Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With Frid

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Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With Frid

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:12 am

Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With Frida Kahlo
by Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle
Photographs by Ignacio Urquiza
Recipes Adapted by Laura B. de Caraza Campos
Text Translated by Kenneth Krabbenhoft
Recipes Translated by Olga Rigsby
Book Design by Julio Vega
© 1994 by Marie-Pierre Colle and Guadalupe Rivera




Table of Contents:

• Inside Cover
• A Family Story
• Life with Frida
• August: Frida and Diego's Wedding
o Oyster Soup
o White Rice With Plantains
o Huauzontles in Green Sauce
o Chiles Stuffed With Cheese
o Chiles Stuffed with Picadillo
o Black Mole From Oaxaca
o Red Hominy Stew From Jalisco
o Flan
• September: The National Holidays
o Snapper Soup
o Corn Pudding
o Chiles in Cream
o Stuffed Chayotes
o "Flag" Rice
 Green Rice
 White Rice
 Red Rice
o Chiles in Walnut Sauce
o Limes Filled With Coconut
o Prickly Pears with Anise
o Jamaica Flower Water
o Rice Water
o Lime Water
• October: Pico's Birthday
o Jocoque Soup
o Macaroni with Spinach Sauce
o Fried Chicken with Peanut Sauce
o Pork Stewed in Pulque
o Guavas Poached in Syrup
o Quince Paste
o Almond Cookies
• November: The Day of the Dead
o Fried Bread With Syrup
o Dead Man's Bread
o Chicken in Pipian Sauce
o Yellow Mole
o Red Mole
o Red Tamales
o Tamales in Banana Leaves
o Mixed Tropical Fruit in Syrup
o Pumpkin in Syrup
o Strawberry Atole
• December: The Posadas
o Cream of Peanut Soup
o Fish in Scallop Shells
o Christmas Turkey
o Christmas Salad
o Squash Blossom Quesadillas
o Stuffed Pambazos
o Tostadas
o Revoltijo
o Sugared Fritters
o Cocada
• January: La Rosca de Reyes
o Rosca De Reyes
o Hot Chocolate Drink
o Torta De Cielo
o Tacos with Sour Cream
o Flautas
o Red and Green Chalupas
o Macaroons
o Gaznates
o Eggnog Mold
• February: A Candlemas Baptism
o Smothered Pork Sandwiches
o Enchiladas Tapatias
o Tamales with Chicken Picadillo
o Squash Blossom Budin
o Fresh Corn Tamales
o Champurrado
o Shortbread Cookies
o Little Meringues
• March: Teotihuacan, Where Live the Sun and Moon
o Potatoes in Green Sauce
o Refried Beans
o Shrimp Tacos
o Lima Bean Soup
o Cold Chiles with Vegetable Stuffing
o Red Snapper, Veracruz Style
o Lettuce, Tomato, Cauliflower, and Beet Salad
o Mango Sorbet
• April: A Boat Ride in Xochimilco
o Black Bean Soup
o Fresh Lima Bean Salad
o Nopales Salad
o Carnitas
o Seasoned Pork Roast
o Pork Sandwiches
o Guacamole with Chipotle Chiles
o Fruit Salad
o Coconut Ice Cream
o Black Zapote Ice
o Grenadine Punch
• May: The Holy Cross
o Lamb with Drunken Sauce
o Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce
o Beans, Mason Style
o Beef, Mason Style
o Eggs, Mason Style
o Chilaquiles in Green Sauce
o Pork Cracklings in Guajillo Sauce
o Fritters in Syrup
• June: The Meal of the Broad Tablecloths
o Pico De Gallo Salad
o Squash Blossom Soup
o Chicken Consomme
o Sopa Seca De Fideo
o Pork Ribs
o Potato Tortitas
o Zucchini Salad
o Home-Style Bacalao
o Egg Nog
o Stuffed Pineapple
o Lime Sorbet
o Cat's Tongues
• July: Frida's Birthday
o Shrimp Broth
o Tablecloth Stainer
o Shrimp Escabeche
o Chicken Escabeche
o Pork Stew From Puebla
o Pork with Nopales
o Fish Baked in Acuyo Leaves
o Mole Poblano
o Chilled Pig's Feet
o Bean, Radish, and Cheese Salad
o Sweet Potato-Pineapple Dessert
o Mamey Mousse
o Pine Nut Flan
• Epilogue
• Index
• Photograph Credits
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:14 am

Inside Cover:

Frida. Her name conjures mystery and magic and Mexico. Here, in this beautiful new book, Diego Rivera's daughter Guadalupe Rivera adds to the legend by shining a new light. As Lupe tells it, "In 1942, family events made it convenient for me to go to Coyoacan and live with my father and Frida ... most important of all was learning to see the world through the way Frida and Diego lived."

Lupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle bring Frida and the Blue House in Coyoacan vividly to life. We learn of parakeets chattering in their cages, of the monkey Fulang Chang, of people congregating in the famous tiled kitchen. But most of all, we learn about Frida and how she welcomed people into her home.

Frida was an enthusiast, and ever occasion was cause for rejoicing. She celebrated birthdays and saints days and baptisms and all the popular holidays. The authors have divided the book into a cycle of twelve fiestas, among them the Posadas (at Christmas), the Day of the Dead, the Mexican national holidays, and a gala celebration called "The Meal of the Broad Tablecloths." Included with the reminiscences are more than 100 recipes for the traditional Mexican foods that Diego loved to eat and Frida loved to prepare.

Among the many illustrations are pages from Frida's cookbook and notebooks, as well as vintage portraits and reproductions of her paintings. Marie-Pierre has worked with Ignacio Urquiza -- one of Mexico's leading photographers -- to create pictures of the recipes in the Blue House and in other locations that Frida would have known and loved. These, and the still life photographs inspired by Frida's paintings, combine to make a book as vibrant and exciting and inspiring as Frida herself. Fans will find Frida's Fiestas a welcome and invaluable addition to their libraries; newcomers will find it a charming introduction.


Guadalupe Rivera (left), daughter of the painter Diego Rivera and the writer Guadalupe Marin, was born in Mexico City. A professor of law, she is author of several law books, as well as two books about her father: Un Rio dos Riveras, Vida de Diego Rivera 1886-1926 and Encuentros con Diego Rivera. As a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, she wrote the first chapters of her new novel in 1993.

Marie-Pierre Colle (right), of Mexican-French heritage, began her career as a journalist in New York, where she worked for such magazines as Vogue, House & Garden, and Conde Nast Traveler. She is the author of Casa Poblana, Latin American Artists in Their Studios, and Mexico: Houses of the Pacific.

Ignacio Urquiz was born in Mexico City. His images have illustrated several cookbooks, including The Taste of Mexico and Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook.


We dedicate this book to Andrea Valeria, who -- at a meal where these traditional dishes were served -- strongly motivated us to make this book.

We dedicate it also to Marie-Pierre's son, Eric, as well as to Lupe's five grandchildren -- Luis, Juan, Fernanda, Paolina, and Rodrigo -- great-grandchildren of Diego Rivera.

Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:17 am


A corner of Frida's kitchen, decorated with blue and yellow tiles from Puebla. Frida's name is spelled out in tiny mugs on the wall.

A typical Puebla mole. The ingredients are arranged on the wood stove in the kitchen of the Blue House.

Handmade painted wooden shelves in the dining room. The table is also painted yellow, which was Frida's preferred color for decoration in the Blue House.

Frida, photographed in 1932 by her father, Guillermo Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo was a student at the National Preparatory School when she first met my father, Diego Rivera. Diego had just returned from a ten-year stay in Europe and was painting his first murals, which were located in the amphitheater of the school, formerly the Jesuit Colegio de San Ildefonso.

Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo were working on murals in the old cloister of the school. All of the painters, including Diego, were the object of verbal and physical attacks from the students, who were opposed to the murals and sought to destroy them any way they could.

Diego and Frida photographed in the kitchen of the Blue House in 1941.

Diego had chosen several of the most beautiful women in Mexico City's artistic and intellectual circles to serve as models for his allegory on the Creation. One of them was Lupe Marin (my mother), who had recently arrived in Mexico City from Guadalajara, capital of the state of Jalisco. Lupe and Frida thus met each other through Diego.

When he had completed the amphitheater mural, Diego moved his scaffolds to the headquarters of the newly created Secretary of Public Education to begin work on a new painting there. He lost touch with Frida but continued to see Lupe, whom he married in 1923. 1 was born the next year, and my sister, Ruth, came along three years later.

Through these years Frida continued her studies at the National Preparatory School, where she was deeply involved with Alejandro Gomez Arias, the brilliant student leader. She was with him in 1925 when a streetcar accident changed the course of her life, forcing her to spend a lonely and tedious year in bed and leaving her forever disabled.

