Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art for A Foodie Autobiography

First we eat, then we do everything else.
― M.F.K. Fisher

My love affair with food has been intense and ongoing.  It started the day I was born.  Sickly and weighing a mere 3 pounds, I quickly rebounded, thanks, in part, to a voracious appetite.  If I write an autobiography one day, it will be centered on food.   Although I sometimes struggle to remember the names of people and movies, I never forget a great meal.    For better or worse, my memories have always been inextricably intertwined with the meals I’ve eaten, the places where I’ve eaten them, and with the friends and family gathered around my dining room table, talking and laughing.

So, in response to this week’s photo challenge, here’s my book cover:  a delicious wedge of chocolate cake, which was the grand finale of a great meal at Paparazzi’s in Boston.

Bite by Bite: My Love Affair with Food

Bite by Bite: My Love Affair with Food

Why food?  Why not?  I think about M.F.K. Fisher’s remarkable statement about the primacy of food in her masterpiece The Art of Eating:

It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.”
M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition

Cooking for me is creative and spiritual.  I am so glad that public awareness of good food has evolved from the Spam and Wonder Bread of my childhood to an appreciation of a delicately simmered bouillabaisse, or a hearty ribollita.  Food is a fine art, combining chemistry and alchemy.  Cooking is also a creative act.   And so, in closing I’ll leave you with this final quote from my food mentor, which could be a guiding principle in my own life:

No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of making your own bread.”
M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition

So, now I’ll ask you:  Do you eat to live or live to eat?

For some intriguing interpretations of this week’s theme, click on the links below:

23 replies »

  1. I’m with you all the way! Loved your comment about spam and wonder bread! Don’t forget the TV dinners and fish sticks LOL. I remember them all very well and hope never to see pre-processed food again. Fun post, thank so much for,the ping back.

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  2. If I had to judge a book by its cover, your foodie autobiography would get 5 stars! 🙂

    I’ve read 2 of M.F.K. Fisher’s books and loved them. She had a lovely way of drawing you in. Her writing felt so airy and effortless.

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    • Hi Jackie. I absolutely loved her passages on sea voyages in the 1930’s and 1940’s–before the war. Her descriptions of people and food are superb. So powerful. She has really taught me quite a bit about descriptive writing. And thanks too for the 5 star rating! 🙂

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  3. In answer to your final question: Life is for Eating. I once loss my sense of taste for about a week. I couldn’t taste anything except the hottest peppers. I was beyond miserable. That was the moment I realized my love of food is absolute. Without it, life is a gray wasteland void of meaning and satisfaction.

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