04 February 2012

Fannie Farmer

Dear Friend,

         After reading Katharine’s bio about her first cookbook, I reminisced on mine. I picked it out at a book sale just before I went off to college. It caught my eye, probably because of the old faded cover and because it was one I had not seen or used on my mother’s shelf. A few pages were torn and many had food stains, and that proved to me that it held some popular recipes for someone. I had not heard of the author but after reading her quote in the first line of the preface, I bought it for 50 cents.

         It read, “ But for life, the universe were nothing: and all that has life requires nourishment.” This wise woman who knew back in the late eighteen hundreds that life revolves around food was Fannie Farmer. In her last line of her preface she hoped that her book would not only inspire good cooking but that it would “ awaken an interest through its condensed scientific knowledge which would lead to deeper thought and broader study of what to eat.” She was way ahead of her time since the first edition of  The Fannie Farmer Cookbook was published in 1896.

         Up until that point, I had not thought of the science of food or the consequences on my body and mind. I just knew I liked to eat and I liked to eat fresh fruits and vegetables from my dad’s garden. But apparently Fannie understood the importance of diet on our mental attitude, on our physical work, and on our staying well long before it became vogue. She knew that the time would come when “the knowledge of the principles of diet will be an essential part of one’s education.”
         If she were here today, I would thank her for teaching me many fundamental values and for sharing her tasty time proven recipes. I would also like to thank the person who recycled this book at the book fair.I would say it was the best 50 cents I ever spent.



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