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The year 1914 brought with it the devastation of World War I, and the beginning of widespread food shortages and hikes in food prices. The expatriate community in Malaya was not spared either, but one woman’s passion for cooking – documented in a compilation of 420 recipes – helped numerous expatriate women in the region prepare flavourful meals for their families on their shoestring budgets. The National Library Board wins hearts (and minds) around the world with its SG50 Gift of Books initiative. Amelia Tan has the details. First published in 1920, the book, titled The “Mem’s” Own Cookery Book: 420 Tried and Economical Recipes for Malaya, was written by Mrs W. E. Kinsey, the wife of British expatriate William Edward Kinsey. Her recipes were based on local ingredients, and came with notes on prices and where the ingredients could be bought more cheaply. This made the book a lifesaver for hapless foreign mems – the term used by…