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Gertrude Stewart’s Manila Cook Book
Author: Stewart, Gertrude
Reference #: 1605
List Price: $120.00
Self-published (printed by The Evening News), Manila, Philippines, 1958, First Edition. Pp. [2, Preface], 1-72; [1 + A-Z, line drawing illustrations], 73-105,  + [14, Index]. Previous owner name stamp at top edge of front fee endpaper; signed by Stewart on the paste-down. A VG+ copy in VG- dust jacket (with short, closed tears along the top edge and fading at the spine), the latter mirroring the images on the boards: a map of Manila begins on the front cover of each, and continues across the spine and onto the back cover which documents twenty-one Markets then in Manila where fresh ingredients may be purchased.
Loosely laid in are two double-folded leaves both from The Asia Magazine issue of February 28, 1965. One has a descriptive article (not by Stewart) for “”Buko’ Pie and ‘Lumpiang Ubod’”, and the second features the recipes. The verso of this second sheet contains a full-page (but incomplete) Special Report by Professor A. Doak Barnett on Chinese Communist Questions: Coming Struggle for Succession in Peking: “The advent of the Communist Chinese Bomb raises a host of question about the potentialities and intentions of the giant on the Mainland.”
A desirable collection of culinary history that may otherwise be lost given the proliferation of western cuisine in the Philippines, this book is also a testament to the steadfastness of its author. From the time she was 14 “she took over the cooking and marketing for her family and has done all her own cooking ever since”. Married in 1937, she and her husband and their first child were moved from their home to the Sto. Interment [sic] Camp: “The three years of internment might have been a great deal more difficult had she not known how to make the most of what was available.” It was out of this background that her ability to cook with what was locally available grew.
Apart from the recipes, one finds material on the “Names of Local Fish”; hints, such as how to increase the safety for children roasting food at an open fire’; “Christmas in the Tropics”: (It may not be a white Christmas out here but with a bit of imagination and a small bit of time and effort we certainly can have a traditional Christmas.); the history and use of specific fruits and vegetables found locally; a “Buying Calendar” and an extensive Index. Far more than “just another cookbook”.
Uncommon, and desirable.
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