One Cookbook to Rule Them All


Last Christmas, my dad and stepmom got me some high quality

stainless steel cookware and The Fannie

Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham. I wasn't annoyed at these

not-so-subtle hints about my kitchen experience; I'm pretty good at winging it

and can usually figure out how to make most things with a little trial and

error. I’ve just never owned the proper utensils or guide.

Of course, I couldn’t bear to use the gleaming pots and pans

in my current crappy-ass kitchen, so I stowed them away for future use. The cookbook, on the other hand, has served (and is currently still

serving) as the best thing that ever happened to my cooking lifestyle.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve used the cookbook consistently as

I’m more a reluctant chef than anything. However, anytime I need pressing

information, the Fannie Farmer Cookbook

has just what I’m looking for. It's totally comprehensive; in addition to more

than 1,990 recipes of all sorts, there’s liquid and dry measurement equivalents

and useful baking equivalents (for changing ounces and pounds to cups); info on

how to tell if an egg is stale; the proper boil time for anything from broccoli

to eggs; how to properly dissolve yeast; and the roasting temperatures for all

types of meat. Warnings about salmonella and other health concerns are also

highlighted as well as the best ways to cook using a microwave oven,

explanations of a microwave’s best use in cooking, and recipes specifically

designed to take advantage of its virtues.

I recommend it to anyone who’s just starting out, and even

to those who think they know what they’re doing. Hey, it hasn’t been

continuously published since 1896 for nothing — people actually use this


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