Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mexico: Like Water for Chocolate

The morning papers brought disturbing news about Mexico today. Acapulco reported substantial losses for little or no flow of tourism in response to the wave of violence unleashed by the rival groups of drug cartel. A girl of only twenty, criminology student has been named police chief in Guadalupe, a town near the border with Texas and neighboring Juarez is one of the areas hardest hit by the current violence. In New York writers and journalists gathered to condemn the indifference to the killings of journalists in Mexico and demand "an end to impunity for crimes against journalists."

Pregnancy Pillow Reviews

Among these writers was Laura Esquivel, author of the well-known novel How Water for Chocolate , published in 1989, and subsequent 1991 film version. The work, in its two different formats, awakens intense feelings in everyone who approaches her, causing a wave of magical scents, tastes and appetites that go far beyond the strict culinary sense.

And is that Esquivel has been able to just point to your recipe, combining the ingredients that make the novel not only a fiery love story, but also a statement of rebellion and independence for Mexican women.
By submitting a story, which places women as actors and deposited the possible solution of the conflict in female hands, Esquivel is facing more traditional patriarchal narrative, and must swim against the current macho a nation in which, Octavio Paz, one of its most important theorists expressed in The Labyrinth of Solitude :
For Mexicans, the woman is a dark, secret and liabilities. [...] Being herself mistress of her desire, passion, or caprice, is being untrue to itself. (Paz 172)
The play opens with the most important stage for the story of its protagonist: the kitchen. There Tita is born, and grows amid the smells of the dishes from his nana and will become since then in private realm, where Tita show your personality and will unleash their deepest emotions. Center of the action space, the kitchen is witnessed births, fights, loves hidden, shared secrets between sisters and family decisions. Traditionally considered a marginal space, Esquivel makes the kitchen a space power, territory Tita serving vehicle of communication and means to vent all her repressed sexuality.

 The film version, meanwhile, makes the most of the possibilities offered by the image to show the viewer the warm and safe in this space as well as its quality of female domination full of tools, pet foods, and where the fire is comforting always on.

 The planes are used by the director of the film to show the presentation of trials or conflicts that affect women. A closeup of a seemingly innocent grinder ground meat reveals reflecting oppression they experience girls within the family and by extension the patriarchal society; another plane reflects the confinement of Tita in the kitchen and the hard work that is subject to an order of his tyrannical mother, and takes the viewer to think of a kind of modern-day Cinderella.

 The marriage of his sister nondescript man she loves reinforces this resemblance to the fairy tale. It is clear that the recipes for the dishes in this work have double meaning, and can also be seen as recipes for independence and transformation of women. One can think for example that the chiles en nogada, last dish prepared by Tita in the novel, representing the colors of the Mexican flag and act as liberators of the instincts of all characters in the play. The kitchen in Like Water for Chocolate plays undoubtedly a role of social transgression.
At the end of the novel, after the fire of the ranch where Tita and Pedro, actors, shared his passion for so long repressed, appears among the ashes Cooking cookbook written by Tita, small paper containing space in its pages the story of a passion, and would happen from hand to hand of women family descendants. Tita's recipes they serve to modern women to learn from the troubles of that time time women prompted the family to begin the slow process of transformation of Mexican women.
fiction Beyond, this week Marisol Valles, the twenty-Mexican student, was the only dangerous to accept the job as chief of police in your area. Perhaps because the blood was in his ability to command, as Gertrude, the Generala of Laura Esquivel's novel.
So just walks Mexico: Like Water for Chocolate.
A young Mrs. Valle desire to accompany him luck and good will noble people gave this land. And finally to Mexico being so close to the United States, but not so far from God.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy ending with Corn Pudding

