Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book: The Boston Cooking School

Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book: The Boston Cooking School

by Fannie Merritt Farmer

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The cookbook that transformed the American kitchen from the country’s first celebrity chef. “Fannie Farmer was the original Rachael Ray.” (Smithsonian)
A classic bestseller for over a century, the Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book contains an incredible offering of 1,380 recipes, from boiling an egg to preparing a calf’s head. Farmer’s instructions also go beyond recipes to include how to set the table for proper tea, full menu ideas for holiday dinners, housekeeping tips, and so much more. This book is known for pioneering the standardization of measurements in recipe instructions, which made the creation of better meals possible for even the most inexperienced of cooks. Farmer’s thorough text is chock full of fabulous Americana for cooks and non-cooks alike.
This book is a great buy for cooks who want to get back to basics and enjoy the pleasures of traditional American cooking. Cooks who think they’ve done it all will discover classic recipes to share with friends and family, and total beginners will be comfortable with Farmer’s clear instructions for even the most basic meal prep. The Fannie Farmer Cook Book will be a valued addition to your cookbook collection.
“She wrote a book and created a legacy that has survived for more than a century after her death . . . Farmer’s cookbook revolutionized home cooking by introducing the concept of ‘level measurements.’” —
“Fannie Farmer changed the world with a simple idea: that home cooking was a serious pursuit, worthy of standards. Her lasting legacy is the modern recipe.” —New England Network

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510720190
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 43,428
File size: 41 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Fannie Farmer (1857–1915) came to cooking due to a stroke at the age of sixteen that forced her to remain homebound for over a decade. She took up cooking so thoroughly that she turned her mother’s home into a boardinghouse known for its uncommonly delicious meals. Once she was able to walk again, Farmer attended the Boston Cooking School in the late 1880s and learned to approach cooking as a domestic science, as was popular then. The cookbook she eventually published under the school’s name in 1896 became unexpectedly famous, thanks to its system of standardized measuring vessels and level measurements.

Read an Excerpt



Food is anything which nourishes the body. Thirteen elements enter into the composition of the body: oxygen, 62 %; carbon, 21 %; hydrogen, 10%; nitrogen, 3%; calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, iron, and fluorine the remaining 3%. Others are found occasionally, but, as their uses are unknown, will not be considered.

Food is necessary for growth, repair, and energy; therefore the elements composing the body must be found in the food. The thirteen elements named are formed into chemical compounds by the vegetable and animal kingdoms to support the highest order of being, man. All food must undergo chemical change after being taken into the body, before it can be utilized by the body; this is the office of the digestive system.

Food is classified as follows: —

I. Organic 1. Proteid (nitrogenous or albuminous).

2. Carbohydrates (sugar and starch).

3. Fats and oils.

II. Inorganic 1. Mineral matter.

2. Water.

The chief office of proteids is to build and repair tissues. They can furnish energy, but at greater cost than carbohydrates, fats, and oils. They contain nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulphur or phosphorus, and include all forms of animal foods (excepting fats and glycogen) and some vegetable foods. Examples: milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, cereals, peas, beans, and lentils. The principal constituent of proteid food is albumen. Albumen as found in food takes different names, but has the same chemical composition; as, albumen in eggs, fibrin in meat, casein in milk and cheese, vegetable casein or legumen in peas, beans, and lentils; and gluten in wheat. To this same class belongs gelatine.

The chief office of the carbohydrates is to furnish energy and maintain heat. They contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and include foods containing starch and sugar. Examples: vegetables, fruits, cereals, sugars, and gums.

The chief office of fats and oils is to store energy and heat to be used as needed, and constitute the adipose tissues of the body. Examples: butter, cream, fat of meat, fish, cereals, nuts, and the berry of the olive-tree.

The chief office of mineral matter is to furnish the necessary salts which are found in all animal and vegetable foods. Examples: sodium chloride (common salt); carbonates, sulphates and phosphates of sodium, potassium, and magnesium; besides calcium phosphates and iron.

Water constitutes about two-thirds the weight of the body, and is in all tissues and fluids; therefore its abundant use is necessary. One of the greatest errors in diet is neglect to take enough water; while it is found in all animal and vegetable food, the amount is insufficient.


Age, sex, occupation, climate, and season must determine the diet of a person in normal condition.

