Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Trailblazer of the Cooking Craft

Who the heck is Fanny Farmer? This is what I asked myself when I came across my old reliable cookbook. This 10th edition dating back to possibly 1959 was a freebie from a bank. The deal was, you open an account and you get this book. Evidently, my mom thought that it could benefit a newlywed like me. She was right! It was my first real cookbook and I still use it to this day. It has turned out to be the most complete and comprehensive reference piece ever.

Technology can be a wonderful tool. I googled Fanny Farmer and she was more amazing than her book. What a trailblazer. Even before the likes of Julia Child she was creating and cooking and teaching her techniques to ladies at the Boston cooking school. She suffered a paralytic stroke at the age of 16 which kept her home bound while she yearned to go to school. She took up cooking, turned her mom's home into a boarding house noted for it's good quality meals. She later (at 30 )enrolled in the Boston Cooking School where she trained until 1889, specializing in every element of cooking she could whether it be diet and nutrition or cleaning and sanitation techniques.

She later became principal and published her first edition in 1896. Her accomplishments go on and on. Pretty amazing, especially for a woman from that era! She died in 1915. Julia Child was only 3 at the time but she would take the "cooking craft" to the next level.
Thanks, Fanny. Your efforts were not wasted on me.

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