cover image The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: 13th Edition

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: 13th Edition

Marion Cunningham. Knopf Publishing Group, $27.5 (874pp) ISBN 978-0-394-56788-4

In its 13th edition, a classic American cookbook is here revised for the contemporary home cook. Restaurant consultant and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Cunningham has added chapters on microwave and outdoor cooking, cut down on excessive fats and revived lost comfort foods (lemon curd, semolina pudding). Warnings about salmonella and other health concerns are highlighted; abundant new and vegetarian recipes are conveniently marked. Cunningham's 325 additions to the Farmer roster use ingredients from ethnic cuisines, including Mexican and Indian spices and Chinese sesame oil and rice vinegar. Contradicting manufacturers' claims for the microwave oven, she carefully explains its best uses (steaming or braising foods) and offers recipes specifically designed to take advantage of its virtues (quick polenta, bananas in caramel sauce). True to its American roots, this remains an excellent meat-and-potatoes cookbook, but exhibits welcome range--from frankfurters to roast goose, smoked salmon tartare to trail mix--relishing food as a social enterprise. Illustrations not seen by PW. Author tour; BOMC alternate, Home Style Book Club main selection, Better Homes and Gardens Book Club alternate. (Sept.)