While Alejandro traveled around Europe, Frida took up painting to pass the time. Her first portraits of friends and acquaintances date from this period, as does an especially successful portrait of the absent Alejandro. It was perfectly natural for her to compose her first self-portraits in the style of Sandra Botticelli, whose painting Primavera was one of her favorites.

Frida soon determined to switch from the sciences to art. She tucked a few of her canvases under her arm and went off to see Diego. She wanted the Master's opinion of her art and hoped he would take her on as assistant in the ongoing mural project. Diego advised her to keep on painting; he also told her that she could look forward to a very successful artistic career.

As Frida's interview with Diego was drawing to a close, Lupe Marin walked in, bearing lunch on a tray for her husband. She was furious to find them together, and she would have started throwing the lunch plates had not Diego, alarmed and laughing nervously, intervened to keep these angry women, who were clearly fighting over him, safely apart.

Two years after this episode, Diego received a surprise official invitation to attend celebrations that were to be held in the U.S.S.R. in honor of the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. He was also asked to paint a huge mural in the Red Army Palace in Moscow. When Diego left Mexico, he had no idea when he would return. He left my mother in the charge of her former boyfriend, the poet Jorge Cuesta. Not surprisingly, when Diego returned (sooner than expected) he found that Lupe and Jorge were deeply and happily in love, and my parents divorced. Frida and Alejandro Gomez Arias had meanwhile split up. At the instigation of her friend German del Campo, Frida had joined the Communist Party and befriended Tina Modotti, who was already famous for her photography and political activism. It was in Tina's house that Frida and Diego met for the third time. Without Lupe to get in the way, they became engaged and were eventually married on August 26, 1929, in the village of Coyoacan on the outskirts of Mexico City.

By this time my mother was happily married to Jorge Cuesta and had, for all intents and purposes, forgotten her rivalry with Diego's female admirers. In fact, she used to get together with Diego's girlfriends to complain about him. And so it was that when Tina offered to hold Diego and Frida's wedding reception at her house, Lupe volunteered to cook some of Diego's favorite dishes.

Tina's patio was lavishly decorated with pendants and streamers, transformed into a festive setting with all the friendly charm of a Mexican village. A mariachi band played nonstop, and the guests sipped tequila and munched on pork rinds with avocado as they waited for the newlyweds to arrive. The crisis came when Lupe could control her jealousy no longer, and emotion triumphed over manners. Lupe began flaunting her own beauty in the face of Frida's physical deformities. She lifted the bride's skirts for all to see the consequences of the polio Frida had suffered as a child and called out; "Your legs are scrawny, but mine -- just look at them!" Frida responded by giving Lupe a violent shove; she lost her balance and went tumbling to the ground. Diego had to hold them apart in order to prevent bloodshed.

After the wedding the Riveras moved into a big house in the Juarez quarter of Mexico City, fronting on the very grand Paseo de la Reforma. In those early days of their marriage they shared the house with David Alfaro Siqueiros and his wife, Blanca Luz, and other artist couples. Everyone pitched in to pay the rent.

Dwight Morrow was the United States Ambassador to Mexico at that time. He wanted to improve relations between the two countries in the wake of the Revolution that had swept Mexico between 1910 and 1917. With this in mind, he commissioned a huge mural dedicated to the story of the state of Morelos, where many prominent political figures -- himself included -- had weekend homes. With the support of the governor of the state, Morrow asked Diego Rivera to accept the commission. The murals were to be painted on the walls of an ancient palace that had belonged to Hernan Cortes in Cuernavaca, capital of Morelos.

A page of the notebook in which Frida recorded the sales of her paintings.

My sister, Ruth, and I went to visit him there. I remember clearly how anxious Frida was to cook and keep house for Diego, when in fact she knew nothing of housekeeping. She had even less of an idea how to look after a kitchen in the tropics, where ants, cockroaches, and numerous other insects came and went at their leisure and generally felt quite at home. But we all survived.

A few months later Diego secured a commitment from President Emilio Portes Gil to finance a mural on themes from Mexican history to be painted in the central stairwell of the National Palace.

By then, relations between my parents and their respective spouses had become friendly enough to encourage joint residency in the same house. So it was that the two couples -- and their "appendages" Ruth and Lupe (or Chapa and Pica, as we were nicknamed) -- took up residence in a small apartment house that my mother had recently built. My father and Frida lived on the ground floor, and the rest of us on the third floor. The space in between was only symbolically unassigned; in point of fact we constantly met there for meals or to spend the evenings, unless friends dropped by to visit.

