Fannie's Last Supper

Fannie's Last Supper

Re-creating One Amazing Meal From Fannie Farmer's 1896 Cookbook

eBook - 2010
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Before The Joy of Cooking , there was The Boston Cooking School Cookbook . Written by Fannie Farmer, principal of the school, and published in 1896, it was the bestselling cookbook of its age. 400,000 copies were sold by Farmer's death in 1915 -- and more than 4 million were sold by the 1960s. It perfectly encapsulates the late Victorian era, but it's also surprisingly modern; in short, it's ripe for reevaluation. And who better to conduct such an experiment than Chris Kimball, founder of Cook's Illustrated and host of PBS's America's Test Kitchen ? Fannie's Last Supper is the result. In it, Kimball assembles an extravagant 12-course Christmas dinner from Farmer's cookbook and serves it in an 1859 Boston townhouse, complete with an authentic Victorian home kitchen, uniformed maids, and a distinguished guest list. The menu includes Roast Goose with Potato Stuffing, Canton Punch, Three Moulded Victorian Jellies, and Mandarin Cake. But Kimball includes more than just the dinner party's dishes -- Fannie's Last Supper is a working cookbook with tested, rewritten, updated recipes drawn from Farmer's opus. It's a culinary thriller of sorts, travelling back in time to reexamine something most of us take for granted: the North American table.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2010
ISBN: 9781551993607
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE eBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (260 p.) : ill. (chiefly col.)
Additional Contributors: Farmer, Fannie Merritt 1857-1915


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Mar 25, 2011

I am always intrigued by the debris of history rather than the well worn stories of historical giants and this book suits my fancy in every way. Part epicurean record and part ghost of dinners past this records the everyday aspect (aspic?) of the strange world of Victorian eating and drinking habits. While trying to preserve the factual twelve course dinner and serve it to modern audiences, Chris Kimball overcomes a battle with a wood burning stove, forgetting that a calve's head needs to be de-brained (I knew that!) and multiple fancy jellies. Whew!

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