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The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

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Here is the great basic American cookbook--with more than 1,990 recipes, plain and fancy--that belongs in every household. Originally published in 1896 as The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer, it became the coobook that taught generations of Americans how to cook. Completely updating it for the first time since 1979, Marion Cunningham made Fannie Far Here is the great basic American cookbook--with more than 1,990 recipes, plain and fancy--that belongs in every household. Originally published in 1896 as The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer, it became the coobook that taught generations of Americans how to cook. Completely updating it for the first time since 1979, Marion Cunningham made Fannie Farmer once again a household word for a new generation of cooks. What makes this basic cookbook so distinctive is that Marion Cunningham, who is the personification of the nineteenth-century teacher, is always at your side with her forthright tips and comments, encouraging the beginning cook and inspiring the more adventurous. She knows what today's cooks are looking for, and she has a way of instilling confidence and joy in the act of cooking. In giving the book new life, Mrs. Cunningham has been careful always to preserve the best of the old. She has retained all the particularly good, tried-and-true recipes from preceding editions, retesting and rewriting when necessary. She has rediscovered lost treasures, including delicious recipes that were eliminated when practically no one baked bread at home. This is now the place to find the finest possible recipes for Pumpkin Soup, Boston Baked Beans, Carpetbag Steak, Roast Stuffed Turkey, Anadama Bread, Indian Pudding, Apple Pie, and all of the other traditional favorites. The new recipes reflect ethnic influences--Mediterranean, Moroccan, Asian--that have been adding their flavors to American cooking in recent years. Tucked in among all your favorites like Old-Fashioned Beef Stew, New England Clam Chowder, Ham Timbales, and Chicken Jambalaya, you'll find her cool Cucumber Sushi, Enchiladas with Chicken and Green Sauce, or a layered dish of Polenta and Fish to add variety to your repertoire. Always a champion of old-fashioned breakfasts and delectable desserts, Mrs. Cunningham has many splendid new offerings to tempt you. Throughout, cooking terms and procedures are explained, essential ingredients are spelled out, basic equipment is assessed. Mrs. Cunningham even tells you how to make a good cup of coffee and how to brew tea properly. For the diet-conscious, there is an expanded nutritional chart that includes a breakdown of cholesterol and fat in common ingredients as well as in Fannie Farmer basic recipes. Where the taste of a dish would not be altered, Mrs. Cunningham has reduced the amount of cream and butter in some of the recipes from the preceding edition. She carefully evaluates the issues of food safety today and alerts us to potential hazards. But the emphasis here is always on good flavor, fresh ingredients, and lots of variety in one's daily fare, which Marion Cunningham believes is the secret to a healthy diet. Dedicated to the home cooks of America, young and old, this thirteenth edition of the book that won the hearts of Americans more than a century ago invites us all--as did the original Fannie Farmer--to cherish the delights of the family table.

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30 review for The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Randi

    I love this cookbook! It is my very favorite! All the recipes are simple and if you like good old fashioned homemade food that is easy to make and doesn't cost a lot, this is for you. This book will teach you how to cook. The ingredients are basic and there are many recipes for simple inexpensive dishes. A must for people on a budget who want to learn to cook from scratch. The date is set for today but I have had this book for 5 years and I still use it all the time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    DeB MaRtEnS