My father, who never stopped working, began on the murals in the National Palace while paying sporadic visits to Cuernavaca. At the same time he was engaged in painting murals at the Department of Public Health, where the youngest of the Kahlo girls, Cristina, posed nude for him. Jorge Cuesta divided his time between poetry and his career as a chemist. Frida worked on easel painting. And my mother was in charge of sewing everyone's clothes and teaching Frida how to cook.

The apartments had very small kitchens. One cooked with charcoal and wooden implements, kettles, and earthenware crocks. When Lupe and Frida worked together there was hardly room for both of them. Where Lupe took up space with her height and ample limbs, Frida filled it with her elaborately starched and frilly skirts. They took equal delight in preparing country-style chiles en frio, stuffed with chopped meat and bathed in a sweet-and-sour sauce of tomatoes and sliced onions, or the romeritos with shrimp tortitas and sour prickly pears, or the refried beans smothered in cheese and garnished with crisp totopos. For these were Diego's favorite dishes.

Page from the Nuevo Cocinero Mexicano, the cookbook that belonged to Mrs. Matilde Calderon de Kahlo, Frida's mother.

Frida was taught to cook most of these dishes by Lupe, who for her part had learned them from my grandmother Isabel Preciado. Like many ladies of her period, Grandmother relied on a cookbook that was revered as a classic in Guadalajara. It was called Practical Recipes for Housewives, and it came in two volumes. Frida would later consult a cookbook in the format of a dictionary that had belonged to her mother. Called The New Mexican Cook, it was a collection of the finest and tastiest traditional recipes. I eventually inherited these books from my grandmother and from Frida, complete with their own recipes and kitchen secrets -- the very same ones that appear in this book.

Page from the Nuevo Cocinero Mexicano, the cookbook that belonged to Mrs. Matilde Calderon de Kahlo, Frida's mother.

The superficially idyllic life that the Riveras and Cuestas lived together could not last forever. Under considerable pressure from the Mexican government due to his political ideas, Diego accepted an invitation to participate in a project at the San Francisco Stock Exchange and the School of Fine Arts. Frida took advantage of her new life in California, and the weeks they later spent in New York, to get to know the United States and to experiment with her own painting. Since she and Diego were living in hotels and furnished apartments without kitchens, they had to eat out. In her letters home, Frida spoke of how much she missed Mexican cooking and how hard it was to get used to the monotony of North American food.

In 1937, Frida celebrated Leon Trotsky's arrival in Mexico with a fiesta, decorating the dining room table in the Blue House with flowers.

Months later, when she had recovered from a spell of bad health and was living in Detroit, Frida went back to cooking her favorite Mexican dishes. She was able to do this because all the necessary ingredients were available in stores she had searched out in the city's Mexican quarter. People stared when Frida arrived at the Detroit Institute of Art bearing a huge basket full of the great Master's food, but his assistants and friends helped themselves and found it very much to their liking.

The Riveras returned to Mexico toward the end of 1933. Their ultramodern house in San Angel, designed by Juan O'Gorman, was ready, and they moved in at once. The furnishings were totally modern, with tables, chairs, and other furniture made from polished steel with cushions and upholstery of fine leather, lemon-green in color. This made a vivid contrast with the red tiles on the roof, the white walls and yellow tile floors covered with petates (reed mats). Even more striking was the presence of Diego Rivera's colorful canvases, which took up most of the wall space.

There was an all-electric kitchen, so tiny that it discouraged anyone from cooking in it, so Frida built a second kitchen where she could enjoy making meals. But the Riveras were still not happy. They came to the conclusion that it would be best to refurnish the Blue House in Coyoacan -- Frida's family home. San Angel would then function as a studio for them both, while the Blue House would be their home.

In 1942, family events made it convenient for me to go to Coyoacan and live with my father and Frida Kahlo. In the Blue House I had some of the most important experiences of my youth. I met people who had a tremendous impact on my life, but the most important influence of all was learning to see the world through the way Frida and Diego lived.

Frida was an enthusiast; she got the most out of everything. The world around her was more than enough cause for permanent rejoicing. She celebrated saints' days, birthdays, baptisms, and most of the popular holidays, both religious and secular. She got everyone involved -- friends and family, students and colleagues -- and she loved to mingle with the crowds in the marketplace on traditional holidays. She used to go to Garibaldi Square, where the mariachis -- her constant companions in good times and bad -- sang her favorite songs, one after another. I had lived a fairly sheltered life until then, so this was a new world for me.

