21 January 2017

Weekend Cooking: Fannie's Last Supper (Film)

Fannie's Last Supper: Documentary FilmThe other day I was looking for some escape viewing (seriously, how much politics can a person take!) and stumbled across Fannie's Last Supper a documentary film by Chris Kimball, who until recently was with America's Test Kitchen.

The idea behind the movie--and book--was to re-create a 12-course meal from the original Fannie Farmer cookbook, which was published in 1896. The task was not just to cook the recipes but to cook them in as an authentic way as possible, starting with the cast-iron and masonry wood-burning stove.

Kimbell and Erin McMurrer, the director of America's Test Kitchen, spent 18-months researching and perfecting the recipes for a Victorian formal meal that would be over in just a couple of hours. They cooked over wood, they made their own gelatin from calves' feet, they developed their own food colorings from plants, and they spent days making the perfect stocks. Even the table was set with period (antique) dishes, silver, and serving pieces.

The documentary runs about 55 minutes and is fascinating to watch, although I wouldn't say it was my favorite food film ever. I couldn't help but wonder about the project: 18 months to re-create this meal, which not only fed about a dozen guests but scored Kimball a movie and book. Because the film is so short, it's definitely worth your time, but I bet the book is probably more informative.

Take a look at the trailer. The film is available on Netflix and maybe YouTube.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


rhapsodyinbooks 1/21/17, 6:02 AM  

Those pots are beautiful!

nishitak 1/21/17, 6:26 AM  

Much as I love cooking, I wouldn't want to be living in those times, cooking everything from basics.

Tina 1/21/17, 6:45 AM  

I think the book would be very detailed. Imagine the amount of work that went into a meal in those days! Interesting film, I will see if our library has it. I have been a fan of the test kitchens for years.

Mae Travels 1/21/17, 8:34 AM  

Hi -- Fannie Farmer seems to pop up every now and then -- I have read biographies and also about her influence. I just linked to a 2010 post I did about a trendy restaurant that was doing one of her recipes! The movie you described is intriguing.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Deb in Hawaii 1/21/17, 10:07 AM  

Wow! It sounds like so much work but so intriguing. I will definitely add the movie to my list and look for the book too. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

Claudia 1/21/17, 10:38 AM  

I'm with you, and would probably prefer the book, where you can take your time and get more details, though the documentary does look interesting.

Jackie McGuinness 1/21/17, 10:58 AM  

It does sound interesting, I'll have to find it just so I can find out what the guests thought of it.

Katherine P 1/21/17, 12:33 PM  

How funny! I just watched this earlier this week and enjoyed it though would have liked more information on the hows and whys of the whole experience. I think I'm definitely going to have to pick up the book. I wonder if it would have what I thought was missing from the film.

Esme 1/21/17, 12:41 PM  

I so am going to watch this. I agree with you enough politics-enough is enough. Cooking is always the best respite from life's stressors.

Heidenkind 1/21/17, 4:31 PM  

I actually watched this a few weeks ago around Christmas, then forgot all about it. I agree – it was okay. Not the best foodie film I've ever watched, but it didn't put me to sleep or anything.

Girl About Library 1/21/17, 5:50 PM  

This is fascinating! For some reason, I think about this all of the time while I am cooking -like, that this can of tomatoes I am opening and take for granted would've taken someone a hundred years ago an hour to properly prepare! I'll definitely be Netflixing this documentary- thanks for sharing!

Nan 1/21/17, 8:50 PM  

Thanks! I hadn't heard of this. I'll go put it in my queue.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 1/22/17, 11:07 AM  

Thanks for the referral, we are watching a chef series right now, but this one will go on my list.

Anonymous,  1/22/17, 2:39 PM  

This is a perfect day for a foodie related film here in rain-soaked California. And I love these kinds of historical recreations. Thanks!

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/22/17, 4:46 PM  

I escaped from politics by cooking up a storm this week- my husband appreciated it.

Peaceful Reader 1/22/17, 9:36 PM  

What an interesting idea! One can only listen to so much "fake news" before you need to turn to Netflix. I wonder if my mother has an old Fannie cookbook in her vast collection.

Amelia 1/24/17, 9:57 AM  

I read the book since my favorite cookbook is the Fannie Farmer one I inherited from my dad. It was so interesting at what lengths they went to in order to be as authentic as possible.

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