One of the most emblematic cookbooks in American history is Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cookbook. Called “The Mother of Level Measurements,” Farmer is both credited with bringing standardization to American recipes but, as a result, destroying the soul of American cuisine.
Her cookbooks were promoted as practical and economical: a kitchen guidebook for the everyday women. But it also included simplified recipes for high-end dishes that allowed any housewife to produce them in her own kitchen.
Interestingly, in the back of the book, she includes a menu for a “Full Course Dinner”: twelve courses designed for the most upscale dinner party. This menu is republished below. It would be a hellavu party.
Little Neck Clams or Bluepoints with brown bread sandwiches. Sometimes canapes are used in place of either. For a gentleman’s dinner, canape’s accompanied with Sherry wine are frequently served before guests enter the dining room.
Clear soup with bread sticks, small rolls or crisp crackers. Where two soups are served, one may be a cream soup. Cream soups are served with croutons. Radishes, celery or olives are passed after the soup. Salted almonds may be passed between any of the courses.
Bouchees or rissoles. The filling to be of light meat.
Fish baked, boiled or fried. Cole slaw dressed cucumbers or tomatoes accompany this course; with fried fish potatoes are often served.
Roast saddle of venison or mutton, spring lamb, or fillet of beef potatoes and one other vegetable.
Entree made of light meat or fish.
A vegetable. Mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus or artichokes are served.
Punch or cheese course. Punch when served always precedes the game course.
Game with vegetable salad, usually lettuce or celery; or cheese sticks may be served with the salad and game omitted.
Dessert, usually cold.
Frozen dessert and fancy cakes. Bonbons are passed after this course.
Cracker, cheese and cafe noir. Cafe noir is frequently served in the drawing and smoking rooms after the dinner. After serving cafe noir in drawing room, pass pony of brandy for men, sweet liquenr (Chartrense, Benedictine ,or Parfait d Amour) for women, then Creme de Menthe for all.