UMF New Commons Project serves up tasty events with Fannie Farmer’s “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” topic

4 mins read

FARMINGTON – First published in 1896, Fannie Farmer’s “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” pioneered home cooking with tried and tested recipes. It is the first cookbook to provide level measurements and easy-to-follow directions and became the best-selling cookbook of the era. Notable for its rigorous approach to recipe writing, it was hoped by Farmer in the book’s preface that it would lead to, “deeper thought and broader study of what to eat.” It is now in its 13th edition.

The UMF New Commons Project provides a rich offering of free events including expert talks, discussions, films, workshops and more, many online, for the education and enjoyment of people in Maine and beyond. Nominated by individuals throughout Maine, the selection of New Commons works have the common thread of representing many of the principles and cultural values that inspire and fascinate Maine residents.

The following events are free and open to the public. For current UMS Covid policy for visitors, go to Everyone – Together for Maine.

Film Screening: “Fannie’s Last Supper”
April 25, 7 p.m., UMF Emery Community Arts Center
Academy St., Farmington
A team of chefs recreates a 12-course feast drawn from Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. The documentary also examines the history of cookery and the food industry, offering a glimpse into the labor and leisure of New England in the early 1900s.

Common Tastes: Food as the Foundation for Community
Keynote by Erica Emery
April 27, 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m., UMF Emery Community Arts Center
Local farmer Erica Emery, a 2006 graduate of UMF, will explore how to center food and farming as the foundation for community sustainability. From traditional food commons of the past to Fannie Farmer’s cookbook to community gardens, let’s take a look at how food production and consumption can be equitable and accessible. Part call to action, part passionate plea, and part farmer musings, this talk should give you lots of food for thought as we begin the food growing season in Maine!

Cooking Demo with Ashley Montgomery
April 30, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Fiddlehead Festival
UMF Fitness & Recreation Center, 152 Quebec St., Farmington
Ashley Montgomery, who nominated The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook to the New Commons Project, will be offering a Fannie-Farmer-inspired cooking demonstration at the Fiddlehead Festival! In addition to learning about historic recipes and in-season cooking. You’ll get to try Ashley’s fiddlehead crostini.

Community Cookbook Launch/Giveaway: “Things We Carry”
May 5, 7 p.m., Twice Sold Tales
155 Main St., Farmington
You are invited to the launch of “Things We Carry,” our very own community cookbook! This book includes family recipes and reflections from the residents of Franklin County. The book was organized by Daily Bulldog food columnist Ashley Montgomery and created in partnership with the Farmers Market and Twice Sold Tales. All attendees will receive a free copy of the cookbook.

The New Commons Project is a public humanities initiative of the University of Maine at Farmington, Maine’s public liberal arts college, in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council. It is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To learn more about the New Commons Project, and to view many of the events for the first 12 topics, visit the website at:

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