Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Mieography

Meet Fannie Farmer.
She was born in Medford, Mass. in 1857, the oldest of four daughters born to Mary and John Farmer. Her parents highly valued education, even for their daughters. Unfortunately, when Fannie was sixteen years old, she suffered a paralytic stroke, thus ending her formal education. She did not walk, for years, and remained at home under the care of her parents. She eventually managed to learn to walk, again, but always had a pronounced limp.
When she was thirty, Fanie enrolled herself in the Boston Cooking School. During this time, their focus was 'domestic science', and she learned things along these lines, like Nutrition and diet for both well people, and those convalescing from illnesses, cleaning and sanitation, chemical analysis of food, and household management. She was one of the top students. She eventually moved on and became a the Principal of the school.
In 1896 Fannie published er most well known work, "The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. It included a wide variety of recipes, and essays on the importance of house cleaning, canning, drying fruits and veggies, and nutritional information. The book became so popular that the housewives referred to it as "Fannie Farmer cookbook", and it is STILL available in print, over 100 years later.
She also helped to standardize the system of measurement we use in cooking, today. Before she stepped in, recipes frequently called for measurements like "a piece of butter the size of an egg", or, "a teacup of milk". She was nicknamed "the mother of level measurements"
She eventually left the school in Boston, and started her own school. She started teaching the housewives, but her real interest lie in the needs of convalescing people. She ended up writing a book called "Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent", and was invited to lecture at the Harvard Medical School. She then began teaching this to doctors, and nurses.
She continued to lecture, write, and create new recipes until ten days before she died, at age of 57.


Anonymous said...

I always enjoy visiting on Fridays.

Daryl said...

So young when she died ... I had no idea who Fannie Farmer was .. or if she was 'real' or an advertisers invention like Aunt Jemima

Lori said...

And she made damn good candy. I didn't ever realize the history behind her.

sybil law said...

Thank God for Fannie and her measurements!!! Seriously. I'd have never learned how to cook if I had to go on those whack measurements of long ago!

holly said...

unfortunately, i still use measurements like 'a golf ball's worth of milk' and 'the amount of flour you can fit in a man's hat'

maybe that's why i don't cook much.

Mary said...

I'm always proud of myself when I know who the person is on your mieography. Very interesting , as always!

bernthis said...

measurements are great for those that can follow a recipe. What an amazing woman. I love hearing about women who made something out of nothing, so to speak. My mom was a real pioneer in her field and taught me that being a woman shouldn't stop me from pursuing any career I wanted