I’m on a roll. Now trying another streaming service, Netflix.
The first show I watched in Netflix is Fannie’s Last Supper, a 55-minute TV documentary produced by the people behind America’s Test Kitchen led by Christopher Kimball.
Fannie’s Last Supper (2010)
America’s Test Kitchen head chef Erin McMurrer and mentor Chris Kimball re-create an 1896 12-course meal from American Cookbook Pioneer Fannie Farmer
Fannie’s Last Supper is a project of Christopher Kimball after acquiring his house in Connecticut which had the 1896 Boston Cooking School Cookbook. This inspired Chris to recreate 12 of Fannie’s recipes. Chris with the help of Chef Erin McMurrer & her team tried their best to recreate the 12-course menu using the methods from the past. The purpose is not just to read about how to live at that time but to taste the food during Fannie’s time. It’s a rediscovery of the food that were prepared many many years ago. Of course, it meant to honor Fannie Merritt Farmer.
The menu of the 12-course meal is as follows:
- Duxbury Island Creek Oysters
- Mock Turtle Soup
- Lobster a L’Americaine
- Saddle of Venison
- Wood-Grilled Salmon
- Fried Baby Artichokes
- Canton Frozen Punch
- Roast Goose
- Victorian Jellies
- Mandarin Cake
- Coffee, Cheese, Crackers and Bonbons
Fannie is described as a fiery red head with tons amount of energy. In 1888, she enrolled in Boston Cooking School and in a few years, was offered the position of school principal. She spent her life inspiring people and teaching students on cooking.
What I enjoyed in Fannie’s Last Supper is seeing the tools being used in 1800s, the way food is prepared at that time, the magic and the challenges of recreating those dishes at this modern age. I learned that there is a companion book but I don’t think I’ll get the book since I have no plans of recreating Fannie’s inspired dishes. My cooking skill just doesn’t cut it. I’m satisfied already watching Fannie’s Last Supper, getting inspired by it and learning from the TV documentary 😜
Some aha moments from watching Fannie’s Last Supper:
- boiled calves’ heads taste like turtle
- it was extremely hard for the chefs to work on the stove as they really felt the heat. They kept the fire burning by continuously putting wood. I can see how the chefs struggled with the grueling heat. It’s good to see how they tried their best to be authentic.
- traditional way of extracting gelatin is by boiling calves’ feet
- food coloring were made from beets (red), saffron (yellow) & spinach (green)
- it took Chef Erin’s team one year to prepare for the Fannie’s Last Supper
- oysters were the original American snack
- Victorian dining rules —> Never finish everything on your plate, no bite marks, no talking politics, ignore all spills and no more than 2 hours of meal.