A noted expert on dietetics and monthly columnist for Woman’s Home Companion, Fannie Merritt Farmer taught her readers about kitchen equipment and the ongoing domestic processes of buying, preparing, and cooking food. Born in Boston on March 23, 1857, she grew up in Medford, Massachusetts. When her father’s business faltered, the family was forced to move in with relatives in Boston. To earn extra money, Fannie, who had been prevented by illness from finishing high school, went to work. In Cambridge, she served in the kitchen of Mrs. Charles Shaw and cared for Shaw’s daughter, whom she taught to cook.