Does A 2 Year Old Need To Be In School Fannie Merritt Farmer – Mother of the American Cookbook

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Fannie Merritt Farmer – Mother of the American Cookbook

When a person, whether a foodie or just someone who appreciates good, well-prepared food, thinks of delicious, innovative meals, the name Fannie Merritt Farmer comes to mind. Her story is one of determination in teaching the public that one did not have to be a professional chef to live an ideal life in the kitchen and around the house.

Bostonian Fannie Merritt Farmer (born March 23, 1857) was the eldest of the four daughters born to a strong Unitarian family led by John Franklin Merritt and Mary Ann Watson. Her parents strongly believed in a good education for their girls and it was a given that each of them would complete college. Unfortunately for her, Fannie, while still in high school, suffered a paralytic stroke in her left leg, possibly an aftereffect of polio. Treated as an invalid for several years, she was not allowed to return to school.

A 30-year-old Farmer, not wishing to spend her remaining years languishing in bed, hired herself out as a nanny to a prominent family friend, Mrs. Charles Shaw. Mrs. Shaw encouraged Fannie to enroll in classes at the Boston Cooking School so she could become a professional cooking instructor. Founded in 1879 by the Woman’s Education Association of Boston, the school emphasized a more intellectual, structured approach to the preparation of food and attention to diet, and in the course of time, women gained an elevated status not simply as cooks, but as educated cooks. . teachers and health authorities, be it for the normally healthy but also for the chronically ill in its guise as a post-civil war school founded by philanthropists and reformers. Working women were given an opportunity to enter the professional workforce when the labor market for women was not at its optimum. With an emphasis on science and domestic skills, the Boston Cooking School discreetly encouraged upper-class women to learn a “respectable” means of supporting themselves in the event of a reversal of fortune or the death of a husband. Mrs. Mary Johnson Lincoln, after the collapse of her husband’s economy, was one of those women. Having become a celebrity cooking instructor and the author of the original edition of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook, she was an inspiration to Fannie Farmer. Farmer completed the school’s 2-year program in 1889 and went on to become vice-principal and then principal in 1891.

Fannie Farmer’s first cookbook, a revised version of Mrs. Lincoln’s book, The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, was published in 1896 and is still in print today. It was based on Mrs. Lincoln’s school recipes, without giving Lincoln credit for them. Farmer’s edition was concise and simple, with a wide scope. Its selling point was in how well food science was mixed with appealing recipes. Farmer’s book formed a systematic overview of cooking. The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook left, no doubt, Fannie Farmer a woman of generous means. Because the publisher refused to accept a business venture designed by women, they insisted that she pay all the initial printing costs. Because of that one-sided attitude, Farmer ended up retaining the copyright and profits and was in a position, if she chose, to make some men very uncomfortable for questioning her business acumen.

In 1902, Farmer left her position so she might open Miss Farmer’s School of Cooking. Here she placed greater emphasis on teaching housewives and social matrons. Her new goal was to focus on healthy diets for the sick and the chronically ill, or disabled patients. Farmer was involved in training hospital dietitians and nurses as well as regularly lecturing at the Harvard Medical School. Farmer also published, in 1904, what she considered her magnus corpus: Food and Cooking for the Sick and Convalescent. Topics she touched on here ranged from breastfeeding babies to alcohol consumption to practically treating diabetes, while encouraging her readers to make beautiful food presentations for the sick: serve a heart-shaped bread and butter sandwich on a delicate floral. dish rather than carelessly throwing down a piece of bread and a lump of butter. She felt that aesthetics helped the patient to make a faster recovery.

During the remaining years of her life, Farmer continued to lecture all over the country. Towards the end, she suffered two more strokes and was forced to return to her wheelchair. She lectured until ten days before she died (January 15, 1915). Her school continued to flourish under the leadership of Alice Bradley, until it closed in 1944.

If for nothing else, Fannie Merritt Farmer was revered by millions for her innovations in the way a recipe was written. She standardized the size of measurements so that a cup was always a cup, no matter what substance was being measured. This brought much more precision so that in theory, the recipe could be duplicated each time without all the guesswork expected, that little element of surprise! Her successes led to the public calling her the “mother of level measurements” or “the pioneer of the modern recipe.”

NEXT PAIR: Lizzie Black Kander created the famous cookbook that has been used for the last 100 years by all strata of American society. Originally written to teach newly arrived immigrants how to properly fit into turn-of-the-20th century Milwaukee, these young women learned how to do everything domestic, from baking to cleaning in a manner equal to that of the well-assimilated. a resident From this book sprang the famous Milwaukee Settlement House and its even more famous cookbook.

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