With the war in full swing, the wolf at the door was hunger, the literal hunger that people faced on a rationed existence, but also the hunger for peace, for simple pleasures, and the authority to determine the nature of one’s own appetite and feed it accordingly.
Government agencies encouraged the public to think scientifically about how they might cobble together their recommended vitamins and nutrients each day. M.F.K. Fisher urged her readers to take a different approach…. The key, she believed, was approaching the stove with all the powers of one’s mind and one’s heart….
And so, How to Cook a Wolf is a book about cooking with courage and faith. It’s about granting oneself permission to feast, really feast, on whatever scraps you have before you, despite the wolf nearby—in fact, because of him.
…It was hard for him to imagine the specific processes that had given rise to those individual cementings below; hard to imagine the specific processes that had held an ancient land in place; but that night, in his dreams, he imagined that perhaps those old lands were held in place by a quietness and enduringness—a smoothness of fit. The way rain falls, the way snow falls. The way birds sleep. The way lichens grow in red and blue mosaics across damp boulders and old stone walls. The way a log rots.
The slow moths that emerge from the log’s orange rot.
If the wolves howled that night, he didn’t hear them. The snow absorbed everything.
For my hobby-horse, if you recollect a little, is no way a vicious beast; he has scarce one hair or lineament of the ass about him — ’Tis the sporting little filly-folly which carries you out for the present hour — a maggot, a butterfly, a picture, a fiddlestick — an Uncle Toby’s siege — or an anything, which a man makes a shift to get astride on, to canter it away from the cares and solicitudes of life — ’Tis as useful a beast as is in the whole creation — nor do I really see how the world could do without it —