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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
Rare Books - Exhibits
Cookery Exhibit: Fannie Farmer
Title page

Fannie Merritt Farmer, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book
(Boston: Little, Brown and Company), 1896. First Edition

Farmer (1857-1915) is among the most famous American culinary experts. Her name and her cookbooks were known throughout the United States. Her cookbook has never been out of print since it first appeared in 1896 (though it has been greatly modified over the years).

Selected Excerpts from the Text

Cooking utensils Beef a la Mode - page 181

Insert twelve large lardoons in a four-pound piece of beef cut from the round. Make incisions for lardoons by running through the meat a large skewer. Season with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and brown the entire surface in pork fat. Put on a trivet in kettle, surround with one-third cup each carrot, turnip, celery, and onion cut in dice, sprig of parsley, bit of bay leaf, and water to half cover meat. Cover closely and cook slowly four hours, keeping liquor below the boiling point. Remove to hot platter. Strain liquor, thicken and season to serve as a gravy. When beef is similarly prepared (with exception of lardoons and vegetables), and cooked in smaller amount of water, it is called Smothered Beef, or Pot Roast.

A bean pot (covered with a piece of buttered paper, tied firmly down) is the best utensil to use for a Pot Roast.

Timbale irons and cases Swedish Timbales - page 313

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix dry ingredients, add milk gradually, and beaten egg; then add olive oil. Shape, using a hot timale iron, fry in deep fat until crips and brown; take from iron and invert on brown paper to drain.

To Heat Timbale Iron. Heat fa until nearly hot enough to fry uncooked mixtures. Put iron into hot fat, having fat deep enough to more than cover it, and let stand until heated. The only way of knowing when iron is of right temperature is to take it from fat, shake what fat may drip from it, lower in batter to three-fourths its depth, rais from batter, then immerse in hot fat. If batter does not cling to iron, or drops from iron as soon as immersed in fat, it is either too hot or not sufficiently heated.

To Form Timbales. Turn timbale batter into a cup. Lower hot iron into cup, taking care that batter covers iron to only three-fourths its depth. When immersed in fat, mixture will rise to top of iron, and when crisp and brown may be easily slipped off. If too much batter is used, in cooking it will rise over the top of iron, and in order to remove timbale it must be cut around with a sharp knife close to top of iron. If the cases are soft rather than crisp, batter is too thick and must be diluted with milk.

Rolled Wafers tied in bundles Rolled Wafers - page 410

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
7/8 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the butter, add sugar gradually, and milk drop by drop; then add flour and flavoring. Spread very thinly with a broad, long-bladed knife on a buttered inverted dripping pan. Crease in three-inch squares, and bake in a slow oven until delicately browned. Place pan on back of range, cut dquares apart with a sharp knife, and roll while warm in tubular or cornucopia shape. If dquares become too brittle to roll, place in oven to soften. If rolled tubular shape, tie in bunches with narrow ribbon. These are very attractive, and may be served with sherbet, ice cream, or chocolate. If rolled cornucopia shape, they may be filled with whipped cream just before sending to table. Colored wafers may be made from this mixture by adding leaf green or fruit red. If colored green, flavor with one-fourth teaspoon almond and three-fourths teaspoon vanilla. If colored pink, flavor with rose. Colored wafers must be baked in a very slow oven to prevent browning.