I pulled out a book by MFK Fisher this morning and noticed that she was born on July 3, 1908. So this time 100 years ago, the most beloved of all food writers was just a teeny little blob of freshly-hatched humanity.
This puts me in two minds. The first is to remark on a remarkable life, although it’s been so much written about and discussed that I’m sure I have nothing profound to add to the discussion. Just to say that in many, many ways she affected those of us who love food and who love to write about it. If nothing else, she made the love of food ACCEPTABLE to write about. If she had never lived, would anyone have come along to so eloquently do that job for her?
The other is something I think about when I see old baby photos of noteworthy people—the potential in every newborn baby. Regardless of where that baby is born, when or into what culture, that is a person who is capable of infinite things. As I get annoyed by howling babies and hyper little ones, I try really hard to remind myself that they’re little bundles of potential, just trying to work out what it takes to get their feet onto the road that will lead them—we hope—to accomplish something worthwhile, or at least to be someone we love to see come and hate to see go.
I never had the honor to meet MFK, but I know she was one of those.