If I’m home on a Sunday afternoon, I always enjoy watching
the various cooking shows on PBS. Even though the line-up
seems to always be in perpetual rotation (in fact, a couple
of my favorites have been inexplicably moved to Saturday
night…what’s up with that?!), it’s fun to see what’s cooking.
Besides, I figure I can always learn a useful tip every now
and then, even if it’s a modern one.
In any event, a week ago yesterday I turned on the TV, and
soon “America’s Test Kitchen” began. Only this time, it was
a bit different. There was Christopher Kimball, but instead
of testing recipes, he was discussing his two-year project
whereby a 12-course late 1800s dinner was recreated in his
19th century Boston home. Dubbed “Fannie’s Last Supper,”
it was comprised of assorted recipes from The Boston School
of Cooking Cookbook, as rewritten by female entrepreneur,
and the School’s eventual director, Fannie Merritt Farmer. Of
course, it’s a later time period than the one in which I’m
usually buried. And yet, so much of it was oh-so-very-familiar,
from the mock-turtle soup to larding the meat to calves-foot
jelly. Not to mention the gaps in recipe instructions, the strange
ingredients, cooking over a wood fire, and dealing with a cast
iron cookstove and the heat within. I know it all so well. It was
absolutely fascinating! I urge everyone to look for this special
on their local PBS station. It’s fun to watch.
P.S. Kimball’s also written a book about the experience.
Look for Fannie’s Last Supper, by Chris Kimball.