I have put in writing some of the most significant and moving moments of Frida Kahlo's life, the ones that are most indelibly impressed upon my memory. I also speak of Frida's daily life, her habits and personality, and the artistic talent that is so apparent in the works she created between 1940 and 1943. I write about her enthusiasm for food and preparing Diego's favorite dishes. I have called these events Frida's Fiestas, although I must admit that my father, myself, and everyone else who knew Frida took part in these celebrations with her. Setting these experiences down on paper has not been terribly painful, nor has it been particularly easy. But I must confess that it gives me great personal satisfaction to see them written down in the words that make up this book.

Guadalupe Rivera

Frida's photo album, on display in the Frida Kahlo Museum.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:20 am


The patio of the blue House.

Frida in the garden.

The very first thing Frida and Diego did when they left San Angel to live in Coyoacan was have the front of the house at Londres 127 painted azul anil, the deep matte blue considered to ward off evil spirits, with trim of red and green. It had always had the comfortable feeling of a small-town house, an effect in part of the great variety of plants and animals they kept there. Outside, there were flowers of every color growing in the garden and in big planters in the patio, and inside, abundant bouquets of wildflowers and sunflowers in earthenware vases. There were songbirds and parakeets warbling or chattering in their cages, long-haired gray cats and dogs of indistinct color, and a spider monkey called Fulang Chang. All of this, but especially the presence of Frida herself, gave the Blue House in Coyoacan its unique personality and voice.

One of Frida's dogs poses with her in the cactus garden.

People congregated mostly in the kitchen. Frida met there with the servants to discuss the day-to-day business of running the house. The stove was decorated with white, blue, and yellow Spanish tiles, and the entwined names of Frida and Diego were spelled out in tiny earthenware jugs on the rear wall. On the wall above the stove hung earthenware pots from Oaxaca, copper kettles from Santa Clara, glasses, cups and pitchers from Guadalajara and Puebla and Guanajuato. The overall effect was typically Mexican. Frida and Diego had purchased these pieces of folk art in their travels around the country, and gradually they put together a living collection of beautiful objects created by the most gifted artisans in the country.

Frida often went further than Diego in expressing her "Mexican-ness." There was nothing new in this, really, since even as a child Frida was known to use words and expressions that were common among what her older sisters called "la Indiada" ("the Indians"), a derogatory term for the poor. I have included some of these idiomatic expressions in these pages.

I arrived in Coyoacan in August 1942, a teenager with little luggage. I found Frida in the kitchen. As usual, her outfit took me by surprise. She wore a black huipil with red and yellow embroidery and a soft cotton skirt in a floral print that seemed to come alive when she moved. Everything about her, from her hairstyle to the hem of her dress, breathed a kind of roguish glee accentuated by her laughing response to her cook Eulalia's remarks.

Frida could not have been more hospitable. She was always quite affectionate with me and my sister, Ruth. She called her Chapo and me Pico or Piquitos, the nicknames my father also used. We were very close, and she loved us. Young in spirit and age as well, she looked after us as if we were her flesh and blood.

The morning of my arrival in Coyoacan, Frida had just gotten back from the Melchor Ocampo market, which was quite near the Blue House. She had gone with Chucho, one of those hired hands no respectable village family can do without. La nina Fridita ("little Frida"), as Eulalia affectionately called her, was unpacking fruits and vegetables from a large basket. She examined them carefully one by one, commenting on their beautiful colors and exotic flavors.

La marchanta, the flower vendor in the Coyoacan market, who sold Frida her favorite flowers.

At one point she said to me: "Look at this watermelon, Piquitos! It's an amazing fruit. On the outside, it's a wonderful green color, but on the inside, there's this strong and elegant red and white. The pitaya is bright red, like a pomegranate sprinkled with black dots. Then there's the pitahaya. It is fuchsia on the outside and hides the subtlety of a whitish-gray pulp flecked with little black spots that are its seeds inside. This is a wonder! Fruits are like flowers: they speak to us in a provocative language and teach us things that are hidden."

She also took out a mamey, a melon, a cherimoya, and a bunch of pink bananas (they were her favorites) and put them all in a basket. Then she added a few avocados that looked to be perfectly ripe, not for visual effect but as ingredients for a magnificent guacamole.

