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Fannie's Last Supper: Re-Creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 Cookbook

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Fannie's Last Supper: Re-Creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 Cookbook Cover

ISBN13: 9781401323226
ISBN10: 1401323227
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 best-selling 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 twelve-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 Molded 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 forty tested, rewritten, updated recipes drawn from Farmer's opus.

It's a culinary thriller of sorts, traveling back in time to reexamine something most of us take for granted: the American table.

Review:

"Kimball, founder of Cook's Illustrated and host of the PBS series America's Test Kitchen, spent more than two years of 'research, recipe testing, and intense planning' in order to host a Victorian dinner based on the recipes of Fannie Farmer, author of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, which was first published in 1896. Kimball is as exhaustive in his research as he is in one of his own test recipes for Cook's Illustrated, and fans of his work will appreciate his attention to even the smallest morsel of information. Kimball is off on a culinary and historical adventure as he literally traces Fannie Farmer's steps around Boston at the turn of the century, regaling the reader with a history of Boston, observations of the Victorian character, manner of dress, and cooking implements and appliances available. In the meantime, his own team has been assembled and they are methodically testing recipes and ingredients in Kimball's 1859 red-brick Boston bowfront. All this work culminates in a foodie's dream dinner party, complete with Victorian plate settings, an all-star guest list, and 12 courses you won't find in any restaurant today. A must-read for history buffs, home cooks, and professional chefs alike. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

Kimball recreates an extravagant 12-course Christmas dinner taken from Fannie Farmer's "The Boston Cooking School Cookbook," published in 1896. The book ties in with a PBS special airing in November.

Synopsis:

In the mid-1990s, Chris Kimball moved into an 1859 Victorian townhouse on the South End of Boston and, as he became accustomed to the quirks and peculiarities of the house and neighborhood, he began to wonder what it was like to live and cook in that era. In particular, he became fascinated with Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Published in 1896, it was the best-selling cookbook of its age—full of odd, long-forgotten ingredients, fascinating details about how the recipes were concocted, and some truly amazing dishes (as well as some awful ones).

In Fannie’s Last Supper, Kimball describes the experience of re-creating one of Fannie Farmer’s amazing menus: a twelve-course Christmas dinner that she served at the end of the century. Kimball immersed himself in composing twenty different recipes—including rissoles, Lobster À l’AmÉricaine, Roast Goose with Chestnut Stuffing and Jus, and Mandarin Cake—with all the inherent difficulties of sourcing unusual animal parts and mastering many now-forgotten techniques, including regulating the heat on a coal cookstove and boiling a calf’s head without its turning to mush, all sans food processor or oven thermometer. Kimball’s research leads to many hilarious scenes, bizarre tastings, and an incredible armchair experience for any reader interested in food and the Victorian era.

Fannie’s Last Supper includes the dishes from the dinner and revised and updated recipes from The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. A culinary thriller. it offers a fresh look at something that most of us take for granted—the American table.

About the Author

"Chris Kimball founded Cook's Magazine in 1980. Now known as Cook's Illustrated, it has a paid circulation of 1,000,000. He also hosts America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country, the top-rated cooking shows on public television. He lives in Boston.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Acemoose, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by Acemoose)
Fannie's Last Supper, by the irreverent and saucy chef, Christopher Kimball, is a visual and gustatory delight. Based on serious research on Victorian era tastes, manners and the pecking order, the book is anything BUT serious. Even the most squeamish reader will not find it easy to get through the passages about late-night encounters with "dancing" segmented lobsters, eyeballs, gaping grins, and feet bouncing up and down in stockpots without laughing -- thankfully, the rest of the book is more "digestible".

Covering the life of Fannie Farmer, her cookery, inventive recipes, their shortfalls and all, covered up with French(or French-sounding) names, Chris Kimball does a supreme job of not only re-creating these recipes to create an unforgettable banquet, but does so using ingredients AND cookery available in Fannie's era (such as a coal-fired stove converted to wood fuel) without giving much of a nod at all to modern day devices.

Aided by sous-chefs, Uber-chefs, and various dedicated assistants, the result of his research and hard-work play out into an unforgettable night of dining, all the while keeping time with the limits allowed for proper dining back in the late 19th, early 20th century.

The narrative kept me spell-bound, and the climax -- the unfolding scenario of the actual night of the banquet and the red hot stove, are not to be missed. The photographs do this book justice. The Bibliography is exquisite and irresistible, like the banquet itself. Recipes (and websites for other recipes) abound, for brain balls, fried artichokes and other goodies as well as for the main course(S) and desserts. Bravo Christhoper Kimball! Bravo,Fannie Farmer!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781401323226
Author:
Kimball, Christopher
Publisher:
Hyperion Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Regional & Ethnic - American - General
Subject:
General Cooking
Subject:
Cooking and Food-US General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 18.8 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » Ethnic
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Fannie's Last Supper: Re-Creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 Cookbook Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Hyperion - English 9781401323226 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Kimball, founder of Cook's Illustrated and host of the PBS series America's Test Kitchen, spent more than two years of 'research, recipe testing, and intense planning' in order to host a Victorian dinner based on the recipes of Fannie Farmer, author of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, which was first published in 1896. Kimball is as exhaustive in his research as he is in one of his own test recipes for Cook's Illustrated, and fans of his work will appreciate his attention to even the smallest morsel of information. Kimball is off on a culinary and historical adventure as he literally traces Fannie Farmer's steps around Boston at the turn of the century, regaling the reader with a history of Boston, observations of the Victorian character, manner of dress, and cooking implements and appliances available. In the meantime, his own team has been assembled and they are methodically testing recipes and ingredients in Kimball's 1859 red-brick Boston bowfront. All this work culminates in a foodie's dream dinner party, complete with Victorian plate settings, an all-star guest list, and 12 courses you won't find in any restaurant today. A must-read for history buffs, home cooks, and professional chefs alike. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , Kimball recreates an extravagant 12-course Christmas dinner taken from Fannie Farmer's "The Boston Cooking School Cookbook," published in 1896. The book ties in with a PBS special airing in November.
"Synopsis" by , In the mid-1990s, Chris Kimball moved into an 1859 Victorian townhouse on the South End of Boston and, as he became accustomed to the quirks and peculiarities of the house and neighborhood, he began to wonder what it was like to live and cook in that era. In particular, he became fascinated with Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Published in 1896, it was the best-selling cookbook of its age—full of odd, long-forgotten ingredients, fascinating details about how the recipes were concocted, and some truly amazing dishes (as well as some awful ones).

In Fannie’s Last Supper, Kimball describes the experience of re-creating one of Fannie Farmer’s amazing menus: a twelve-course Christmas dinner that she served at the end of the century. Kimball immersed himself in composing twenty different recipes—including rissoles, Lobster À l’AmÉricaine, Roast Goose with Chestnut Stuffing and Jus, and Mandarin Cake—with all the inherent difficulties of sourcing unusual animal parts and mastering many now-forgotten techniques, including regulating the heat on a coal cookstove and boiling a calf’s head without its turning to mush, all sans food processor or oven thermometer. Kimball’s research leads to many hilarious scenes, bizarre tastings, and an incredible armchair experience for any reader interested in food and the Victorian era.

Fannie’s Last Supper includes the dishes from the dinner and revised and updated recipes from The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. A culinary thriller. it offers a fresh look at something that most of us take for granted—the American table.

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