    The Fanny Farmer Cookbook has been around for a long, long time. I was given a paperback copy by my mother in 1972 and its tattered cover barely holds the contents of this excellent cookery manual. My mother's favourite cookbook, a thick hardcover, the source of waffle batter, baking powder biscuits and the best dumplings for a beef stew, I remember learning how to use our cast iron waffle maker in the 1960’s with Fanny Farmer's directions. THAT cookbook was left with my father after my mother's The Fanny Farmer Cookbook has been around for a long, long time. I was given a paperback copy by my mother in 1972 and its tattered cover barely holds the contents of this excellent cookery manual. My mother's favourite cookbook, a thick hardcover, the source of waffle batter, baking powder biscuits and the best dumplings for a beef stew, I remember learning how to use our cast iron waffle maker in the 1960’s with Fanny Farmer's directions. THAT cookbook was left with my father after my mother's death in 1980, after I hastily gathered vintage memories of my mom, the other cooking bibles of a life, so that her Pineapple Upsidedown Cake and Shortbread cookies would belong to my own family as part of their history too. The deal was, I told my father, don't under any circumstances throw that FANNY FARMER COOKBOOK out. Ok? I want it. It is Mom's. In 2015 my 89 year old father had downsized. The woman he had lived with for twenty years was now in care near her own sons in another town three hundred miles away. He was surrounded by tschokes from his travels and own taste, unfamiliar to me. He'd had a fall, fainting because of anaemia and knocked himself out and was checked into the hospital for a few days, and I flew in at an unaffordable expense to see him. Demure in the hospital, grateful for the attention and even gentle, I relaxed with this old and frail man. On our last day there, he was back home, shuffling cantankerously and cursing the physiotherapist who insisted that he get a walker with wheels and a brake. He was calling into question my political beliefs, scorning my lack of bigotry as a sign of ignorance, discounting my ongoing didactic pursuits with his assured superiority. He was well again. Sidestepping, I asked about my mother's cookbook. I asked you to keep The Fanny Farmer Cookbook for me. He snorted. I threw it out. I didn't remember THAT. It was out of date, I wasn't using it, it wasn't any good to ME. I don't have that one, published in the 1960s, with it's fine paper and sturdy cover. I keep my own. When I hold my tattered paperback, it holds a lifetime of Cookbook stories - scenes lived by women in a time before microwaves and easy mixes held the ingredients of lives, and I remember my mom.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    The Fannie Farmer cookbook by Marion Cunninhgam Always trying to improve on our healthy eating habits so thought I'd listen to this book on tape about the Fannie Farmer cookbook. So much information about measuring and how different ingredients react to liquid, heat, etc Also entertaining ideas and even beverages are discussed. More than 30 hours to listen to the whole book. So much information, treasured the vegetable section and how to cook them differently. I received this book from National Libr The Fannie Farmer cookbook by Marion Cunninhgam Always trying to improve on our healthy eating habits so thought I'd listen to this book on tape about the Fannie Farmer cookbook. So much information about measuring and how different ingredients react to liquid, heat, etc Also entertaining ideas and even beverages are discussed. More than 30 hours to listen to the whole book. So much information, treasured the vegetable section and how to cook them differently. I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    I received this cookbook as a wedding gift in 1979. The marriage didn't last, but the cookbook has remained my closest kitchen ally. Recipes are altered with every publication, and so although the cover has fallen from it and the binding is failing, I put a big rubber band around it when not in use. I have a lot of cookbooks, but this is the one I reach for still.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jane Dugger

    What a fabulous reference cookbook! This would be a great gift for a new home.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    This is my #1 standby cookbook. I refer to it for almost everything, for various ways to prepare literally any vegetable I can think of, to baking cakes, cobblers and many old-fashioned delights that I have never heard of. It is comprehensive enough that I cross-reference all recipes against it. My great-grandmother used this book, and she was an amazing cook, so I trust it for pretty much all basic recipes. I must note, if you are vegetarian-leaning, it is worth it to pick up the latest edition This is my #1 standby cookbook. I refer to it for almost everything, for various ways to prepare literally any vegetable I can think of, to baking cakes, cobblers and many old-fashioned delights that I have never heard of. It is comprehensive enough that I cross-reference all recipes against it. My great-grandmother used this book, and she was an amazing cook, so I trust it for pretty much all basic recipes. I must note, if you are vegetarian-leaning, it is worth it to pick up the latest edition as over the years many recipes have been added that do not require meat. But if you are vegan, you will need to make the substitutions on your own as many recipes have dairy. I cook vegan a lot though and have had no problem making subs with the recipes herein.

  7. 5 out of 5

    B.A.

    Fanny is a good staple, especially for someone rather new to the kitchen (not too new, you have to at least know the basics as there are no pictures and few drawings). If you only owned one cookbook, this would be a decent choice as it contains all the major categories. However, if you love food and you love to cook, you will outgrow Fanny. Drawback: My edition doesn't have any nutritional information, which dates any cookbook.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gopi