Liquid food (milk or milk in preparation with the various prepared foods on the market) should constitute the diet of a child for the first eighteen months. After the teeth appear, by which time ferments have been developed for the digestion of starchy foods, entire wheat bread, baked potatoes, cereals, meat broths, and occasionally boiled eggs may be given. If mothers would use Dr. Johnson's Educators in place of the various sweet crackers, children would be as well pleased and better nourished; with a glass of milk they form a supper suited to the needs of little ones, and experience has shown children seldom tire of them. The diet should be gradually increased by the addition of cooked fruits, vegetables, and simple desserts; the third or fourth year fish and meat may be introduced, if given sparingly. Always avoid salted meats, coarse vegetables (beets, carrots, and turnips), cheese, fried food, pastry, rich desserts, confections, condiments, tea, coffee, and iced water. For school children the diet should be varied and abundant, constantly bearing in mind that this is a period of great mental and physical growth. Where children have broken down, supposedly from over-work, the cause has often been traced to impoverished diet. It must not be forgotten that digestive processes go on so rapidly that the stomach is soon emptied. Thanks to the institutor of the school luncheon-counter!

The daily average ration of an adult requires

3½ oz. proteid.

3 oz. fat.

10 oz. starch.

1 oz. salt.

5 pints water.

About one-third of the water is taken in our food, the remainder as a beverage. To keep in health and do the best mental and physical work, authorities agree that a mixed diet is suited for temperate climates, although sound arguments appear from the vegetarian. Women, even though they do the same amount of work as men, as a rule require less food. Brain workers should take their proteid in a form easily digested. In consideration of this fact, fish and eggs form desirable substitutes for meat. The working man needs quantity as well as quality, that the stomach may have something to act upon. Corned beef, cabbage, brown-bread, and pastry will not overtax his digestion. In old age the digestive organs lessen in activity, and diet should be almost as simple as that of a child, increasing the amount of carbohydrates and decreasing the amount of proteids and fat.

WATER ([H.sub.2O).

Water is a transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid. It is derived from five sources, — rains, rivers, surface-water or shallow wells, deep wells, and springs. Water is never found pure in nature; it is nearly pure when gathered in an open field, after a heavy rainfall, or from springs. For town and city supply, surface-water is furnished by some adjacent pond or lake. Samples of such water are carefully and frequently analyzed, to make sure that it is not polluted with disease germs.

The hardness of water depends upon the amount of salts of lime and magnesia which it contains. Soft water is free from objectionable salts, and is preferable for household purposes. Hard water may be softened by boiling, or by the addition of a small amount of bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO).

Water freezes at a temperature of 32º F., boils at 212º F.; when bubbles appear on the surface and burst, the boiling-point is reached. In high altitudes water boils at a lower temperature. From 32º to 65º F. water is termed cold; from 65º to 92º F. tepid; 92º to 100º F. warm; over that temperature, hot. Boiled water is freed from all organic impurities, and salts of lime are precipitated; it does not ferment, and is a valuable antiseptic. Hot water is more stimulating than cold, and is of use taken on an empty stomach, while at a temperature of from 60º to 95º F. it is used as an emetic; 90º F. being the most favorable temperature.

Distilled water is chemically pure and is always used for medicinal purposes. It is flat and insipid to the taste, having been deprived of its atmospheric gases.

There are many charged, carbonized, and mineral spring waters bottled and put on the market; many of these are used as-agreeable table beverages. Examples: Soda water, Apollinaris, Poland, Seltzer, and Vichy. Some contain minerals of medicinal value. Examples: Lithia, saline, and sulphur waters.


Of all salts found in the body, the most abundant and valuable is sodium chloride (NaCl), common salt; it exists in all tissues, secretions, and fluids of the body, with exception of enamel of the teeth. The amount found in food is not always sufficient; therefore salt is used as a condiment. It assists digestion, inasmuch as it furnishes chlorine for hydrochloric acid found in gastric juice.

Common salt is obtained from evaporation of spring and sea water, also from mines. Our supply of salt obtained by evaporation comes chiefly from Michigan and New York; mined salt from Louisiana and Kansas.

Salt is a great preservative; advantage is taken of this in salting meat and fish.

Other salts — lime, phosphorus, magnesia, potash, sulphur, and iron — are obtained in sufficient quantity from food we eat and water we drink. In young children, perfect formation of bones and teeth depends upon phosphorus and lime taken into the system; these are found in meat and fish, but abound in cereals.

STARCH ([C.sub.6][H.sub.10][O.sub.5]).

Starch is a white, glistening powder; it is largely distributed throughout the vegetable kingdom, being found most abundantly in cereals and potatoes. Being a force-producer and heat-giver, it forms one of the most important foods. Alone it cannot sustain life, but must be taken in combination with foods which build and repair tissues.

Test for Starch. A weak solution of iodine added to cold cooked starch gives an intense blue color.

Starch is insoluble in cold water, almost soluble in boiling water. Cold water separates starch-grains, boiling water causes them to swell and burst, thus forming a paste.

Starch subjected to heat is changed to dextrine([C.sub.6][H.sub.10][O.sub.5]), British gum. Dextrine subjected to heat plus an acid or a ferment is changed to dextrose([C.sub.6][H.sub.12][O.sub.6]). Dextrose occurs in ripe fruit, honey, sweet wine, and as a manufactured product. When grain is allowed to germinate for malting purposes, starch is changed to dextrine and dextrose. In fermentation, dextrose is changed to alcohol ([C.sub.2][H.sub.5]HO) and carbon-dioxide (C[O.sub.2]). Examples; Bread-making, vinegar, and distilled liquors.

