Today we remember the woman responsible for starting a cooking revolution in America. For centuries, words like "dash", “pinch,” “handful,” or “heaping cup” were used when preparing and sharing recipes. In 1896, the newly published Fannie Farmer Cook Book began to change all of that. It was the first cookbook which applied a standardized measurement system to cooking, and is still popular today, more than a century after its original publication.
From The Writer's Almanac:
It's the birthday of Fannie Merritt Farmer (books by this author), born in Boston (1857). She's known for publishing the first cookbook in American history that came with simple, precise cooking instructions.
She compiled all the recipes she had ever learned, along with advice on how to set a table, scald milk, cream butter, remove stains, and clean a copper boiler. At first, all the publishers turned her down because they reasoned that these were all things young women could learn from their mothers. Finally, Little, Brown agreed to publish the book if Fannie Farmer would pay for the printing of the first 3,000 copies. It has sold millions of copies since.
Strangely enough, I don't think I've ever owned a Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Nor do I remember my mother using one. I was raised in a Betty Crocker and Better Homes and Gardens kitchen. How about you - did you grow with Betty or Fannie?
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