I went into a cooking frenzy last night and made both pasta with fresh tomato sauce and ratatouille, in the process setting a new record for dishes dirty at one time. (Bear in mind, the kitchen at I Street is the size of an average home’s hallway.) The finished ratatouille is hiding behind the almomst-finished bottle of wine.

I blame M.F.K. Fisher (also on the table) for all of this. I’ve been reading How to Cook a Wolf for the last few days, and it’s delightful. Take a paragraph like this, for example, about shrimp pate:

“Such a [pate]can be kept for weeks or months, or perhaps even for years, if it contains enough spoices and alcohol, is correctly sealed into its mold with coagulated fat, and is kept reasonably cold. Given these three prime benefits, it can be produced when you will, like a mad maiden aunt, or a first edition (in Russian, naturally) of Crime and Punishment.“

Another favorite, preceding a recipe:
“It is called Date Delight, through no fault of mine.”

I’ll put more of her up this week. There’s a passage about cheese that I love, too. Here’s Tuesday’s bonus photo: “Still Life with Zinnias, Nasturtiums, and Saint Candles On My Dresser.”