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My Abuela's Table


Once in a while a truly beautiful and unique cookbook comes along.

My Abulea's Table is one of these. Not only does it pay tribute to the author's Mexican grandmother, her abuela, but she has illustrated and decorated every page with her decorative art work and lettering.

Described as an illustrated journey into Mexican cooking, this book delivers not only homespun absolutely authentic recipes, collected from two generations of her family as well as firsthand in Mexico, but an entertaining glimpse of what has turned out to be a family album as well, crammed with drawings, photographs and how-to hints.

There is everything here for the Mexican cook: corn pudding, tamales, salsas, tortillas, chicken, fish and vegetable dishes, and many recipes perhaps never before written down and printed in English.

The story behind the publication is almost as exciting. The manuscript was an end-of-year design project for Daniella Germain. On the final night Hardie Grant's MD, Julie Pinkham, was one of the judges and she loved the work so much that she invited Daniella in to chat to others on the publishing team about illustrating some of HGB's other books.

When Daniella came in, though, she brought along her project, and publisher Paul McNally immediately fell in love with it and asked if the company could publish it. This doesn't happen very often, but what a serendipitous decision that was.

The author says that this book is "a way of honouring her grandmother's food legacy". Surely, her abuela would be truly proud!

My Abuela's Table, by Daniella Germain, Hardie Grant Books, June, 2011, hardcover, rrp $34.95.

 - Sally Hammond


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