Glycogen, animal starch, is found in many animal tissues and in some fungi. Examples: In liver of meat and oysters.

Raw starch is not digestible; consequently all foods containing starch should be subjected to boiling water, and thoroughly cooked. Starch is manufactured from wheat, corn, and potatoes. Corn-starch is manufactured from Indian corn. Arrowroot, the purest form of starch, is obtained from two or three species of the Maranta plant, which grows in the West Indies and other tropical countries. Bermuda arrowroot is most highly esteemed. Tapioca is starch obtained from tuberous roots of the bitter cassava, native of South America. Sago is starch obtained from sago palms, native of India.

SUGAR ([C.sub.12][H.sub.22][O.sub.11]).

Sugar is a crystalline substance, differing from starch by its sweet taste and solubility in cold water. As food, its uses are the same as starch; all starch must be converted into sugar before it can be assimilated.

The principal kinds of sugar are: Cane sugar or sucrose, grape sugar or glucose ([C.sub.6][H.sub.12][Q.sub.6]), milk sugar or lactose ([C.sub.12][H.sub.22][O.sub.11]), and fruit sugar or levulose ([C.sub.6][H.sub.12][O.sub.6]).

Cane sugar is obtained from sugar cane, beets, and the palm and sugar-maple trees. Sugar cane is a grass supposed to be native to Southern Asia, but now grown throughout the tropics, a large amount coming from Cuba and Louisiana; it is the commonest and sweetest of all, and in all cases the manufacture is essentially the same. The products of manufacture are: Molasses, syrup, brown sugar, loaf, cut, granulated, powdered, and confectioners' sugar. Brown sugar is cheapest, but is not so pure or sweet as white grades; powdered and confectioners' sugars are fine grades, pulverized, and, although seeming less sweet to the taste, are equally pure. Confectioners' sugar when applied to the tongue will dissolve at once; powdered sugar is a little granular.

Cane sugar when added to fruits, and allowed to cook for some time, changes to grape sugar, losing one-third of its sweetness; therefore the reason for adding it when fruit is nearly cooked. Cane sugar is of great preservative value, hence its use in preserving fruits and milk; also, for the preparation of syrups.

Three changes take place in the cooking of sugar: First, barley sugar; second, caramel; third, carbon.

Grape sugar is found in honey and all sweet fruits. It appears on the outside of dried fruits such as raisins, dates, etc., and is only two-thirds as sweet as cane sugar. As a manufactured product it is obtained from the starch of corn.

Milk sugar is obtained from the milk of mammalia, but unlike cane sugar does not ferment.

Fruit sugar is obtained from sweet fruits, and is sold As diabetin, is sweeter than cane sugar, and is principally used by diabetic patients.


These compounds found in food are closely allied to the carbohydrates, but are neither starchy, saccharine, nor oily. Gum exists in the juices of almost all plants, coming from the stems, branches, and fruits. Examples: Gum arabic, gum tragacanth, and mucilage. Pectose exists in the fleshy pulp of unripe fruit; during the process of ripening it changes to pectin; by cooking, pectin is changed to pectosic acid, and by longer cooking to pectic acid. Pectosic acid is jelly-like when cold; pectic acid is jelly-like when hot or cold. Cellulose constitutes the cell-walls of vegetable life; in very young vegetables it is possible that it can be acted upon by the digestive ferments; in older vegetables it becomes woody and completely indigestible.


Fats and oils are found in both the animal and vegetable kingdom. Fats are solid; oils are liquid; they may be converted into a liquid state by application of heat; they contain three substances, stearin (solid), olein (liquid), palmitin (semi-solid). Suet is an example where stearin is found in excess; lard where olein is in excess, and butter where palmitin is in excess. Margarin is a mixture of stearin and palmitin. The fatty acids are formed of stearin, olein, and palmitin, with glycerine as the base. Examples: stearic, palmitic, and oleic acid. Butyric acid is acid found in butter. These are not sour to the taste, but are called acids on account of their chemical composition.

Among animal fats cream and butter are of first importance as foods, on account of their easy assimilation. Other examples are: The fat of meats, bone-marrow, suet (the best found around the loin and kidneys of the beef creature), lard, cottolene, coto-suet, cocoanut butter, butterine and oleomargarine. The principal animal oils are cod liver oil and oil found in the yolk of egg; principal vegetable oils are olive, cotton-seed, poppy, and cocoanut oil, and oils obtained from various nuts.

