M. F. K. Fisher’s last picnic: a salmon pink supper club

On Sunday 6th September, we hosted our first supper club, a picnic inspired by the life and writing of M. F. K. Fisher and the food of Provence. 

As the clocks reached midnight on 1st January 2020, we had many projects beating blood in our hearts. Most of which have converted to our digital space, in the form of an online book club, Instagram posts and a website. But, until last week, there was one project we were yet to launch: The Salmon Pink Supper Club. 

In line with the governmental guidelines at the time, we had the honour to host six of our sisters for a Provençal pique-nique on the Heath. Our menu was a meeting point between M. F. K. Fisher’s and Julia Child’s pantries and our childhood memories of the food from southern France.

We punctuated our picnic with readings of M. F. K. Fisher’s writings, about her kitchen in Provence, food writing, the wolf behind her kitchen’s door and love and death of oysters. 

Men have always feasted, in huts and palaces and temples, in an instinctive gesture of gratitude to their gods for the good things that have come to them, and it is symbolical of their basic trust and artlessness that bread and wine, the good things themselves, are what they offer back. It is their way of admitting, subconsciously or not, that hunger is more than a problem of belly and guts, and that the satisfying of it can and must and does nourish the spirit as well as the body.‘ – M.F.K. Fisher, Here Let Us Feast, from the 2018 American edition published by Counterpoint

We welcomed our guests with handmade envelopes, including their set of cutleries, a linen napkin and a menu. It was important for us that each one of our first guests ever left our picnic with something to bring home, sewed by Margaux’s maman’s hands and in the form of fabric patterns that speak to our salmon pink hearts.

We served French rosé and white wines, on the backdrop of a summer playlist and our chatters, our forearms achy from the kneading and heads buzzing from the smell of new, shared tastes. There is so much more than fullness being reached when bread is broken and a meal is being shared, there is the intimacy of one sight at first bite into a dish, followed by a set of emotions rushing back to our shared table, either from memory or a new discovered wholeness. 

The resilience of M. F. K. Fisher – in her words, the gluttonery that inhabits us – has taught us that we shall continue to cook and eat together, appetisers for a better future. 

Bon appétit ! 

Irene & Margaux

Published by The Salmon Pink Kitchen

Cooking, reading and writing from a salmon pink kitchen, Gastronomically yours, Irene & Margaux