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Fannie Farmer
Ceramic Sculpture
12"x 13" x 10"

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Fannie Farmer (1857-1915)

Farmer was born to a Boston family that valued education. She was expected to go to college, however, she contracted polio at 16 that ended her formal education. Unable to walk she convalesced at her parent's home until the age of 30 when, now walking, she enrolled in the Boston Cooking School. She was a stellar student and stayed on as the school's Assistant Director. In 1891 she was made School Principal. In 1896 she published "The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" that introduced the concept of using standard measuring spoons and cups for recipe ingredients. It also included scientific explanations of chemical processes that occur in cooking. Before Farmer's cook book, recipes called for a "piece" of butter or a "teacup" full of milk. Farmer standardized recipes with precise measurements earning her the title of "the mother of level measures." The book's publisher did not hold high hopes for the volume, printing an initial run of only 3,000 copies at Farmers expense. Farmer's book proved so popular that it is still in print today 100 years later. the book has been published in 13 editions. In 1965 the book was retitled "The Fannie Farmer Cookbook." In 1902 she left the Boston School and created her own school called "Miss Farmer's School of Cookery" where her interest turned toward cooking for the ill and convalescent. She lectured at Harvard University to nurses and doctors about the power of proper food for people who are recovering from illness. Her work on food preparation for the sick emphasized the importance of appearance, taste and presentation for people with reduced appetites.