Oils are divided into two classes, essential and fixed. Essential oils are volatile and soluble in alcohol. Examples: Clove, rose, nutmeg, and violet. Fixed oils are non-volatile and soluble in ether, oil or turpentine. Examples: Oil of nuts, corn-meal, mustard, and glycerine.

Fats may be heated to a high temperature, as considered in cookery they have no boiling-point. When appearing to boil, it is evident water has been added, and the temperature lowered to that of boiling water, 212° F.



Proteid, 3.4%.

Fat, 4%.

Mineral matter, .7%.

Water, 87%.

Lactose, 4.9%.

Boston Chemist.

The value of milk as a food is obvious from the fact that it constitutes the natural food of all young mammalia during the period of their most rapid growth. There is some danger, however, of overestimating its value in the dietary of adults, as solid food is essential, and liquid taken should act as a stimulant and a solvent rather than as a nutrient. One obtains the greatest benefit from milk when taken alone at regular intervals between meals, or before retiring, and sipped, rather than drunk. Hot milk is often given to produce sleep.

When milk is allowed to stand for a few hours, the globules of fat, which have been held in suspension throughout the liquid, rise to the top in the form of cream; this is due to their lower specific gravity.

The difference in quality of milk depends chiefly on the quantity of fat therein: casein, lactose, and mineral matter being nearly constant, water varying but little unless milk is adulterated.

Why Milk Sours. A germ found floating in the air attacks a portion of the lactose in the milk, converting it into lactic acid; this, in turn, acts upon the casein (proteid) and precipitates it, producing what is known as curd and whey. Whey contains water, salts, and some sugar.

Milk is preserved by sterilization, pasteurisation, and evaporation. Fresh condensed milk, a form of evaporized milk, is sold in bulk, and is preferred by many to serve with coffee. Various brands of condensed milk and cream are on the market in tin cans, hermetically sealed. Examples: Nestle's Swiss Condensed Milk, Eagle Condensed Milk, Daisy Condensed Milk, Highland Evaporated Cream, Borden's Peerless Evaporated Cream. Malted milk — evaporized milk in combination with extracts of malted barley and wheat — is used to a considerable extent; it is sold in the form of powder.

Thin, or strawberry, and thick cream may be obtained from almost all creameries. Devonshire, or clotted cream, is cream which has been removed from milk allowed to heat slowly to a temperature of about 150° F.

In feeding infants with milk, avoid all danger of infectious germs by sterilization. By this process milk can be kept for many days, and transported if necessary. To prevent acidity of the stomach, add from one to two teaspoonfuls of lime water to each half pint of milk. Lime water may be bought at any druggist's, or easily prepared at home.

Lime Water. Pour two quarts boiling water over an inch cube unslacked lime; stir thoroughly and stand over night; in the morning pour off the liquid that is clear, and bottle for use. Keep in a cool place.


Excerpted from "Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book"
by .
Copyright © 2011 Fannie Merritt Farmer.
Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER II. Cookery,
CHAPTER III. Beverages,
CHAPTER IV. Bread and Bread Making,
CHAPTER V. Biscuits, Breakfast Cakes, and Shortcakes Batters, Sponges, and Doughs,
CHAPTER VI. Cereals,
CHAPTER IX. Soups without Stock,
CHAPTER X. Soup Garnishings and Force–Meats,
CHAPTER XIII. Lamb and Mutton,
CHAPTER XV. Sweetbreads,
CHAPTER XVII. Poultry and Game,
CHAPTER XVIII. Fish and Meat Sauces,
CHAPTER XIX. Vegetables,
CHAPTER XX. Potatoes,
CHAPTER XXI. Salad Dressings and Salads,
CHAPTER XXIII. Hot Puddings,
CHAPTER XXIV. Pudding Sauces,
CHAPTER XXV. Cold Desserts,
CHAPTER XXVI. Ces, Ice Creams, and other Frozen Desserts,
CHAPTER XXIX. Pastry Desserts,
CHAPTER XXX. Gingerbreads, Cookies, and Wafers,
CHAPTER XXXII. Cake Fillings and Frostings,
CHAPTER XXXIII. Fancy Cakes and Confections,
CHAPTER XXXIV. Sandwiches and Canapés,
CHAPTER XXXV. Recipes for the Chafing-dish,
CHAPTER XXXVI. Cooking, Preserving, and Canning Fruits,
CHAPTER XXXVII. Recipes Especially Prepared for the Sick,
CHAPTER XXXVIII. Helpful Hints to the Young Housekeeper,
CHAPTER XXXIX. Suitable Combinations for Serving,
Breakfast Menus,
Luncheon Menus,
Dinner Menus,
Menu for Thanksgiving Dinner,
Menu for Christmas Dinner,
A Full Course Dinner,
Menus for Full Course Dinners,
Necessary Utensils and Stores for Furnishing School,
Kitchen for a Class Of Twenty-Four,
Course of Instruction as Given at the Boston Cooking School,
Practice Lessons,

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