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Taking the pith out of Pam Freir


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Just cancelled my TC subscription - after another embarrassing Wednesday edition, with its folksy food column by the non-worldly Pam Freir.

"How many kinds of citrus fruit can you name?" she starts. "I wrote down all I could think of -- orange (sweet and sour), grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin."

She lives on Saltspring, so I can only assume she's out of touch with the citrus world at large.

Anyone else have any comments on the TC's choice of folksy food writers - Eric Akis, Pam Freir and (my favorite) Pam Grant?

Memo - kumquat here, you little pomelo you!

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

BEWARE THE SMALL GREEN FENCE!

Although I've cancelled my TC subscription, I still get friends who - wanting to taunt me on a Wednesday morning - email me samplings of "The Freir".

This morning's coffee tasted somehow better, until I realized I wasn't reading a Lewis Carroll launch - but Pam's halucinogenic column.

Senator Reg and his lovely wife Penelope sent this (with my bolding of key phrases):

"Many years ago a business friend introduced me to sushi, and when we lunched together we'd explore the unknown corners of the menu. One day we found ourselves in the sashimi section, and the precious scraps of perfect fish came to table elegantly arranged on a long narrow plate, with a small green fence separating each kind of fish...

"We found it [mint] growing beside our nearest firehall, and called it firehall mint. We help ourselves to it from time to time, until during building improvements a load of gravel was dumped right on top of the mint forest...so we took a root and planted it in a container on our deck, where it proliferated. Alas, it had lost its fiery flavour. I think it must have been drawing strength from its relationship to our brave volunteer firefighters..."

Memo - When you see a doggy pee, it's near a firehall usual-ee!

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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Why does this woman have a job? She sounds ridiculous! I don't know anyone who serves "mint" with sushi/sashimi. Does she actually research what she is writing about?

Now I know your frustration.

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Oh my goodness...I am so surprised that no one has yet bought you a copy of her book! It's called "Laughing with my mouth full".

and just for you, Memo, here is an exerpt from an interview she did with January magazine in November of 2005. I think you will enjoy it :laugh:

January Magazine: The author whose name comes to mind when I read your work is that of [late American writer] M.F.K. Fisher.

Pam Freir: That's a huge compliment.

JM:She's wonderful.

PF:She's the best as far as I'm concerned.

JM:And yet your work is similar, in a way. I mean, her work is sadder, I think. Yours is happier.

PF:It is happier, but she's very reflective, yet she has a gentle way with humor. She's not working at it at all. She's amused by things. I just think she's a beautiful writer. A fabulous writer. She's my hero, so thank you for that comparison.

JM:Do people say that? Do you hear it a lot?

PF:Some people have.

JM:People who have read her.

PF:Yeah and you know, it's surprising, but a lot people have never heard of her.

JM:It is surprising, because I think she almost defined this sub-genre -- if that's what it is -- of food writing as not just filling your larder, but of filling your soul, in a way. Does that make sense?

PF:It does. You're saying it's almost philosophical. Food as experience.

:smile::smile::smile:

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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My old bartending-school pal, Condoleeza, couldn't resist emailing me the latest Pam Frier installment. You can't help but get the impression Pam's in her cups when she sits down to write her ramblings from Saltspring.

"I made myself a martini the other night and a very good thing it was."

"I poked further into my stash of booze..."

"I then discovered that what I had sipped was not a martini at all."

"The whole martini business is really so complicated that you might as well go for three and forget about it."

Condi noted Pam's mention of some hangover cures:

"Rub half a lemon into the pit of your drinking arm... wear a gauze surgical mask soaked in sake... eat a fried canary... suck down a pickled sheeps eye in tomato juice..."

Memo - 600 grapes in a bottle of wine (wake me in the morning)

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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"Rub half a lemon into the pit of your drinking arm... wear a gauze surgical mask soaked in sake... eat a fried canary... suck down a pickled sheeps eye in tomato juice..."

:wacko:

Think I'll cling to the relative safety of a spicy Bloody Mary... :wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bloody Mary. Great idea!

Edited by Memo (log)

Ríate y el mundo ríe contigo. Ronques y duermes solito.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Snore, and you sleep alone.

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