The 2nd gathering of the APB Food Book Club was everything we hoped for and looked forward to. A room full of readers and food lovers sharing in the multi-generational, Anglo-Indian tale that is Jenny Mallin’s ‘A Grandmother’s Legacy’.
The book was unveiled by Masterchef India judge and Chef Ranveer Brar on 9th December 2015 with Rushina M. Ghildiyal and the APB Food Book Club. Jenny took center stage with a presentation on how this book came to be.
The story really began in Madras when Wilhelmina in mid 1840s started noting down her recipes in a large binder. In her own hand, she etched out recipes that kept her British family fed and happy in a foreign land. She passed down that notebook to her daughter who shared it with her successor on down 3 generations till it reached Jenny’s hands; a precious inheritance and archive of personal histories and eclectic recipes.
These recipes are today described as Anglo-Indian and some of them were re-created by Team APB. For instance Grandma’s Special Fudge, a square of butter and condensed milk simmered for hours together and then set. Or the Biblical Cake where the ingredients lists are actually verses in the Bible that reference oil, sugar or nuts. A quaint way to help young girls memorize the Bible.
As part of the event, Jenny demonstrated that ubiquitous dish on any Anglo-Indian menu; the curry puff. These little parcels of minced meat wrapped in puff pastry and baked were quickly wiped out.
It was a wonderful evening of meeting new people, interacting with the author, discussing the travails of self-publishing and the joy of reading and writing. We look forward many more such gatherings.