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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2001
On the shelf in my mother's kitchen there is an old, brittle gold-covered book. It's held together with clear tape, and certain pages are well splattered with stains. But I love that book. In that book are some of my favorite and yummiest memories. It's the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
So when I got my own copy for my birthday I was ecstatic. Sure, the cover was different, but inside I'd have my own chewy brownies and buttery sugar cookies. Only...they changed the recipes! The brownies that were universally praised by my class when I took them to school as a kid -- they were all different!
How am I going to make Fannie Farmer classics if they aren't classic? Now I have a useless book, and my mother's copy is falling apart. I beg of the publishers - reissue the original, without any changes, full of all that high cholesterol goodness. Otherwise, I will never be able to move out of my mother's house, and she's starting to get mad at me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2000
I've had this most recent edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook for just a few months now and I've only just begun to get into it, but I have read some of the recipes I haven't yet tried, and I think it deserves 5 stars. It is good to see that she has a recipe for standing rib roast beef WITH Yorkshire pudding (or popovers, if you prefer) because I will make it as soon as I can. I just did try the recipe for Paella and it was delicious. To her credit, Marion Cunnigham does not tell the reader to remove the CASING from the chorizo (although there IS at least one brand on the market that would require this because the so-called casing is plastic, so I recommend that if you are going to make this dish, you read the package directions on the chorizo carefully and make sure that the casing DOESN'T have to be removed and that it is NOT plastic). My only criticism of the recipe for paella is that it doesn't include mussels, which I add anyway. I didn't think I was ever going to be able to make beef stroganoff again because of the amount of fat and the number of calores in the sour cream ( I had high cholestrol and need to watch my weight), but having tried the relatively new fat free sour cream that is now on the market (to me it tastes every bit as good as full fat sour cream) which is low enough in calories for me to have, I expect to be having it again in the not too distant future, complete with the brown rice that she suggests serving it over. There are, in general, so many wonderful recipes in this cookbook that one can always be trying something new, as well as preparing something old and familiar with excellent results. I think it would be impossible to tire of this cookbook or ever be finished with it. There are a lot of seemingly, and undoubtedly not just seemingly, wonderful, fish and seafood recipes-too many to mention. (And she tells the reader all about buying and preparing soft shell crab, for example). One does come to mind that I am planning to try very soon: salmon with asparagus (both cooked in a little butter). Simple and healthful. Others I've read that I think are more than worth a try include lobster thermidor, chicken tetrazzini, and sweetbreads. Also very helpful is a section on microwaving foods complete with recipes that she has tested and found to work well. One very minor critcism-there seems to me to be something a little strange about her recipe(s) for Hungarian goulash. Both of them call for beef round (the first in cubes and the second?). The first one calls for plenty of beef broth, plus potatoes, and paprika and no sour cream. The second has no beef broth, no potatoes, and only drained, canned tomatoes, plus onions and paprika and is served over noodles WITH sour cream. If I were going to make Hungarian goulash I would make the first recipe only AND serve it WITH sour cream (and a lot more paprika than she says it needs). However, this is such a good cookbook that that is hardly worth mentioning. There are also 13 plus pages in the back of the book listing the calorie, cholesterol, fat, protein and carbohydrate content of certain foods and recipes so that you can take your trusty calculator and use it to maintain your healthy, balanced diet. Highly recommended. If I could have only one cookbook, this one would be it. I wouldn't be without it for anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2000
1,232 pages is a bit much to cram between the covers of any standard-bound paperback book, especially a cookbook. Nonetheless, making Marion Cunningham's opus work and lifetime achievement accessible to the financially challenged (like me) makes page-wrestling and eyeglass-fetching a small price to pay.
Lately, I have developed a habit of reviewing a recipe in three cookbooks before beginning. If you haven't done that, try it sometime--you may be surprised at the insight it gives you. This Fanny Farmer book is one of those three I use constantly as a reference. The other two? "Joy," and the Rosso and Lukins "New Basic."
This cookbook in paperback should have been in two volumes like the paperback Joy used to be. Better yet, in lay-flat single-volume spiral like the new Joy.
Do yourself a favor: If you can afford it, buy the hardcover and skip this awkward phase. If you can't afford it, order this one. It's worlds better than doing without this essential kitchen reference and worthy companion to the renowned "Joy of Cooking."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2002
I got this cookbook when I first got married and really didn't pay attention to it much. The past few years, I've used this A LOT! It has everything you need to know in it. This is what I go to when I need to know almost anything... It has a listing for almost every food and how to cook it. I'll admit that I've not really used many recipes from it, but as a reference this cookbook is essential.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2001
This is the best basic cookbook I have seen. It contains such a wide variety of cooking information that it would be helpful to anyone. We homeschool our children and I have been using it as part of our daughter's basic home-ec course. It belongs in every kitchen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2000
My family has been using books from the Fannie Farmer seriesfor three generations. This newest book offers many old favorites aswell as updated recipies. It probably will not wow many sophisticatedpalates but for the basics this book can't be beat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2002
THis book is without a doubt the best cookbook for those who have never cooked before. For the veteran cooks this book will challenge you and help you expand your horizon.
My wife is an awesome cook and swears by it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2000
There are many sophisticated ethnic and specialty cookbooks on the market, so this isn't the book you go to for such recipes. It is however where you'll go to learn or check on the basics of cooking, from roasting meat to baking bread. This kind of cookbook is needed by all cooks, from beginner to expert. I own THE FANNY FARMER COOKBOOK and THE JOY OF COOKING, use both of them often, and both are as good as they get. But in shopping for a gift recently I chose this book because of the clarity of the instructions. They are superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 1999
I am using both the 12th and 13th editions of Ms Cunningham's revisions to The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. In the 12th edition the approach to flavors was somewhat timid and this has been corrected. In the 13th edition there is more of Ms Cunningham's own "voice" along with the same meticulous attention to detail. I have found these books consistently reliable; if they describe a technique and you follow directions, you will not go wrong. This is an extremely useful reference for beginning cooks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 1999
I've looked at and tried lots of cookbooks, but the Fannie Farmer Cookbook is the only one I use. The recipes are very good, easy to follow, and any information you want about cooking is in this book. A close friend wanted to borrow a cookbook, but I couldn't bring myself to lend it out. It makes cooking so easy, I even used my mother's Fannie Farmer Cookbook when I was little. You'll never regret getting this cookbook.
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