating (for the Unread Author's Challenge) must be spaced, not eaten whole. For me. One essay/chapter at a time.
There is formidable research in Serve It Forth (the first book in the omnibus) and enough food trivia to satisfy any food aficionado, and there were some personal references that were interesting to me. A return to The Three Pheasants and the waiter, Charles, several years after leaving France was a bitter-sweet experience for Fisher (and for me, the reader.)
Last Saturday, I mentioned that I was reading Consider the Oyster (second book in omnibus), and my daughter looked at me with a half-smile and said, "Why?" Why, indeed, when I don't care for them? The rest of my family enjoys oysters and most seafood, but I don't, so why should I consider the oyster. And how does one manage to write a whole book on oysters? Fisher does, and mostly makes it interesting, if not life-enhancing. The recipes, however, I skip. The day will never come when I need a recipe for oysters as any oysters prepared in our house are, and always will be, prepared by my husband. Oh, I admit to having battered and fried a few, but that is hardly a recipe.
I take it back, Fisher's recipe for "How to Make a Pearl" made me smile and read every word.
Two more books down that need to be reviewed: Rebel Angels and The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch. Orson Scott Card's Homebody is on my nightstand, and Fisher's tome is in the sun room.