I followed her into the dining room and tried to help her set the table, although I was so astonished by what I saw that I could scarcely do a thing. For Frida, setting the table was a ritual, whether she was unfolding the white openwork tablecloth from Aguascalientes, or arranging the simple plates that she had customized with her initials, or setting out Spanish Talavera plates and hand-blown blue glasses and heirloom silverware. It was as if the shape and color and sound that was particular to each individual object endowed it with life and an assigned place in a harmonious, aesthetically pleasing world.

A few moments later came the act of placing the flower vase in the center of the table. Into the vase went a bouquet that Frida had cut in the garden. It mimicked the flowers she wore in her hair, mimosa and marguerites of different sizes mixed in with little red-and-white roses. To complete the effect she added jasmines, whose perfume gave her such a distinctive fragrance.

Frida grew the plants and flowers herself. She went to the gardens every day to see how they had grown and which were in bloom. These she put in her hair or distributed around the house. I observed all of this magic scene, dazzled by the evidence of my eyes.

I came to my senses briefly when in a friendly and slightly ironic voice she asked me to follow her to her studio. She was perfectly aware that I felt out of place. We picked up the basket of fruit, and after her I went. As soon as we entered the studio, Frida's favorite place in the whole house, I was in the grip of an even greater amazement. A group of her paintings hung on the walls, The Two Fridas occupying the place of honor. The painting's strange combination of suffering and fear quite overwhelmed me. Breaking the silence, Frida remarked, "Now that I have fruits like these, Piquitos, and a little owl that lives in the garden, I'll be able to paint again some day! I prefer nature and natural objects to people." True to her word, in 1943 she painted The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened. In this work the freshness of a watermelon, the seedy core of a papaya and a little owl's staring eyes speak to us of that openness and liveliness of spirit that Frida lost in the last years of her life.

The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Opened, 1943.

She also painted a doll from her collection, the one that was dressed as a bride. She must have wanted to recapture the expression of a young woman astonished by the spectacle of life, which was something that she herself had lost at an early age, years before she wore her own wedding gown.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:22 am


The official wedding portrait, August 1929.

A corner of Tina Modotti's terrace, with tequila and lemons ready to be served.

Thirteen years before I went to live with them, Frida and Diego were married in the Coyoacan town hall. The date was August 26, 1929. Tina Modotti, bridesmaid and friend of Frida, gave the wedding reception on the terrace of her apartment building. There was a tremendous turnout, although Alejandro Gomez Arias, Frida's first official fiance, was noticeably absent. The same could not be said of my mother, Diego's second wife.

From that day on, Frida dressed in either the Oaxaca style or the antiquated fashion of the Mexican capital both to please her husband and to reflect her personal preference. The Oaxaca style, as worn by the women of Tehuantepec, is heavy with embroidery, ribbons, and floral motifs -- but when Frida dressed formally, sheathed in silk and lace, she was transformed into a lady of the court during the presidency of Porfirio Diaz. In her everyday cotton percale with embroidered hems, Frida became the very image of the muse described by the poet Ramon Lopez Velarde, who wrote about provincial girls "with blouses buttoned to their ears, and skirts down to their ankles. "

In her remarkable self-portrait titled The Two Fridas, she appears in two different dresses, one a magnificent antique and the other in the Tehnana style -- a proud, elegant lady next to a native beauty both similarly wounded by life. To complete her attire, Frida always wore a silk or linen rebozo, choosing a color that matched the rest of her clothes. Her favorite rebozo was a handmade silk one from Oaxaca, raw fuchsia in color.

In keeping with her ongoing commitment to communism, Frida dressed simply for her wedding, like an ordinary country woman. Judging from her clothes alone, she might have been presiding over a ceremony in any small town near Mexico City or in a modest household in the renowned village of Coyoacan.

It was like a fairy tale: the simple terrace of the apartment building where Tina Modotti lived was transformed for one day into a splendid, magical place. Hundreds of brightly colored pendants and streamers dangled from the beaks of papier-mache doves. '"Long live Diego!" "'Long live Frida!" "Congratulations!" "Long live love!"

There were paper tablecloths in various colors and napkins in contrasting colors. The place settings were for everyday use: green-and black-painted earthenware from Michoacan with designs of doves and other birds, dogs, and cats.

From her wedding day on, Frida realized that good cooking would be an important part of her life. Master Rivera's bad moods vanished before the delicious dishes that are normally served in a Mexican home, like white or saffron rice, huauzontles in different sauces, stuffed chiles in broth, and Oaxaca mole. With the exception of a splendid oyster soup, the wedding banquet was a modest affair. The oysters were served as an entree, thanks to the common Mexican belief that the little mollusks stimulate the appetite -- for sex as well as food. I do not know whose idea it was: it could have been Diego's or Frida's -- or even my mother's.

