In 1861, during the reign of our sovereign - Queen Victoria (curtsey please!), Mrs Isabella Beeton’s most treasured creation – Beeton’s Book of Household Management was first published. And as nature intended, she flourished into the worlds-greatest teacher of all things ‘domestic and culinary’.
In fact, Mrs Beeton’s been hailed as ‘the grandmother of the modern-day domestic goddess’ – but frankly my dears, I beg to differ! As clearly, due to her untimely farewell via the Pearly Gates, the honourable title of ‘godmother’ is a far more suitable fit – Concur?
I excitedly present Whimsical Winnie – round of applause, please!
Well, I say, Winnie or Wynette, but you may address her by Your Majesty – curtsey please – is immensely charismatic; and bursting with buoyancy!
Oh, and she’s blessed with magical ‘green fingers’ – just one teeny-weeny touch of a seed, and hey presto it’s blossomed into an abundance of fruit or vegetables! And of course, I’m always chuffed to receive a hamper of Winnie’s harvest from her bountiful allotment at Fulham Palace Meadows where she’s been a plot holder since 1996.
Since our last culinary rendezvous, and by a sheer stroke of serendipity I discovered Patricia Matthews of Bolton, Greater Manchester, England via social media – Well, what do ya know! And at the grand age of 67, Patricia became an author of her first cookery book – Grandma’s Antique Recipes, a YouTube sensation, and local celebrity.
Photo credit here - Fannie Merritt Farmer - pioneer of the North American measuring cup!
During a brief stay in the USA, I decided to carry out some research regarding 'female' cooks and food writers from a bygone era. And to my surprise, I discovered the celebrated American cook – Fannie Merritt Farmer who is, in fact, the perfect ‘nemesis’ to our English culinary marvel - Mrs Isabella Beeton!
As an ongoing project, I shall re-create recipes by jolly old Fannie Merritt Farmer, and document the results in my recipe section.