The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
My all-time favorite cookbook is The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. My current edition is the 13th. By current, I mean the third copy I have used. To be honest, I have no idea what edition I started with.
As you can see in the adjacent picture, my current edition is in bad shape. I don’t blame the publisher even though all my copies have met similar endings. Instead, I believe the condition reflects the daily use.
To be honest, I don’t remember if my mom or my maternal grandmother gave me my first copy. I do know it was a wedding present. Since I have been married over 30 years and am on my third cookbook, I can say each one has lasted a decade.
Hopefully my book-lover/ bookseller cousin won’t disown me, but I see some books as tools to be used. This cookbook is in that category. As you can see in the pictures below, the front and back inside cover give quick reference tips. If you are like me and don’t have the metric system memorized, it includes these measurements as well. I also like the old-fashioned tips such as blanching to remove skin peels which are found in between the tables.
The first 50 pages are full of definitions and explanations of cooking terms and items found in the kitchen. At the end of the recipes are two short sections. The first contains sample menus for various meals. The second is a wonderful table which includes calorie count as well as cholesterol, fat, protein and carbohydrate count of various food ingredients.
In between are hundreds of recipes along with more how-to information. I really like and use the tips found at the beginning of each section of the cookbook. For example, the book contains a two page spread under the fish/shellfish section that helps identify the different types of seafood. This is carried out through the sections.
So if you can’t quite figure out the mystery fruit in the produce section, buy one and bring it home. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook will not only help identify but also give you tips and recipes to use. The editors also use illustrations on cuts of meat as well as in the bread making and preserve sections. While not as fancy as some of the cookbooks with full color photo spreads, I like the fact that the visual aids always pop up where you need extra help to picture the process.
Since home economics classes are seldom found in K-12 schools, this is a great book to give. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook is well written. The recipes work even for those without much cooking experience. I love this book and highly recommend it. This cookbook is on the list, even if I could only own ten books.
What cookbook is on your top ten list?