up for grabs
Preparing for two events ”“ a cookbook swap and a tea party ”“ for the past two months has left me feeling quite frenzied, frankly. I actually started carrying a daily planner with me everywhere I went, and it was unreal that I heard myself saying, “I’ll have to check my schedule,” before committing to anybody. It was a relief when March roared in and the day of the cookbook swap finally arrived. I don’t know what possessed me to arrange two major events barely a week apart.
The cookbook swap worked on the principle that one person’s (cookbook) trash is another person’s (cookbook) treasure. I was proud to be undertaking this project with Fully Booked, my valued resource for all culinary literature. I was even luckier to be working with and supported by Fully Booked Marketing team Rhea Llamas and Tals Diaz, along with Head Buyer of the Lifestyle Section, CJ Regala. I couldn’t have worked with a better bunch of people.
All in all, there were 14 participants, three of whom were unable to attend. I was very pleasantly surprised to see Mila, one of the regular visitors to this site, who had taken me up on my last-minute invitation to join the swap.
Held at the newly-opened lounge at Fully Booked in Rockwell, the afternoon was a meeting of food lovers impassioned by cookbooks. I began the event by talking about the brand new cookbooks that the bookstore was raffling off especially for the event, my favorites of which were Something Warm From The Oven, and The Chocolate Connoisseur.
I felt that everyone began to warm up when the swapping of the books commenced. I asked each participant to say something about the books they had donated, some titles of which elicited gasps and “Why are you giving that away???” One title in general, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum was being disposed of. All the bakers in the group were aghast, since it’s a classic cookbook that every serious baker should have in her library. A few were even giving away the very first cookbooks they had ever bought or been given.
Ah well, share and share alike. We discovered that most of us shared the sentiment that while it was difficult to part with our cookbooks, there were some that weren’t being used anymore which could be put to better use by others.
Those who attended the swap were Ana (we called her birthday girl since her birthday is today); Len, whom I almost missed out on because she was sitting right beside me; the new chocoholic Grace; quiet Nicole; Joyce, who donated a marvelous Hershey’s cookbook; Chyzzz, the girl with the most unique name (dig that spelling!); and ice cream man Ian, who everyone fussed over because he’s poised to attain world domination with his icy creations. (Watch out for my feature on him in April.) Three of the bakers for the March 12 tea party were at the swap: Gerald, accompanied by his wife Jamie, Roshan, and Imelda, whose feature is upcoming. Of course I can’t forget my dear friend, Kaie, who played photog for the event. She shot the photos that you see here, except for the following dessert shots.
The Taste Temptation guys: Chester and Roger
And speaking of dessert, a cookbook swap is nothing without it, as is most everything in life. Sweets for the event were provided by Chester and Roger of Taste Temptation. Their pastries are steeped in French classics and flair: chewy yet light macaroons; a complex yet divine Opera cake; flourless brownies cleverly cut into triangles; dark chocolate covered mixed nuts disguised under the name Amandee; and a most attractive French cheesecake made light with egg whites, beautifully garnished with strawberries and macaroons. Taste Temptation deserves a more detailed feature on this site, so watch out for that one.
Thank you to everyone who joined the swap! It was fun.
Read cookbook swap participant Nicole’s write-up about the swap.