Friday, July 9, 2010

My Fannie

Alas, my heinie is getting bigger monthly even without me cooking (perhaps because I'm not cooking). But that's not the subject of this post. I'm talking about the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. What a fun book.

Its full title is The All New Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook.

::talk about a mouthful!::

My tenth edition copy was purchased for $1 at St Vincent's and hails from some tidy kitchen in 1959. I fear that the previous owner cooked nary an item from the book, it's in such pristine condition. I hope to spill upon it some spaghetti sauce or some other gooey nummy substance so it at least appears to have been loved by someone.

One bit I find amusing: this edition contains the preface to the first edition (1896), a quote which reveals Fannie's hope for a near-future America that I don't believe has yet been realized:

"... the time is not far distant when a knowledge of the principles of diet will be an essential part of one's education. Then mankind will eat to live, will be able to do better mental and physical work, and disease will be less frequent." 

Can't say that America is here as she'd predicted, but still nice, no?

I am perhaps overly proud that I have actually MADE SOMETHING from this cookbook. I'd forgotten about it when I'd written my last post. I made---wait for it---French Dressing. That's right! A vinaigrette. Fancy.

French Dressing
Mix in a bottle or jar with a cover
1/2 cup olive or salad oil
2 Tbs mild vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 clove garlic
Cover. When ready to serve, remove the garlic and shake hard to blend. Makes 1/2 cup.

Here's what I don't understand. If you buy French dressing at the grocery store, it's red. It's sweet and red. But when you make it from a recipe it's your regular every-day vinaigrette like you'd imagine your store-bought Italian to be. 

I don't really understand it. I just accept it.