Keeping up with the times


Seventeen years after the publication of The Gasparilla Cookbook, A Taste of Tampa was a new book for a new era offering quick and easy recipes for busy people. Tampa Treasures, which followed in 1992, is more ambitious, offering a blend of Tampa favorites and a wide array of choices for elegant entertaining.

The 1970s presented many historical changes for women in the United States:  the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress, the U.S. Military began admitting women for the first time, even little league baseball teams across the country were opening registration to little girls.  Women were flooding the workplace and learning how to balance careers with family life, and The Junior League of Tampa’s cookbook committee was tasked with making it a little easier for women to do so.

A Taste of Tampa: Lickety-Split Recipes, first published in 1978, became The Junior League of Tampa’s second cookbook and “quick and easy” was the theme.  All of the recipes contained within the cookbook had to meet stringent requirements:  each recipe had to be completed in under an hour and all of the ingredients had to be easy-to-find items at any supermarket.  The design of the book followed suit, too.  All of the chapters were organized with a color coded system (for example, appetizers were orange, salads were green, etc.) that comes in handy when a surprise visitor pops by or a day at the office turns into an evening at the office.

The 80s and 90s were eras of decadence for the United States: due to a soaring economy, financial moguls were considered iconic figures and personal computers, video game systems and mobile phones were quickly becoming commonplace in homes across America.  Here in Tampa, The Junior League was cooking up something decadent of its own in Tampa Treasures, its third cookbook.

Published in 1992, Tampa Treasures was The Junior League of Tampa’s first coffee table style cookbook.  It was our first cookbook to feature professional food styling and full-color photography. Showcasing beautiful Florida scenery, the photography offers a window on the many outdoor activities available in our area, such as rowing on the Hillsborough River or ballooning over citrus groves, and offers menus based on these themes. Along with complete menus, the book offers serving suggestions to make entertaining a crowd easy and enjoyable.  An added bonus?  The book really does look gorgeous on a coffee table.

Pick up your copy of Tampa Treasures here – it’s currently being sold at 20% off, so get yours while supplies last! Unfortunately, A Taste of Tampa is no longer in print, so if you’re able to locate a copy, be sure to buy it – it’s definitely a collector’s item worth having!

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