Fanny Farmer's last supper. . . Good Grief!

As I channel surfed this afternoon I stumbled onto a program on my local PBS channel.  Fanny Farmer's Last Supper.  

It is a production including Christopher Kimball, of America's Test Kitchen fame, and his wife, Adrienne.  I think I recognize some of the chefs from the same programing.  But please don't quote me on that. My memory is not what it once was.  

Fanny Farmer I had heard about.  I her knew to be a highly acclaimed teacher, chef and author in Victorian Boston.  Her cookbook was an American standard for decades after her death.

I learned Fanny was also a nutritionist as well as the first woman to lecture at Harvard.  

Being a cook of a little acclaim among my friends and family I was fascinated as they talked of the 'state of the art' kitchen.   A wood burning cast iron stove built into the foundation of the home.  

This stove was routinely revved up to 600 degrees. 365 days a year and no air-conditioning.   YIKES!!!

When they were able to obtain one of these massive stoves, install it with the intention of actually using it, I about passed out.  They went on to  reproduce Fanny's own recipes as she would have done herself.  As she spent her life teaching others to do.   

The arduous, occasionally unpleasant and dangerous, procedures they went through to truly replicate a dinner party from Victorian Boston was amazing.  I am flabbergasted at the depths they went through to produce something as mundane as gelatin.  

I am a little ashamed that after just a couple of setbacks with my bread making I was crying for help.  Imagine doing it without a bread machine or an electric oven.  

My dumpy little loaves are looking much better to me right now! 

If you love to cook or eat in our technical age you will be amazed at the life and times of Fanny Farmer.          


Popular Posts