Fannie’s Last Supper by Chris Kimball was a fun book. The premise is as follows: Kimball, founder and editor of the magazine, Cook’s Illustrated, and host of the PBS show America’s Test Kitchen decides to create and served 12-course, Victorian dinner from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 Cookbook. As you can imagine recreating recipes from 1896 is a challenge, and sometimes fairly gross (Mock-Turtle Soup, made with a calf’s head. Ugh.). It was interesting to see how much cooking had changed in just over 100 years, and while it was really fun to read about this different food and to get a little history into how this country ate, it made me glad that I live when I do now when cooking doesn’t take all day and I never have to make gelatin from calves’ feet.
While the planning and preparation for this dinner took two years, and the books covers this, there was also a documentary made of the dinner itself, which is supposed to be showing on PBS “during the holidays”. So far I haven’t seen it listed on my local PBS station, but I am hoping to catch it when it airs. It would be interesting to actually see the food described in the book.