SOSYAL. In capital letters. I know that is what many of you will immediately think of when you hear about this book, Martinis & Aprons. Many of Manila’s ladies who lunch and members of the gated village “society” are included in this book, offering up interesting recipes, useful tips and entertaining wisdom. But before I go further, you should know that ALL of the proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit the Holy Family Home Makati Foundation, a sanctuary run by Capuchin Tertiary Sisters for abandoned and neglected girls. THAT is precisely the reason why Marketman contributed several recipes to this effort, and allowed Marketmanila.com to be used as a resource for produce, herbs, dishes, etc. So immediately retract those catty claws and read on… :)
In 2007, several local and expat ladies published “Silvia’s Book” – An Expat Guide to Living in Manila, which became a huge success and provided substantial funds for the Holy Family Home Makati Foundation… and that success led an expanded group of ladies to attempt a much bigger book project, now called Martinis & Aprons. More than a cookbook, it is essentially a guide to entertaining, with sections on table settings, floral arrangements, food selection, handling and storage, recipes, music, etc. and it took over two years to come to fruition!
The book provides an interesting glimpse into the entertaining lifestyles of Manila society, that not surprisingly, have their amusing share of recipes with shortcuts that make entertaining not so daunting and unattainable. I will pick on one of Lizzie Zobel’s contributions to illustrate the point (I know she will probably allow me this teeny-tiny bit of cheeky-ness) — her mother’s pink salmon mousse recipe made with canned pink salmon, cream, gelatin, etc. that makes a perfectly wonderful spread on melba toast. It doesn’t have to break the bank, and it isn’t necessarily all made from scratch. Works well for holiday entertaining. :)
So if you like to entertain, if you are curious what the ladies (and a few gentlemen) have in store, and if you WANT TO HELP a good cause, be sure to pick up a copy or two or three of Martinis & Aprons at Fully Booked (PHP1.300 each for a softbound copy). My only concern with this book is that it did not list a bibliography of sources, and while marketmanila.com and lots of individuals are generously acknowledged, I think there are other print/web/cookbook sources that were not mentioned. When you have items as specific as tables of cooking temperatures for meat and fish, pairings for certain foods, scientific names for flowers, etc., I can’t imagine these were all written from scratch and personal knowledge. I know a lot of cookbooks don’t bother to put bibliographies, but they should. At any rate, a very worthy effort for a very good cause, and I have purchased several copies and was honored to participate in this charitable effort.
For those of you with questions about where the book is available of whether they might be able to ship it to you, please contact the Martinis & Aprons team at Martinisaprons2009@gmail.com, and they should get back to you directly. Many thanks.