Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fannie Farmer Muffins

Yesterday, I awoke with a muffin craving. I wanted a blueberry muffin, so I pulled out my Fannie Farmer cookbook. I have the ancient version of this book, the pages are brown, the cover is brown, the recipes are, well, sometimes questionable. I was flipping through and saw that Fannie (or her later interpreters) decided to tell us how to boil store-bought pasta. Whew! I would be lost without her.

For those not familiar with the Fannie Farmer cookbook, let me share a bit of history. Fannie Merritt Farmer (23 March 1857 - 15 January 1915) was an American culinary expert who at the age of 16 became paralyzed. She took up cooking, and started a boarding house. She enrolled in the Boston Cooking School at the age of 30.  Eventually able to walk again (with a limp), she went on to open her own cooking school and become famous for her work on nutrition for the ill. Fannie published  The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book in 1896. She was the first cookbook author to publish measurements, instead of guesswork. This cookbook is considered an American classic, and revised and updated versions are still in print today.

The problem I have with the book is that some recipes are standard, go to recipes, and some are big misses. For example, the pancakes are delicious. The muffins, as you will see, are not.

I should have known better when a baking recipe calls for 2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 or 2 eggs. Baking needs to be precise.

Here is a photo of Xander watching me cook:

Here is a photo of the final muffins:

They don't look to bad, right? Well, looks can be deceiving. Flavorless and bland. I left them on the counter while I went to the grocery store and came back to find the cats had eaten the tops off 3 of them. I am ok with that.


  1. There's an updated healthy Fannie. It is one of my "go to" texts. At least the kittens love Fannie's muffins!

  2. Xander is the best, I suggest you include him in more posts.


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