Lying in bed with the ‘Poet of the appetites’


I have received warnings, dear reader, several warnings. Warnings to stay in bed. The culprit is a back pain that has had me out of action for almost two months now. I won’t go into details about the back pain in this public forum. I want this space to be about happiness and health, and gratitude and good food.

A short bout of recovery created an insatiable urge to ‘live’ life again. That led to three versions of tandoori fish (each a failure of epic proportions), half a litre of mango lassi for a potluck lunch, a jar of mango pickle, feverish activity on my blog and traipsing around in the Marina Bay Sands mall. Karma caught on quickly: my back is in pretty bad shape again. I am sheepishly heeding to the warnings now. So here I am, curled up in bed with heating pads and analgesic creams.

I am not complaining though. A super short trip to the library en route the doctor’s yielded a bunch of treasures.

8 books-all centered around food. My idea of bliss.

8 books-all centered around food. My idea of bliss.

As if savoring a new dish, I have tasted the first few pages of M.F.K. Fisher’s classic culinary essays in her “Love in a Dish”.  Each page sparkles with her philosophy that eating is inextricably tied to living well.

She combines recipes with memorable anecdotes, childhood reminiscences and passionate storytelling. You delight in the insistence of a fanatical waitress to feed her fresh pastry. You want to go back to her childhood and dip into her favorite creamy mashed potatoes and catsup, even if you are not quite sure what catsup is.

She says that the love of food builds a marriage:

“…even steak and potatoes, when they have been prepared with a shared interest and humor and intelligence, can be one great pleasure which leads to another, and perhaps–who knows–an even greater one.” 

What is left unsaid is as riveting as what is said.I always believed food creates love, but could I ever say it so subtly and deliciously? John Updike called her the ‘Poet of the appetites.’ Oh Mary Frances Kennnedy Fisher, I want to be like you. I am even willing to get two extra middle names if it will get me to write like you.

I am not complaining about having to lie in bed for one more day. After all, I have a poet for company.




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