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OP: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

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by Marion Cunningham, Fannie Merritt Farmer

Alfred A. Knopf, 1979. Hardcover. Very Good Plus in Very Good jacket. First printing, thus.

When The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1896)—as written by Fannie Farmer (1857–1915), an update to Mary Lincoln’s book of the same name—was published, it was a remarkable, systematic approach to cookbook writing. It ushered in the modern era and laid the framework for the way cookbooks are still written today.

Eighty-odd years later, it no longer felt modern or reflective of the types of things the average home cook was putting on the table. Knopf editor Judith Jones tapped cookbook author and instructor Marion Cunningham (1922–2012) to update the classic for the next generation while retaining the ethos of the original.

Much like The Joy of Cooking, The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (as it came to be known) is a robust volume—with nearly 2000 recipes in this revision—intended to offer all the average American housewife would ever need to know to maintain a healthy, well-nourished family and to entertain with aplomb. It includes basic kitchen and technique tips, a glossary of terms, and menu planning advice. The Knopf edition added metric volumetric measurements, an intentional step toward advancing the exacting science of home cookery. 

No surprise, Fannie Farmer has been a common wedding gift throughout its lifetime.

Our copy is the 1979 first printing of Marion Cunningham’s revised edition. The book block is Near Fine, the case very modestly shelfworn, and the jacket has become somewhat brittle, showing chipping along the top edge.

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