Thursday, January 07, 2010

Old School Thursday: Cookbooks & Philosophers Edition

Happy National Tempura Day! While I normally complain about overly specific and seemingly random national days, I really love tempura (who doesn’t? It’s fried.) – so I’m going to let this one go.

Speaking of things everyone loves, today also marks the 392nd anniversary of Sir Francis Bacon becoming the Lord Chancellor of England. Not that everyone loves Sir Francis Bacon so much as everyone loves bacon with a small b. But still. Mmmm, bacon.

Over 250 years later, on January 7, 1896, the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, then called the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, was published. Though I don’t own this book myself, I certainly appreciate its legacy. Farmer was an impressive lady herself, a working woman, and her book introduced the concept of standardized measurements and leveled measuring.

Like a lot of home cooks, I frequently use recipes just as a starting point, and I only sort of pay attention to measurements. But I’ve also tried to cook from more than a few recipes that lacked clarity. And it’s hard.

So today, why not check out the 1918 version of the book? Isn’t it amazing what you can find on the internet these days?

Oh yeah, and make some bacon. Maybe even fry it up, tempura/state fair-style. It’s not like it won’t be delicious.


Cail said...

Fannie Farmer is AMAZING. To me, it's like an edited-down version of Mark Bittman's "How To Cook Everything". When I want to know how long to cook an egg so that it comes out soft-boiled, I check with Fannie, but also use the book for more complex recipes.

Wags said...

OMG. Seriously? Did you just write tempura bacon?

Toss in some chocolate and some confectioners sugar and I think I might just go all Seven on myself.


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