The Art of Eating

Foodie Friday

Apr 8, 2011 by

As M.F.K. Fisher said, in her introduction to The Art of Eating, “Let Thackeray provide our text: ‘Next to eating good dinners, a healthy man with a benevolent turn of mind, must like, I think, to read about them.’”

She goes on to add, “I have been addicted to eating for half a century and to date show no sign of breaking the habit – or its kindred one of devouring food by courtesy of Gutenberg.”

M.F.K. Fisher is one of my all-time favorite writers – for reasons you can infer from the above. The Art of Eating is a compilation of five of her books.  As one of her admirers noted, she writes about food, but she’s really writing about life.  Sadly, Ms. Fisher is no longer writing, having died in 1992.  However, her voice lives on…and I deeply envy anyone who is discovering her for the first time. I keep an extra copy of The Art for loaning out to friends, and I have almost all her books, in my bedside bookshelf, for reading, re-reading, and dipping into – just one more time – on those nights when I wake up restless and somehow discontent.  If I had to pick just five books to take to a desert island, at least two of them would be hers. (Of course, I’d cheat a bit, by taking The Art of Eating…;-)

Mary Frances adored men and had quite the life…but she also spent much time alone…and learned to enjoy her solitude – laying in good wine “just” for her, lighting a candle and making a simple omelet for dinner.

Best of all, you don’t have to WORK to enjoy her books. Simply open one – to any page – and dive in.  To give you an idea, here are just two titles, “How Not to Be an Earthworm” and “A is for dining Alone.”  Now, how you could NOT want to read that?

Here – I’ll make it very easy for you to take a dip (and purr-fect for Friday martini time).  Her article, Martini-Zheen, Anyone? (Originally published in Gourmet, 1957.  Happily I actually own the original magazine with this article. See above re Gutenberg.)

In a perfect world, I’d be the new M.F.K. Fisher – or at least, be able to write as she did. She knew how to savor the simple and celebrate the glorious in both living and writing. And so shouldn’t we all.

Happy Foodie Friday to all the girlfriends (and our readers) – rather we’re dining alone, trying to NOT be an earthworm, or simply being.

About the Author

Mary Schmidt Has Written 26 Articles For Us!

Mary is a proud Corporate America refugee, having long ago decided that quality of life is far more important than quantity of stuff. However, that said, she thinks money is a very good thing - when used as a tool, not a success measurement. In addition to writing for us, she blogs about business development and marketing at and about marketing to and by women at In her consulting business, her clients have ranged from mega-corps such as Hewlett-Packard to local Mom & Pops.
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1 Comment

  1. Rebecca Crichton

    I also learned to love reding about food as well as savoing life through it from M.F.K. Fisher. Thanks to the Girl Friends for reminding us of her enduring lessons.

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