Frida photographed in 1937 in one of her favorite rebozos.

The guests had their choice of dishes prepared by Lupe Marin and cooks who were brought in from the marketplace near Tina's home. Lupe was responsible for the Mexican rice, the white rice with plantains, the huauzontles in green and red sauce, and the chiles stuffed with picadillo or with cheese. The other cooks made the famous oyster soup, the mole, and the desserts served in individual casseroles, as one should do with a good torreja or an even better capirotada. All of the guests ate at least one slice of the delicious wedding cake that Frida had ordered from the finest bakery in Coyoacan. The cake was decorated with white icing doves and roses and topped by the newlyweds rendered in sugar paste. The cake bride wore a beautiful white tulle dress, and the cake bridegroom a top hat, tails, and gloves. Of course this couple had nothing in common with the actual bride and groom. They were more like their formal, conservative antithesis.

At that time Diego believed that only the bourgeoisie used silverware. So for the soup there were blue-enameled metal spoons, the most common kind for sale in the market, but the rest of this wonderful food had to be eaten with the sole aid of tortillas.

Plain pulque, celery-and prickly pear-flavored pulque, and the obligatory complement of tequila flowed like rivers throughout the banquet. The result was a lot of raucous fun, punctuated with song after song and endless cheers. As luck had it, neither Rivera nor any of his friends pulled out their pistols to follow the revolutionary painters' time-honored practice of celebrating important events in their lives by firing live rounds into the air, instead of setting off fireworks.

Ever since their artist days at the National Preparatory School, Rivera along with his friends and colleagues David Alfaro Siqueiros and Xavier Guerrero were in the habit of wearing revolvers or pistols strapped to their waists and drawing them on the slightest pretext, to express their pleasure or annoyance. The wedding could very well have been another such occasion. Fortunately, it turned out otherwise.

By nighttime a number of guests had stayed behind either by design or because they were immobilized by all the beer, pulque, and tequila they had drunk. They were more than happy to serve themselves heaping portions of pozole and all kinds of tostadas, beginning with pig's feet and chicken with avocado.

The Riveras' honeymoon took them to Cuernavaca, where Master Diego was to paint the murals in the Hernan Cortes palace. Among the many individuals represented in these paintings are two heroes of the history of Morelos state, Emiliano Zapata and Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon. Zapata, shown standing by his horse, in time became a legendary figure, while Morelos, holding his sword on high, is today as always the very definition of the hero.

While Diego worked at re-creating the tropical landscape of that city of never-ending spring, Frida applied herself to cooking, cleaning, ironing, and other chores typical of a Morelos housewife.

Capirotada, a traditional dessert, served in a green pressed glass bowl from Puebla.

Diego and Frida's wedding banquet table, re-created on Tina Modotti's terrace.


Oyster Soup
White Rice with Plantains
Huauzontles in Green Sauce
Chiles Stuffed with Cheese
Chiles Stuffed with Picadillo
Black Mole from Oaxaca
Red Hominy Stew From Jalisco
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:28 am

(8 servings)

The Oyster Soup is served in pottery from Michoacan; the hand-painted glass with beer is from Puebla.

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
3 quarters oysters, shucked, with their liquid
2 quarters/2 l chicken broth
1/2 cup/30g. chopped parsley
2 crusty rolls, cubed and fried.

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Drain the oysters, reserving the liquid. Add the oyster liquid and chicken broth to the saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Add the oysters and parsley and simmer a minute more.

Pour the soup over the bread cubes in a soup tureen. Serve piping hot.


(8 servings)

White Rice with Plantains, served in green pottery from Michoacan.

4 ripe plantains
Corn oil
2 recipes White Rice

(4 servings)

1 cup rice
2 T lard or 3 T corn oil
1/2 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove
1 celery stalk
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 c. chicken broth

Soak the rice in very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain it; rinse it in cold water; then drain very well. Saute the rice in hot lard or oil for a minute or so. Add the onion and garlic. When the rice sounds like sand as it is stirred in the pan, add the celery, lime juice, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the celery and serve.

Peel the plantains and slice them diagonally. Fry the plantains in hot oil, turning once, until golden. Drain on brown paper. Top the rice with the fried plantains.


