Fannie Farmer was born in Boston in 1857. Her parents supported her desire to attend college. However, Ms. Farmer suffered a paralyzing stroke which ended her opportunity to go to college. After her months of recovery, she had to work to support her family. Ms. Farmer took cooking and housekeeping positions with a variety of wealthy Boston families. One family was the Foster family. Mr. Foster was a wealthy merchant and importer. Mr. Foster’s family was from Sandwich where Fannie spent time as a cook.
When Fannie Farmer returned to Boston from the Cape she became Director of the Boston Cooking School where she had graduated in 1889. The Boston Cooking School trained teachers for cooking. In 1896 she edited, The Boston Cooking School Cook Book which became a classic in training future cooks. The book became a best seller and “go to” reference book for generations of American cooks. Because of her own paralyzing strokes, Ms. Farmer also developed a dieting and nutritional cookbook for the ill, titled Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent which contained thirty pages on diabetes alone. Fannie’s cook book sold over 4 million copies in her lifetime.
The Chatham Women’s Club gets the credit for this one. The Club’s cooks are legendary!
Cape Cod Fish Cakes
1 lb. cod or scrod filet
1/2 lb. russet potatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped, flat leaf parsley,
1 lg. egg beaten
1 tsp. salt
Several splashes Tabasco, to taste
3/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Bring a skillet of water to a boil and immerse cod in water. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove fish from the liquid and let cool. Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of water. Bring to a boil and cook until the tip of a knife easily pierces the potatoes. Drain and mash. Flake the fish. In a bowl, combine the cod, potatoes, scallions, red pepper, parsley, egg, salt and hot sauce. Wet your hands before forming each cake. Make cakes about 3 x 1 1/2 inches thick, pressing firmly to make a solid patty. Thoroughly, coat the cakes in bread crumbs. Melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat. Saute cakes for about 3 minutes on each side. They should be dark, golden brown when cooked. Drain on paper towels before serving.
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