The day of my visit to the Museum of History of New Mexico, in the Palace of the Governors is in the Old Town of Santa Fe, had no idea that was going to meet an old acquaintance of my Literature classes: Fray Angelico Chavez (1910 -1996). Not only because in the halls could see his image and also some knights and ladies of the time of their stories, but because in the Museum Library is located Fray Angelico Chavez History, which functions as a research center and conserves valuable historical documents the state of New Mexico and throughout the Southwest. 's work this Franciscan priest is varied and interesting, with emphasis on historical research, but also in the narrative description of traditions and customs. During some years I was teaching my students Latino Writers course, a piece of Fray Angelico narrative that, while enjoying its great treating a local issue within the universal, I could not completely dominate until just after visiting the landscapes and environments that inspired his author. I mean the story "A Romeo and Juliet Story in Early New Mexico", which narrates the impossible loves of Manuel Armijo and Francisca Baca, Santa Fe the eighteenth century. As can be seen by its title, this story is inspired by the conflict of the famous lovers from Verona to portray the drama of certain couple novohispana that, in the desert of New Mexico, faced stiff opposition from the parents of the girl. And what was the conflict? Will want to know. Well the usual, class differences and ancestry. Disreputable families could not be mixed with rancid society, who boasted of their descent from the first conquerors and traced its origins and permanence in the region by 1600. Question of lineage that did not allow them to accept those who were not "pure Spanish". And whence came the lover of history then? Here's the interesting thing. At Armijos were regarded as "late-comers", or families who arrived in the region after it was taken up (after the great Indian rebellion in 1680) by the Spanish Governor Vargas in front. To make matters worse, the mother of our Romeo desert, lived in a village (this refers to one of the indigenous communities in the area) since he had been kidnapped and forced to live among the Indians. When, twelve years later, she was rescued by the troops of the governor was forced by him to marry one of their drummers, who was to finish, a black. Francisca Baca, raised in the luxuries and privileges of his family, he dreamed of a wedding at the altar of St. Francis Cathedral, they were building at the time, but his father moved heaven and earth to keep the relationship and wedding and placed in what they called "a house neutral" for a while until desist from the idea as he and his friends tried to convince the claimant (with tempting bribes) to leave the field and join his brother who was then at El Paso, TX . Neither bowed to pressure and therefore, Francisca was sent by arid and dusty roads to the house of her aunt Josefa Baca, who owned a prosperous farm in Albuquerque. The trip from Santa Fe to Albuquerque (which I did in about twenty minutes by car from the highway) was for the young long and tiring, but well worth it. Cahoots her aunt, her boyfriend and the pastor Albuquerque Franciscan, Fray Pedro Montaño, took a religious festival where the crowd gathered in the church of San Francisco then Xavier (now San Felipe) and celebrated wedding surprise the two lovebirds. What happened next can already imagine: fainting maternal, paternal tort, repudiation of the daughter and the son, and his two-year good tantrum to, after this time, accept the inevitable and let your dream come true Francisca kneeling Manuel Armijo (by then her husband) at the altar of the parish of Santa Fe luxury Visiting these locations certainly allowed me to get to the root of the story of Fray Angelico. I regret not doing it sooner, but I'm so glad I went! In the Museum of the Palace of the Governors bought a very interesting booklet. It is a native cookery book: Pueblo Indian Cookbook, published by the Museum of New Mexico. This is a collection of recipes from the different towns in the area, Santa Clara, Taos, Nambe, Santo Domingo, the nation Razor and others who discover the reader both indigenous ingredients, such as traditional methods of food preparation. I tried to find a recipe that could be prepared by a low level of difficulty and especially the possibility of having everything you need to make. It was not easy deciding on one, but finally prepared the Indian Corn Pudding and say that they tried it was very tasty. So in this case was also the dining experience, as history, a happy ending.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Invocation to San Pascual for modern times

Laziness, lack of reading, a lot of work and lack of encouragement for cooking have kept me away from this blog for months. Visits infinitely grateful friends and the responses that I have written not to continue in the effort.

I briefly drawing but nothing serious. I accompanied my husband to visit the desert for a few days astronomical observatories. The trip left me exhausted. Then I visited and I got to change furniture in every room of the house. I have not read anything new, just an interesting novel The Solitude of Prime Numbers , by Paolo Giordano written, which I used for this blog because its protagonist was anorexic, and food ... nothing.

But here I am again, trying to survive my unfriendly inconstancy. Hope you like this post, if anyone dares to even visit.

the desert I brought, plus the fascination with the landscape, a figurine of San Pascual Baylon. It was a time that I had seen in pictures of Mexican cuisines, but on arriving at Albuquerque, NM. everywhere I found to my surprise and delight. There was the saint in restaurants, shops, tiles, aprons, altarpieces and representation in every possible imaginable.

Also in all its variants, the Mexico that suit is very convincing and formal, but the most abundant was another: the version for this saint in New Mexico, different and charming, with details as local as an Indian feather in the hat, the string of chili or fish in hand, and firewood to heat the stove and housing. A local craftsman, Hector Rascon , are created and successfully sold throughout the Southwest area.

From my trip, more so I declare this holy devotee, whom I particularly like the legends that have to do with their dance steps to prepare meals, or clumsiness in the kitchen that led to the unique molecular poblano .

