There are remarkable people who come into our lives and become authors of certain types of adventures. I am speaking of my former “gentleman friend,” a Mr. Watkins, an Englishman who took me three times to England, and was responsible for a career turning point in my life when I became a staff member of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Even after we parted (after nine years together), English ways and recipes carved out new horizons for me.
What do baking and letter writing have in common? Passion! Communication! Adventure!
Two of my most revered friendships came about because of letters I wrote. Last year I told you about Rose Levy Beranbaum; today, I would like to share another story about meeting M.F.K. Fisher, and share the recipe she loved most of all the things I made for her. The recipe is called “Starlight Sugar Crisps,” from a 1950s Pillsbury Bakeoff book, a croissant type of pastry laced with vanilla sugar.
Flashing back for a moment, someone lent me The Art Of Eating, an anthology of five books written by M.F.K. Fisher. Her style, sensibilities and wry humor captured me instantly. She made me fall in love with France all over again.
Just imagine for a minute that your kitchen is a rehearsal hall, your dining area a stage, and your favorite dishes as the actors in the dinner plays you produce and direct. It can put a different focus on what your favorites are and how many times you haul them out from the wings.
It took a lot of nerve, really, starting a baking business in my apartment kitchen, but by training myself to use what I have on hand for all of my life, I was provided with a history of certain derring-do, a yes-I-can attitude that made it a success from the start. Continue reading →