Fannie in the Kitchen
The Whole Story from Soup to Nuts of How Fannie Farmer Invented Recipes with Precise Measurements
What is this book about?
Marcia was trying to help her mama. So maybe balancing on top of a tower of chairs to dip candles wasn’t such a good idea. And perhaps her biscuits worked better as doorstops than dessert. Still, does her mama really need to hire a mother’s helper?
Then Fannie Farmer steps into their kitchen, and all of a sudden the biscuits are dainty and the griddle cakes aren’t quite so … al dente. As Fannie teaches Marcia all about cooking, from how to flip a griddle cake at precisely the right moment to how to determine the freshness of eggs, Marcia makes a wonderful new friend.
Here’s the story “from soup to nuts” — delightfully embellished — of how Fannie Farmer invented the modern recipe and created one of the first and best-loved American cookbooks. Nancy Carpenter seamlessly incorporates vintage engravings into her pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations, deliciously evoking the feeling of a time gone by.
“Aptly divided into ‘courses,’ the book’s lively, descriptive prose conveys Marcia’s frustrations and joys as she fries, bakes, and measures her way to triumph. Helpful kitchen tips from early editions of the real Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook abound in dialogue and appear in ‘Fannie’s Hints,’ cleverly framed and hung like pictures on the walls of Marcia’s home. The collage artwork is exceptional—elegant as well as whimsical. Carpenter brings together original pen-and-ink artwork and engravings, all washed in watercolor, to create a houseful of expressive characters and abundant, often witty details that capture aspects of Victorian life and excess.” (Booklist, starred review)
“Prepared to perfection and served up with style, this historical nugget imagines an interlude in the life of cookbook pioneer Fannie Farmer, who, prior to her stint at the Boston Cooking School, worked as a mother’s helper. … Cleverly served up in seven brief ‘courses,’ the proceedings are garnished with Carpenter’s irreverent illustrations, which seamlessly incorporate period engravings within pen-and-wash drawings.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The playful nature of both the illustrations and the text is appealing, and serves to draw readers into the story. The short biographical sketch, ‘More about Fannie Farmer,’ helps to round out the account, and a recipe for griddle cakes, which play a significant role in the tale, is included. In a time of celebrity chefs on television, this is a whimsical look back to when it all began.” (School Library Journal)
“Considered the pioneer of the modern recipe, Fannie Farmer transformed countless kitchens into oases of exact measurements and perfect cooking. Deborah Hopkinson’s fictionalized account, complete with original griddle cakes recipe, is a warm, humorous take on the real Fannie Farmer. Nancy Carpenter created splendidly original illustrations for the book, manipulating 19th-century etchings and engravings and blending them with her own watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations. Wonderful!” (Emily Coulter, Amazon.com)