A San Pascual put it in my kitchen and I hope to help improve my poor stews, is supposed to help if he prays his prayer dancing. I for one, and confident that the Holy variations do not bother, I wrote an invocation to share with you and that is better suited to these terrible times of inflation and "junk food." Here I offer:

  • San Pascual Bailon Santo,
  • housing and Hispanic cuisine,
  • devoutly I make this prayer
  • that I'll post in my blog today or tomorrow.
  • With your bowl and your spoon armed
  • protecting my health and my livelihood,
  • do not miss the food home
  • nutritious, tasty, and nicely varied.
  • Santo of the mole, and the curd bread,
  • confectionery and pastry,
  • away from my desk and shelves
  • the tasteless frozen food.
  • patio in my garden flourish beam
  • thyme, cilantro and rosemary,
  • which always leaves smell of pot
  • to good stew and plenty of fresh grass.
  • Finally I ask, if it is given,
  • (and ask you dance with great joy)
  • oh, San Pascual, thou wonder,
  • could you lower market prices?

Friday, November 1, 2013

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New Mexico Chilies

Walking the streets of New Mexico was certainly an experience exceptional. Nothing had seen before in the United States that compares. And, the stunning scenery around the cities, indigenous element is added that makes the difference with the other states of the nation. Houses of adobe, ladders against the walls, colorful textiles and CHILLI , chillies everywhere, surprise visitors at every step.

 Like I said before, I walked by these regions in May. I visited Albuquerque, Socorro and Santa Fe, and I walked all I could through the streets despite the unexpected snowfall two days and a windstorm uncomfortable but made ​​it more difficult, not able to stop me. had seen in photographs the beautiful strings of peppers hanging from the ceilings, but I could never imagine the colorful profusion and I stumbled into since my arrival.

Currently, my baby is just coming around, so i plan on buying a double stroller for her

They are everywhere, and in all sizes. Currently serve as decoration but are also edible, as is tradition hang to dry in the sun for later use in the kitchen. There are stores that specialize in chilies, where he sold in powder or paste, or courses.

In one of them, in Albuquerque, explained the drying process so that it can last up to a year for culinary uses, and up to five as decoration if you apply a varnish. chili is basic and fundamental ingredient of cooking in New Mexico. A question safe in restaurants in the region is " green or red? ", to what locals usually respond "Christmas" I, of course, ate food from New Mexico during the trip.

Guess what he asked you? Of course, chili! here I leave a picture of one of the restaurants visited in Albuquerque and my favorite dish on the menu. Sorry I have the recipe to share with you, but I encourage you to travel to NM, I assure you will not regret.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Columbus Menu

Few things are as famous as "la buona tavola" of the Italians. However, that notorious "buon mangiare" it was not so before the discovery of America. Many of the icons of Italian cuisine are really possible thanks to the contributions that they came from the New World and without which Italian food definitely not be the same.

Looking in my books something to say on the occasion of October 12, I found this book that I do not remember how or when acquired and had not even read. The book is Columbus Menu. Italian Cuisine after the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus , Stefano Milioni, published in 1992 by the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade. As expected the booklet I came in handy to write about the date on my blog, and reading convinced me that, whatever may have been the reason I got it was certainly a good decision.

Columbus Menu explained how they were introduced to Europe after Columbus's voyage, as basic foods such as corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, pumpkins, cocoa, and even turkeys. The author refers to the introduction dates, or at least the first evidence of its existence in different areas, each of these genres. Its earliest uses, which in many cases were ornamental, magical or aphrodisiacs, and then also the first references and recipes in old cookbooks European regions.

Interestingly, the book highlights the differences between the use of these products in Europe, and specifically in Italy. While in other parts of the old continent as a delicacy adicionaban more to the table, in Italy were used to create new dishes, mixing old items with new arrivals and giving life to a new and tasty variant.
Tomatoes , for example, how important it is for Italian cuisine, according to the author:
[...] reached Italy, officially at least, in the 17th century. It was Brought into the country by the English but They did not at the same time introduce any culinary preparations in Which the fruit was employed . (Milioni, 1992, p.12)
Milioni (p.13) says that apparently was in Sicily where he began to use a good amount of chopped tomatoes in the water they were boiled macaroni or vermicelli.
otherwise Corn part, the seeds were introduced in Spain by Columbus returned from his first trip in 1493, it began to be cultivated in Europe until about 1520, and thanks to some varieties of the plant that took away from Mexico. News are given the introduction of maize in the region of Veneto, Italy, from 1530, and the cultivation of this grain originated the polenta, another pillar of Italian gastronomy.
same fate among Italians potato. Discovered by the conquerors of Peru, was taken to Mexico and from there to Europe. The author states that: The first authentic scientific description of the potato has been credited to the Dutch botanist Charles de Lécluse, who is better Known by the name Clusius. While I was Residing in Vienna in 1588, I received two tubers from the governor of Mons in what is today Belgium. The gift was Accompanied by a watercolor, que was the first official drawing of the potato.

