After a break for the holidays, I'm back with Gourmets list of the 50 Most Influential Women in food. This week it is Betty Fussel # 29! I've been collecting cook books for almost 30 years; so I find it hard to believe that some of these women slipped right by me. Maybe my taste in cookbooks has not been sophisticated enough...who knows...but Betty Fussel was totally unknown to me. If you read the information on her website, you're quite impressed. Born in Southern California in 1927, she talks of her mother committing suicide by eating rat poison when she was a young child. Her memoir also mentions Betty -"falling into the hands of a dreadful stepmother, whose relationship with food is best described as adversarial: She steams all meals into submission with a pressure cooker and teaches young Betty to chew a full 50 times before swallowing." After graduating high school, she attends Pomona College where she receives her BA, and meets an aspiring writer Paul Fussell, who will become her husband. She received an MA from Radcliff while her husband was finishing his PhD at Harvard. I found her memoir to be sad. She writes a very personal...seething account of her life with her husband. Reading some of the excerpts made me think about all the women of the 1950's who married solely because, that was the next logical step in their life. Her memoir seems mean spirited and very salacious. I would have been happier just to know of her great accomplishments.
She has written 11 books. Her latest is "Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef" (2008). In 2007 she won a James Beard Foundation Award for Journalism for her article "American Prime" in Saveur's Steak Issue. She was recently celebrated, along with other winners of the Silver Spoon Award, by Food Arts Magazine, where she has been a long time contributing authority. She has written many articles on food, travel, movies and the arts for some very prominent magazines and major newspapers. Fussell was crazy for good food, she even wrote a food column for the New York Times. Betty was very accomplished...lecturing at museums, universities, cooking schools, food and wine associations, etc. Among her teaching credits is the New School for Social Reform in Manhattan.
Betty Fussel, someone I never heard of, who has and is still living quite a life! She resides in NYC!
I had a hard time finding recipes for Betty so I decided on her California Ambrosia! It was an easy refreshing dish, especially after a month of eating heavy fattening food!
|An easy refreshing accompaniment to any meal|
|Such a small amount of Grand Marnier added so much flavor|
4 large navel oranges
2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1. Peel and section oranges over a bowl, reserving juice. Place orange sections in bowl with juice. Add coconut and liqueur; stir gently. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours.
Betty Fussell, Cooking Light
Thanks to Mary of One Perfect Bite for this wonderful challenge. These are the other bloggers who are also featuring the recipes of Betty Fussel. Hope you'll check them out. They are all very talented ladies.
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Linda A - There and Back Again
Martha - Lines from Linderhof
Nancy - Picadillo
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Annie - Most Lovely Things
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook