By Dave Kempf
A common misconception is that you should only open this book in November or December. Don’t be fooled! It has menus for Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Halloween and more, plus great recipes for every day of the week.
In 2005, Taylour Shimkus flew into Nashville to discuss and investigate responsibilities for leading the third cookbook in The Junior League of Tampa Culinary Collection. Taylour exhibited a strong “can do” personality and expressed definite ideas for this title. Her top goal in this initial meeting with the FRP team was to get a better feel for the commitment that would be required of a volunteer with a full time career. Upon some thoughtful reflection following the meeting Taylour agreed to the task and was placed in the leadership role for this book. Little did she realize that one unplanned event during her tenure of the development was her first pregnancy. “Oh well, just one more thing to keep me on track” Taylour said.
I do not really know if the holiday theme was Taylour’s, or the committee’s, but it turned out to be a great addition to the collection. The overall body of work in this collection would now consist of party planning, fresh everyday favorites, and now new holiday recipes and menus. The collection was certainly rounding into great form.
As with the previous titles, the format remained the same. The color pallet was a peachy shade with some slightly darker orange tones. The League continued to promote its good community projects on page 8 by listing all of the worthy projects they had supported and to tell the buyers how the books give back to the community.
Kristie Salzer and Rob Adamo again teamed up for the photographs. Generous sustainers and active members of the League donated to underwrite the cost of the outstanding photography. Savor the Seasons features menus and recipes for New Years, Valentines, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukah.
The December holiday section is perhaps one of the more unique of the series as the committee decided to draw on the Spanish influence in Tampa and focus on tapas—delicious little Spanish dishes. These delicious treats allow one the freedom to build an entire meal around multiple choices of small dishes packed with big flavor.
Since I am a holiday lover, this particular title has great appeal—I particularly enjoy the photos of this book just to pick up some decorating ideas for celebrations. Of course, I should clarify that my wife likes this aspect of the book as she is the creative one in our family. With over 100 recipes, great photographs and menus, this is a “must have” cookbook.
One last thought, the committee added a great touch on pages 120-121 by drawing attention to how the League supports their community each season. They’ve highlighted projects they participate or fund throughout the year. This was a super creative touch following the recipes. Not surprisingly, the launch party of this title, held in a sustaining members’ newly renovated home, was spectacular.