One of my favorite MFK Fisher books is How to Cook a Wolf. The wolf, of course, is hunger. The point being that a resourceful cook is one who can find something to eat when the larder is empty and the wolf is at the door.
I cooked my own wolf the other night. True I was hungry, but the wolf at my door was no ordinary wolf. It was a book manuscript. I hadn’t been out of the house in days, and was still in the throes of copying, pasting, looking for inconsistencies, and italicizing foreign words not found in Merriam Webster’s 11th Edition. I was hungry and needed some serious comfort. I didn’t have time to cook or food in the house, but it didn’t seem right to go out until it was time to celebrate. And since the entire book is about getting people to make food at home rather than relying on packaged food and restaurants, what could I do but follow my own advice?
My wolf was garlic-scented and covered in dirt. I went outside and yanked my small garlic crop out of the ground. This was the garlic I’d hastily planted in early December just before getting on a plane to Guatemala. I didn’t even know if would work. I just shoved some cloves from the farmers’ market in the ground and went inside to pack.
I also had exactly 3 potatoes. So, I took 2 heads of garlic, peeled and sliced the cloves thinly and sautéed them gently in butter. I added 4 cups of water with a little concentrated chicken stock (I know I know) and the three potatoes, peeled and sliced. I cooked all until soft and pureed it and served garnished with dill and yogurt. My wolf was banished. Well, at least the wolf of hunger was. The other one was still on my desk. I've since banished that wolf too (at least for now) but I carry fond memories of the soup I made from practically nothing.