Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Rolls, Biscuits, Mac 'n' Cheese

This Day in History: August 23, 1902

The first Fannie Farmer
Boston Cooking-School Cookbook
By 1902, the way Americans prepared food had already changed with the avocation of standard measurements as a result of innovative ideas by pioneer cookbook author, Fannie Farmer. Gone were the days of using a pinch of this, a dab of that, a handful of flour, an ounce of sugar and butter as the cooking measurements. 

Fannie Farmer was the first to introduce the use of standardized measuring spoons, cups, and the art of level measurements. On January 7, 1896, she published her first cookbook, The Boston Cooking School Cookbook, which included a wide range of straightforward recipes along with information on cooking and sanitation techniques, household management and nutrition. Farmer's book became a bestseller and revolutionized American cooking through its use of precise measurements, a novel culinary concept at the time.
When Fannie Farmer approached Little, Brown & Co., to publish her cookbook in 1896, the company made her pay for printing the first 3,000 copies. Little, Brown’s decision made Fannie Farmer rich, since she kept the copyright for the enormously popular Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.
New England Historical Society
What inspired Fannie Farmer to not only learn how to cook but write such a 'life'-changing cookbook?

Fannie Farmer suffered a stroke (some sources state polio) at the age of 16. Can you imagine how traumatic for a young teenager attending high school? As a result, she was unable to finish and her hopes of attending college shattered. Being homebound for several years, she was completely under the care of her parents. What did she do? She took up cooking! She was even instrumental in turning her mother's home into a boarding house that developed a reputation for the quality of the meals served.

At the age of 30 (now walking but with a substantial limp that never left her), Fannie Farmer enrolled in the Boston Cooking School. She was a star pupil who, after graduation in 1889, went on to become assistant to the director. In 1891, she accepted the position as principal.

With the background being laid, the foundation set, on this day in history, August 23, 1902, Fannie Farmer left the Boston Cooking School and created Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. She not only ran her school but traveled to speaking engagements around the United States while continuing to write cookbooks. In 1904, she published Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent, a complete work of diet and nutrition for the ill.

Today the Fannie Farmer cookbook remains as popular as ever and her reputation is still synonymous with good food, proper preparation in the kitchen and yes, organization! It’s definitely a go-to resource for everything including substitution questions, basic cooking reminders, and scrumptious recipes.



Who doesn't like mac 'n' cheese? 
Is your mouth watering yet?


 yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!