Toops Scoops: The wonder of it all

Jeannette Ferrary has abundant passion for food, its history, meanings and unending pleasures.

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Jeannette Ferrary
When one wants to know about the latest developments in developing, marketing and promoting food ingredients, the person to call is Jeannette Ferrary. She works with a variety of food accounts for Thomas J. Payne Market Development, San Mateo, Calif.

Ferrary, who crafts articles for The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine and the Journal of Gastronomy, also teaches food writing at Stanford University and UC Berkeley Extension in San Francisco. A born storyteller and incredible researcher, she has also authored eight books.

Her latest, Out of the Kitchen – Adventures of a Food Writer (John Daniel & Co., www.danielpublishing.com) is a delightful and amusing recounting of her food journey – from her grandmother’s kitchen in Brooklyn, her first food epiphany in the early 1950s with Swanson’s Frozen TV Dinners, and her subsequent growing passion for preparing and sharing food. Her childhood food memories are fun to read and relate to and they explain her eventual career.

“There must have been something way back somewhere, there must have been seeds that eventually flowered into a passion for food, its history and meanings and unending pleasures, the joy of growing and preparing and sharing food with friends, of seeing it as heritage and comfort and love,” says Ferrary. “There must have been something: That’s what this book is about.”

She writes of her relationships with M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Simone Beck, Craig Claiborne, Jacques Pepin and Alice Walters and their influences on her culinary education; and she peppers her stories with hunger-provoking recipes.

My favorite is her childhood recipe for Pummeled Bread, which is similar to one I particularly enjoyed. Not many foodies admit to loving Wonder Bread, but let’s be truthful: No other type of bread makes a better peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

With her penchant for good-humored irreverence, Ferrary’s book is both insightful and entertaining. It’s a wonderful read; so don’t miss it. It also makes a great gift for foodies.

Pummeled Bread

8 slices white bread, crusts removed

Wash hands thoroughly, especially if you’ve been playing in the sandbox all morning.

After removing crusts, set bread slices in front of you in a row. Clench fists tightly and, with knuckles facing each other, begin to pummel the slices. You will probably find it easier to alternate fists rather than smashing both fists down simultaneously.

When slices are completely flat, open fists and, gathering up one slice at a time, roll it into a tight ball like a piece of clay. Finally, place each ball in palm of hand and squish.

Balls may be served as is or with chocolate milk. Serves two as a main course, four as an hors d’oeuvre.

-Jeannette Ferrary, age 7


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