(Milioni, 1992, p. 34) The potato entered Italy since 1560, Milioni tells us in his book, and had a pretty bad start: ornamental first and as animal feed after. It was not until 1801 that the fifth edition of Il Cuoco Galante published a list of possible uses of the potato as food for humans, including pulpetas (polpette), mashed, similar to polenta, grilled or stuffed with butter. This paper also published the first recipe and potato gnocchi with egg yolks and beef fat ricotta cheese. The following recipes were this much simpler, and I think the road was long to reach these gnocchi in packages that can currently buy in the supermarket. That was just the dish I prepared for this entry: potato gnocchi, but with tomato , basil and feta cheese.

Do you Have Courage?

The presence of the egg as a symbol on the ground and is well known surrealist art. We find, for example, in some paintings of Ernst, in Remedios Varo, along Dali all creation. The Carrington also used it as a motif in several of his works populated by mysterious characters, fish and birds. But this post does not refer specifically to eggs as pictorial object, but as food in the kitchen. In the novel Leonora no lack of allusions to food, in fact, Poniatowska Leonora tells us that liked to cook and do it excellently. In the house of the French province of St. Martin who lived with Max, Poniatowska grew vegetables and describes it in the kitchen: "With your fingers, Leonora takes their pods peas, beans wastes and lentils, nuts. Their hands are more than business, are wise. Come and go as if cast careers and never wrong, do not hurt or when slicing the tips of green beans or carrots casters do. " (Seix Barral, 2011, p.150) In New York, while Leduc looks when leaving for Mexico, Leonora wow you with their dishes, "invites eat Breton and Marcel Duchamp and serves a rabbit stuffed with oysters." (Seix Barral, 2011, p. 269) In Mexico, metates and mortars gun and learn how to make tortillas and mole. When Maurie visit her mother, Leonora amazed with introducing new foods into your meals: breakfast papaya, oranges and eggs a la mexicana . On these Maurie says: -I had never tasted such a delight. Start the day with a Mexican breakfast is a godsend . (Seix Barral, 2011, p. 360) And so true is that reading has moved me to prepare huevos rancheros. Here I leave you with the list of ingredients to achieve so heavenly gift. Do you encourage?

Huevos, de surrealistas a rancheros

Anduve casi una semana perdida entre las fantasías de un libro; el corazón en vilo siguiendo la historia de una vida, una pasión, una obra.
Estuve leyendo Leonora, la más reciente producción de Elena Poniatowska , que obtuvo el Premio Biblioteca Breve 2011 otorgado por Seix Barral. Una vez más la escritora mexicana investiga y escribe sobre una mujer, y mezcla la biografía junto con la ficción para regalar a sus lectores un gran libro.
Leonora (Poniatowska, E. 2011, Seix Barral ) es una recreación de la historia de la pintora del grupo de los surrealistas, Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), quien desde muy joven huyó de la seguridad y riqueza de su familia en Inglaterra para perseguir el sueño de pintar sus extravagantes visiones.
Poniatowska logra adentrarse en la mente exaltada de la niña que choca de continuo con todas las normas de conducta de la familia, la escuela y de su clase social. Desde el inicio mismo del libro, Leonora declara estar escribiendo su manual de desobediencia y pone de manifiesto su personalidad fuerte y su rebeldía incurable.
A lo largo de la obra acompañamos a la joven Leonora por Londres, Italia, París, donde se reúne con el grupo más selecto de artistas de la época: Max Ernst (quien fue su amante por varios años), Breton, Duchamp, Dalí, Picasso, Tanguy, Miró y otros muchos. Leonora, pinta pero también escribe. Su belleza, inteligencia y carácter la convierten en un tesoro para el grupo.
La guerra la separa de Max, quien estuvo prisionero en un campo en Francia; Leonora enloquece y va a dar en su huída a España, donde la internan en un manicomio de Santander. Un tiempo después, en Lisboa, se encuentra con el poeta y periodista Renato Leduc y se une a él en matrimonio, escapando hacia México, país que generosamente dio refugio a muchos artistas e intelectuales que huían de la guerra, el encierro o una muerte segura.
La inglesa se queda en México, donde se rencuentra con viejos amigos de París, como la española Remedios Varo. Allí, a pesar de las diferencias culturales, crea su obra y echa raíces. Separada luego de Renato, tuvo dos hijos del matrimonio con el fotógrafo húngaro Imre Weisz (Chiki, en México) y se dedicó a ellos y a su obra con renovado fervor.
En su casa de México la visitó varias veces Poniatowska para conversar y dar vida a su libro. Ninguna de las dos sabía entonces que, muy poco tiempo después de la publicación de éste en febrero del 2011, moriría Leonora (en mayo de este mismo año) “la última de las surrealistas”. A su muerte deja una obra pictórica, literaria y escultórica impresionante.