    Marion Cunningham writes cookbooks the way I would: informative, but dull; all head and no heart. The recipes are reliable and simple, but uninspiring and unspectacular. I'd say skip this one, and get How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. For some historical perspective and to see why Fannie Farmer herself was so important to cookbook authors everywhere, you should also have a look at 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I read my mom's 1960 (?) copy of Fannie Farmer over Xmas break from front to back - as if it were a novel. All the really neat parts of that edition are missing from the newer editions. Bummer. I would have liked to see a trend of old fashioned coffee made with eggshells and yolk; or cookies made with chicken fat.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This is really a hands-down best "go to" guide for cooking really anything you can think of. It gives the basics as well as more complex recipes. I find myself reaching for this again and again. It would make a wonderful gift for a newly married couple or any person starting out in the kitchen.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Although the copy I have is older, printed in the early '80s, this is pretty much the gold standard of basic cookbooks. I always refer back to it for things, and this is the first time I really sat down and read it all the way through.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    This is the ultimate cookbook. Everyone should have this as a staple in their kitchen. If you are ever in question on how to go about cooking something, you have a pretty good chance of finding the answer in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Reevesjenny

    Haven't been reading much, but have been baking some treats from this great book my mother in law gave me years ago! I recommend the any fruit crisp! We had one last night with strawberries and apples. Yum

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert Owens

    I have always been a fan of the Fannie Farmer cookbook. This is my go-to basic cookbook for whenever I need to read up on how to do something or at what temperature something should cook at. I find this easy to follow and enjoy the approach taken in describing dishes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    This is a great all purpose cookbook with wonderful recipes. Although I have many, many cookbooks, Fanny Farmer, the Joy of Cooking and The Best Skillet Recipes, a gift from a dear friend, are the three that I use 95% of the time and contain the vast majority of my family's favorite recipes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    This is a good cookbook for vegan baking (believe it or not!) There are many recipes for things that use only one egg (which is easy to substitute) and some which call for no dairy at all. Good for pie crust, cobbler and other traditional baked goods.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    I use this even more often than The Joy of Cooking for reference.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    My fiance's paternal grandmother gave me this little treasure! I have some of my family's recipes that I love, but this book is now my go to for everything that isn't in my own collection.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This is the best basic cookbook in America, hands down. It is filled with all the classic dishes you could ever imagine, as well as some great old forgotten recipes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Three cheers for the perfect cookbook! Really. Whether you know nothing or everything about preparing food this book will come in handy. Basic techniques, delicious recipes, and Cunningham's updates are stellar. Awesome food is possible.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mintkittytea

    "To my darling daughter Teresa on her 22nd birthday. May you have many happy years and great meals. May 26/95 Mom" It's an amazing cookbook, too. more later

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jasmeet Kaur

    I really want to read this book but it does not let me read it

  23. 4 out of 5

    Reid Wayman

    My go to cookbook for more than 40 years

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    My go-to cookbook for all the basics.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I grew up with my mother's 1970's split, falling apart, taped in separated pages copy gracing our kitchen and always begged her to get another book. Then one day, this hardcover reissued anniversary edition came under my tree and I have learned why my mother kept her tattered, broken copy as something sacred. Despite having been given so many different instructional guides, Fannie Farmer has been my go-to guide for many years. Not only do I look up techniques I do not know or cannot remember, I I grew up with my mother's 1970's split, falling apart, taped in separated pages copy gracing our kitchen and always begged her to get another book. Then one day, this hardcover reissued anniversary edition came under my tree and I have learned why my mother kept her tattered, broken copy as something sacred. Despite having been given so many different instructional guides, Fannie Farmer has been my go-to guide for many years. Not only do I look up techniques I do not know or cannot remember, I often look up topics I am already familiar with to see what Marion Cunningham has to say and always learn something new. The instructions are very clear and the recipes solid. In fact, when starting at a new office, there was an upcoming bake sale and I was strongly encouraged to participate to help assimilate. Well, I am a cook, not a baker, but I had so much faith in Fannie Farmer (and my mother's advice) that I made her gingerbread cookies for the first time for the bake sale - and had everyone commenting and asking for the recipe. It feels so good to have a cookbook I can rely upon to simply work whenever I try to make something. As for my mother's tattered '70's edition, she did buy herself a new copy at the same time. She assures me that one day my copy will be as well-loved as hers once was and to prepare for the chiding of my own children. I simply remind her that, if you find a good reference you will be opening a lot, buy a hardcover; the expense is worth it. EDIT: Having read other people's reviews, I must concede that the lack of pictures can be troublesome for some beginner cooks and the recipes are mostly basics - this is not a foodie cookbook (I have others for that). However, one cannot begin to walk then run a marathon, nor can every movement be a dance; this is a great book to have around as a reference to a wide variety of foods/techniques on which to build a solid foundation, as well as for some of our home-made comfort foods.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    This is my go-to cookbook for just about everything.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    So after a while I figured out that the illusive Boston Cooking School Cookbook of my mother's shelf is also the famed Fannie Farmer cookbook and I could be super efficient in my cookbookery. I found an awesome copy from 1943 in a used bookstore and it came with handwritten recipe cards for disgusting 60's food tucked in between the pages. Altogether awesome. Everyone should have a Fannie Farmer Cookbook because it tells you how to cook pretty much anything. Roasting a chicken? There is a table f So after a while I figured out that the illusive Boston Cooking School Cookbook of my mother's shelf is also the famed Fannie Farmer cookbook and I could be super efficient in my cookbookery. I found an awesome copy from 1943 in a used bookstore and it came with handwritten recipe cards for disgusting 60's food tucked in between the pages. Altogether awesome. Everyone should have a Fannie Farmer Cookbook because it tells you how to cook pretty much anything. Roasting a chicken? There is a table for that. Boiling a radish? There are ten different recipes. Don't have any crackers? There's detailed instructions on how to make crackers. There are no pictures because Fannie has no time for pictures unless it's a diagram of how to truss a chicken or fold a danish. There are no heartfelt side-stories because Fannie is too busy teaching you how to be great. There is no reason to not find one of these somewhere and treasure it forever. FOREVER

