New cookbook puts Mapua on the map
There's a new feature at the popular Mapua Easter Fair this year with The Mapua Village Cookbook designed with the essence of the region in mind.
The cookbook was initiated and put together by the Mapua School parent and teacher association (PTA) to fundraise for a new multi-purpose indoor space for the school's growing roll.
Organisers Melonie Cole and Talei Hayward started the project a year ago and are excited to already be putting in another order for 500 more books before it has even been launched.
"We decided as a PTA to come up with a cookbook as is a fundraiser because our school is growing so rapidly and we don't have a large indoor space or multi-purpose facility we can use for sporting, cultural, arts or social events," said Hayward
The book will be sold at the Easter Fair at the Mapua domain on Sunday, April 20.
This year visitors are being encouraged to come by ferry to Mapua as a "more fun way" to travel and reduce congestion and cyclists are expected to come in off The Tasman Great Taste Trail.
Principal Neil Chalmers said it was "fantastic" parents had showed the initiative to raise money with the recipe book.
"We are incredibly excited about it because the quality and effort gone into it makes it a top class cookbook so I believe it will be very popular and that will be great for the school because we have a desire to build a multi-purpose space, we call it the large indoor space, and that won't be funded through normal means at this point," he said
Although he had not had a chance to sample any of the "superb" recipes he said he was looking forward to trying them out.
"I certainly will be buying a few myself for family around the world," he said.
Cole and Hayward tried to draw on the local identity for the book where possible.
There was no style or theme when they first started the book, but Hayward said it evolved over time to become "very Nelson".
"When we asked for submissions we put a real focus on local and seasonal ingredients that were readily available here so a lot of the recipes you'll see have a local focus," said Hayward.
Recipes had come from the community as well as local businesses.
"It's got a bit of something for everybody, 80 recipes from the school community and then further 12 businesses who sponsored pages and have also kindly given us a recipe from their establishments," said Hayward.
Every recipe in the book had been tried out in the kitchens of the 12 PTA members and were photographed giving the book a vibrant look.
Support came from Mary Seelen at Pacific Portraits and Mapua based photography and design company Chocolate Dog Studio, who took the cover shot featuring food from the book with local kids jumping off the Mapua wharf in the background.
The book also includes photos contributed by the Nelson Mail from last year's Easter fair.
‘They really sum up the Easter fair those shots, they are beautiful," said Hayward.
They have had good feedback since the book had been printed
The Thai beef salad, asparagus salad, roasted tomatoes with chorizo, and the seafood recipes are top picks from Cole and Hayward.
The classic New Zealand baking culture also has its own dedicated section.
"There are treasures in there," said Hayward."It has a lot of heritage recipes. People have been very generous with their 50-year-old recipes that were handed down from their grandmothers."
Tessa Mae's With Attitude owner Glenys Osmond contributed a 50-year-old pikelet recipe "scribbled on a torn piece of paper".
Using the book to raise money has been a move away from traditional school fundraising efforts.
"This is a good project, it's a big project because we feel it's going to make a significant amount of money for the school so we can do less things like standing outside cooking sausages and earning $25," said Cole.
"It's been a long road, but we think it will pay off in the end," said Hayward.
Cole and Hayward said the experience had showed them how the Mapua community was "pretty special".
"It's the way I imagine old New Zealand used to be, everyone knows their neighbours. The school is getting bigger, but it is smaller enough you know 90 per cent of people in the playground and that's lovely, I love that vibe," said Hayward.
A lot of the families are from out of the region so they are expecting the book to be a hit on foreign shores, despite postal costs being "quite crippling".
The women thanked the local businesses who had supported the book.
The books are $40 and can be ordered through email or can be bought from the school and possibly local retailers in the future.
Facebook: The Mapua Village Cookbook