Sunday, July 20, 2003

Time abroad inspires P&G spouses' cookbook

Food stuff

Chuck Martin

Some of us often bemoan the fact Cincinnati is such a white bread town. Not much ethnicity here, except for German-Americans, and most of their families immigrated generations ago. We don't have a Little Italy or other ethnic neighborhoods that compare to Cleveland, much less Chicago or New York.

But the latest Census figures show Cincinnati is growing more ethnic, with a booming Hispanic and Asian population. They're scattered, but the number of Mexican taquerias, Indian and Asian groceries are increasing.

Some of us also forget what a positive influence Procter & Gamble is on our diversity. Although headquartered here, the company sends its employees around the world to live and work. They usually return to Cincinnati with new ideas about business, culture, food and cooking. Sometimes, P&G employees come home with spouses native to other countries.

[IMAGE] Connie Pellettier (left) and Donna King of P&G International Transferees Inc. put 400 recipes from more than 15 countries into their cookbook.
(Joseph Fuqua II photo)
| ZOOM |
This fact didn't escape Connie Pellettier, a native of Toronto, who lives in Mount Lookout with her husband, Peter, who works for P&G. Pellettier belongs to an organization called P&G International Transferees Inc., a group made up of P&G spouses who have lived abroad, as well as citizens of other countries married to Procter employees.

Pellettier and many members in the group love to cook and belong to gourmet clubs. So when they began brainstorming charity ideas last year, she suggested compiling and selling a cookbook. It made perfect sense: Many had a repertoire of recipes they learned to cook and eat in other lands. An incredible resource.

Donna King of Symmes Township, the chair of the International Transferees charity committee and a cook who lived in China and Japan for five years, loved the idea. With the help of others, she and Pellettier began soliciting recipes in October. They started organizing and typing in December. And by April (record time for most charity cookbooks), the women had Savories & Sweets: An International Collection (Morris; $10) in hand.

The book features 400 recipes from more than 15 countries grouped by category into seven chapters. Although there is no entree chapter, many of the appetizers and starters can be served as part of a main course. And as a bonus, the book also includes favorite recipes from Greater Cincinnati chefs.

Proceeds go to the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), an organization that provides programs in education, health services and agricultural training in more than 60 countries.

So far, the women have sold 650 books (most to P&G employees) and presented a $2,000 check to CARE. The cookbooks are available at Cooks' Wares (Symmes Township, Liberty Township and Springboro) and Sur La Table (Rookwood Commons). For mail order: 489-2328 or 533-2323.

"We think this is a great way to get recipes from all over the world without having to buy 30 books," King says.

She's right. Savories & Sweets is a bargain. It also proves Cincinnati is more diverse than many of us realize.


• This recipe is from P&G spouse Jennifer Nagrath, a native of India who lives in Symmes Township.

Hot 'n' Spicy Shrimp

1 pound jumbo or large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons gin

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons mustard oil or olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt, to taste

Combine garlic, ginger, cumin, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, gin and brown sugar. Rub this mixture evenly over shrimp. Cover shrimp and set aside at room temperature no longer than 30 minutes.

Add oil to large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add shrimp and cook, tossing until it turns pink and curls, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Serve as an appetizer or on greens as a first course. Makes about 4 appetizer servings.

Savories & Sweets (Morris; $10)


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