This isn't so much a book review, but a big cheer on finding this cookbook. In my library, there is no specific cookbook section. It's not like I use them for recipes. They are for visual inspiration. This is also a find that speaks of my knack for finding Filipino-related things in the most unexpected places. I am a magnet for people and things that come from my homeland or are somewhat related to it. As a student in Florence, I was never out of pinakbet because I found the piazza where all the Filipino nannies hung out on Sundays, selling their home-made dishes.
Anyway, back to this book. She's Leaving Home is written by Australian jazz artist Monica Trapaga and illustrated by one of my favorites, Meredith Gaston. This book is a collection of recipes that have been passed on to Trapaga. When her daughter (who's a scientist and a trapeze artist) decided to pursue a career away from home, Trapaga collected recipes handed down to her by her grandmother from the Philippines. That's another reason why I am itching to get my hands on this book. I am in constant search for recipes from my birthland. Just recently, I experimented with some, and although not yet an expert, I'd say that my Filipino cooking has made many bellies happy. Not to mislead folks into thinking that this is a cookbook of Filipino recipes, though, I'd like to clarify that Trapaga, in her Penguin exerpt- Monica Trapaga, acknowledges her Filipino roots by talking about her grandmother, Mary Case Esteban, caterer and designer to Marcos era Malacanang (this is the presidential palace in the Philippines). Very interesting! I am grabbing my copy soon! I've been waiting to have a book full of Meredith Gaston's work... a book of some Filipino-influenced recipes with Meredith Gaston's work (like this one, from Penguin's website):
, Monica Trapaga's very entertaining prose and the mother-daughter angle is something out of pretty cookbook heaven! I can't wait!