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With Bold Knife and Fork

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  252 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Now back in print, this classic cookbook has been treasured by all who love the good, considered life. Boldly confessing her prejudices and passions, Fisher provides a mouthwatering, soul-satisfying book composed of 17 chapters and more than 140 recipes for every course of every meal--from the simplest to the most esoteric.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Counterpoint LLC (first published 1968)
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Feb 04, 2015 ^ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys food and cooking
Very readable; this is a book which I willingly pick up when (for example) I’m blind-baking a pastry case. So I'm not sure exactly how many times I've read this book, or indeed whether I've actually yet read it all. This is a book of unexpected gems, not just of prose, but also of valuable ideas.

For example some years ago I stocked up on tinned pumpkin, because I had an excellent pumpkin cake recipe (from ‘Bon Appetite’ magazine) … before my husband decided in a Tigger-ish moment, that he didn’
Apr 07, 2013 Jericha added it
Shelves: elegant-essays
While some of the stories in these essays will be familiar to readers of her older books, in the end it simply doesn't matter, any more than eating a delicious meal is marred by having eaten it before. The way MFK Fisher writes about her pleasure in food is exactly synonymous with my pleasure in reading her writing, and savoring this book slowly with a few glasses of really good Old Vine Zinfandel was an acutely physical and spiritual delight - I would even go so far as to say nourishment - as, ...more
Nayiri Krikorian
Mar 08, 2009 Nayiri Krikorian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, nonfiction, memoir
If you’ve not read anything by M.F.K. Fisher, With Bold Knife and Fork is an utterly perfect place to start. Run to the bookstore, click over to Amazon, get thee to a library — I don’t care which method you prefer* as long as readership of this book increases by a significant amount.

Part cookbook and part memoir, With Bold Knife and Fork is almost novelesque in its structure, starting with Ms. Fisher’s research of turn-of-the-century recipes and their communal lack of specificity, advancing on t
Jan 02, 2014 Jlnpeacock rated it it was amazing
M. F. K. Fisher writes beautifully in this most unusual cookbook. It is a work of art and convinces me, as she describes various foods, that I would truly enjoy eating things I'd never considered before (Raw fish? Hum, that sounds wonderful since it really isn't raw because the lime juice actually cooks it. Yes, I would love to try some.). The recipes are untypical of any cookbook, but as she writes of life surrounding the given recipe and provides culinary instruction in her storytelling, one f ...more
Sep 04, 2007 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: revisiting-books
I read this about a year ago and didn't really care for it; its similarities to "How to Cook a Wolf" were obvious. But in Berkeley I picked up a copy, reread it, and really enjoyed it; I think that my hiatus from all things Fisher enabled me to reread it for its own merits. Many of the sections were similar to "Wolf," but with new recipes, and written with the experience and tastes developed in the 15-odd years intervening between the two books. So while I wouldn't read the two back-to-back, I w ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Tim rated it it was amazing
One of the great food writers, every page a pleasure.
Jul 04, 2007 Chadwick rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who eat well
Shelves: food
Even in something as prosaic as a chapter on various rice dishes, MFK Fisher can't help but confront romance, sex, death, memories of childhood, and just about the whole of human history. She wrote with an effortless erudition and a staggering understanding of the magic of the kitchen, in an elegant, simple, and charming style. There really has ever only been one of her.
May 26, 2008 Thorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fisher talks about growing up in california in the first half of the 20th century. there's lots and lots of food in this book -- including a couple of darn good recipes. so do not read it if you have any food problems! (beyond really liking food, that is.)
Laura Podrasky
I'm only two chapters in but this is wonderful. Yes, it was written a long time ago but the style is delicious and I imagine the recipes will be, too.
It's a good read but I have to return it to the library...I hope to pick it up again..
Rick Perez
Jan 28, 2014 Rick Perez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love reading M.F.K. Fisher. She's a wonderful storyteller, and her books are a simple read. Her descriptions of things are so great that it's easy to envision exactly what she's describing.
Mar 14, 2012 Neil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, cookery
(I think I reviewed 'The Art of Eating' by MFK. This is just as good).
Jan 09, 2013 Jess rated it it was amazing
I DEVOUR MFK. She, Joanna Macy, and Meg Wheatley are my new favorite women.
Jan 03, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing
a classic.
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Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was a prolific and well-respected writer, writing more than 20 books during her lifetime and also publishing two volumes of journals and correspondence shortly before her death in 1992. Her first book, Serve it Forth, was published in 1937. Her books deal primarily with food, considering it from many aspects: preparation, natural history, culture, and philosophy. Fisher ...more
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