  28. 5 out of 5

    jacky

    I have a different edition - the eleventh. My mother insisted that I take a copy of this since it is the same one she has and she has given a copy to my brother and sister. I very rarely use cookbooks, but I figured it couldn't hurt to take it. I have used it exactly once so far. To look up how long to bake a sweet potato for Natalie. I still needed to call my mother though to ask if wrapping it in foil would change the cook time. I will say that I was impressed that it had directions for cookin I have a different edition - the eleventh. My mother insisted that I take a copy of this since it is the same one she has and she has given a copy to my brother and sister. I very rarely use cookbooks, but I figured it couldn't hurt to take it. I have used it exactly once so far. To look up how long to bake a sweet potato for Natalie. I still needed to call my mother though to ask if wrapping it in foil would change the cook time. I will say that I was impressed that it had directions for cooking a sweet potato. My Better Homes and Gardens cookbook focuses on more fancy recipes. That usually means its not useful for us since I am allergic to the two most popular ingredients: Eggs and flour.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matriarchy

    My paternal grandparents gave me an inscribed copy of this when I was a teen, and it was one of the building blocks of my cooking knowledge. Actually, my grandfather's wife (a step-grandmother I disliked) was more of a Julia Child fan and did most of their cooking. But my grandfather bought this book, and said his mother had the original Boston version. Too bad that didn't get handed down. My copy was lost - stolen, really. A neighbor asked to borrow it to look for fudge recipes, and then claime My paternal grandparents gave me an inscribed copy of this when I was a teen, and it was one of the building blocks of my cooking knowledge. Actually, my grandfather's wife (a step-grandmother I disliked) was more of a Julia Child fan and did most of their cooking. But my grandfather bought this book, and said his mother had the original Boston version. Too bad that didn't get handed down. My copy was lost - stolen, really. A neighbor asked to borrow it to look for fudge recipes, and then claimed she didn't have it when I asked for it back. She was crazy - but I may still one day track her down, invade her kitchen and find that cookbook, with my grandfather's inscription inside the cover.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dottie

    While I learned a lot from Julia Child and company, Fannie Farmer was my right hand kitchen Bible and I’ve passed that along to both my girls who also have “cookbook-itis” to some extent. The younger daughter at age seven lounged at table or in armchair with this book trolling for dishes for her birthday dinner and put together a menu which has been her standard pick forever since – chicken divan as entrée, angel food cake with peach melba served alongside as the finishing touch. Skip the frosti While I learned a lot from Julia Child and company, Fannie Farmer was my right hand kitchen Bible and I’ve passed that along to both my girls who also have “cookbook-itis” to some extent. The younger daughter at age seven lounged at table or in armchair with this book trolling for dishes for her birthday dinner and put together a menu which has been her standard pick forever since – chicken divan as entrée, angel food cake with peach melba served alongside as the finishing touch. Skip the frosting and decorations and candles please –- just give her plain angelfood with peach melba. You gotta love it!

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