In 2017 I self published an award winning cookbook memoir and was recvognised by the Gourmand World Cookbook Society with a “Best in the World Cookbook”. The book offers a unique insight into my family who were living in India, of British ancestry during the British Raj. My talks appeal to a cross section of both male and female as I talk about the heirloom of my grandmothers’ recipe 170 year old book, the history of why British ancestors were living in India (British Army) and subsequent stories which describe my grandfathers’ professions on the Railway, Telegraph, Schools and other British institutions which were all set up in India during the British Raj.
A GRANDMOTHER’S LEGACY by Jenny Mallin is a book out of the blue. here comes a delight of a book that effortlessly throws light on the life and times of Anglo-Indians during the prime days of the Raj. Spanning the 19th and the 20th centuries, the story covers the lives of five generations of women of a family, beginning with Jenny’s great-great-great grandma Wilhelmina down to her mother Cynthia who immigrated to Britain in 1952. The narrative revolves around Wilhelmina’s handwritten recipe book containing recipes of over 500 dishes, chiefly Anglo-Indian, which has been handed down and added to from generation to generation. Thus, one is charmed to find classic nuggets of Anglo-Indian life, narrated not impersonally as by a student of community history, but from the first-hand experience of members of one big family. So we have notes on the Railways, the cellular jail in the AndamansIslands, the ‘Indian’ expedition to Mesopotamia during World War I, the Victorian style of dressing in the 19th century, tales of hunting trips, the Orr and Barton studio and Eventide Homes in Bangalore, the marriage between cousins, Poona’s military station, boxing bouts against soldiers, the long walk back from Burma during World War II, wall-posters and Christmas cards in the 1940s, and much more. Jenny Mallin has every reason to call her book a memoir instead of a cookbook, though fans of cooking will also find it a treasure trove.
To offer you further background into my marketing activities, I was recently interviewed by Jenni Murray on BBC’s Woman’s Hour, and have had numerous radio interviews at BBC Radio Berkshire with Bill Buckley and Anne Diamond where I took my Anglo Indian food in for them to try. I have been featured in “The Lady” magazine, “Who do you think you are?” magazine, “Waitrose Magazine” and also “Sainsbury’s Magazine”.
Five generations of a British Raj family seen through the eyes of their granddaughter
An amusing and entertaining talk with images of several trips made to India over the past 25 years
Based on the author's cookbook memoir, she has several different presentations which range from the history of those recipes of the grandmothers, to the life of being a memsahib in British India in the 18th century, their husband's professions that were linked to the British Raj infrastructure (the Railway, Telegraph, Police & Customs), a true account of the author's great aunt who trekked over 1,000 miles through Burma in 1943 as a memsahib through dense forests, tigers and the author's account of those four months until her great aunt landed on her grandmother's doorstep in Calcutta in the middle of the night. Another presentation she can offer is the life of her great grandmothers as memsahibs, their servants and cooks and a further presentation on the serendipity moments the author has experienced in her own journey from writing her book about the grandmothers and the account of her following and retracing her grandmothers' footsteps in an amazing journey around India to discover more about their lives. The serendipity stories of coincidence are both uplifting and entertaining to any audience!
U3A Hartley Wintney