(8 servings)

Huauzontles in Green Sauce

2 pounds/1k huauzontles, well cleaned, stems trimmed
1 pound/500g Oaxaca cheese, crumbled (or muenster)
5 eggs, separated
Lard or corn oil


2 pounds/1k tomatillos
2 garlic clovers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 jalapeno chiles
1/2 cup/125 ml. water
1 small bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons lard or corn oil

Cook the huauzontles in salted water for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain, cool slightly, and squeeze out the excess water. Stuff bits of cheese between the small stems, then dust lightly with flour. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the yolks with a pinch of salt. Gently fold the yolks and whites together to make a batter. Dip the floured huauzontles in the batter and fry in hot lard until golden. Drain on brown paper. Place the huauzontles in Green Sauce and serve hot.

To make the Green Sauce, combine all the ingredients except the lard in a saucepan. Simmer until the tomatillos are tender and cooked through. Let cool slightly, then puree. Simmer the sauce in hot lard until the flavors are well blended.


(8 servings)

16 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, deveined, and seeded
4 c. queso fresco (or mild feta)
5 eggs, separated
Corn oil or lard


3 T oil oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
10 medium tomatoes, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 c. vinegar
3 T sugar
Salt and pepper
2 t. dried oregano

Stuff the chiles with cheese and dust lightly with flour. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the yolks with a pinch of salt and fold together with the egg whites to make a batter. Dip the stuffed chiles in the batter and fry in very hot oil until golden. Drainon brown paper. To serve, place the chiles in the Tomato Broth.

To make the Tomato Broth, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and carrots until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes more, or until the broth is flavorful and the tomatoes are cooked through.


(8 servings)

16 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and deveined
5 eggs, separated
Corn oil or lard
Tomato Broth


3 T oil oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
10 medium tomatoes, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 c. vinegar
3 T sugar
Salt and pepper
2 t. dried oregano


3 pounds ground pork
1 large onion, halved
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper
6 T. lard
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 zucchini, finely chopped
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
1 c. shredded cabbage
3/4 c. blanched almonds, chopped
1/2 c. raisins

Stuff the chiles with the Picadillo, then dust them with flour. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the yolks lightly with a pinch of salt and gently fold together with the whites to make a batter. Dip the chiles into the batter and fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on brown paper. To serve, place the chiles in the Tomato Broth.

To make the Picadillo, cook the pork with the onion halves, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste for about 20 minutes. Drain off the liquid and discard the onion. Heat the lard in another pan and saute the chopped onion, carrots, and zucchini until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato, cabbage, almonds, raisins, pork, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and the tomato is cooked through.


(16-20 servings)

The famous Black Mole from Oaxaca, sprinkled with sesame seeds

1 pound/500g chihuacle chiles
1/2 pound/250g mulato chiles, seeded and deveined, seeds reserved
1/2 pound/250g pasilla chiles, seeded and deveined, seeds reserved
3/4 pound/375g lard
2 large onions, roasted
1 head garlic, roasted
3 stale tortillas
2 slices egg hread
3/4 cup/100 g. blanched almonds
1/2 cup/75g shelled peanuts
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup/70g sesame seeds
1/2 cup/60g shelled pumpkin seeds
Pinch of anise seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 coriander seeds
10 black peppercorns
8 cloves
3/4 cup/100g raisins
3 large bars Mexican chocolate (or semisweet chocolate)
4 pounds/2k ripe tomatoes, roasted and peeled
1 pound/500g small green tomatoes
8 tablespoons lard
Sugar and salt
2 guajolotes (small turkeys) or 4 large chickens cut into pieces and cooked in a strong broth with carrots, onions, and herbs

Quickly fry the chiles in hot lard, being careful not to let them burn. Place the fried chiles in a large saucepan in hot water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer until soft.

In the same hot lard, saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the tortillas, bread, almonds, peanuts, cinnamon, reserved chile seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, anise seeds, cumin seeds, thyme, marjoram, oregano, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves, raisins, and chocolate. Saute for a few minutes. Puree this mixture with the tomatoes and the chiles. Strain the puree and cook in 8 tablespoons lard. Stir in sugar and salt to taste and 2 cups/500 ml of the turkey broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the turkey, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes to blend flavors. If the mixture is too thick, add more turkey broth as needed. Note: Chihuacles are special chiles from Oaxaca; you can substitute cascabel chiles.


(10 servings)

Pozole, Red Hominy Stew from Jalisco

1-1/2 pounds/700 g dried hominy
1 head garlic
2 pounds/1k loin of pork
1 pound/500g pork cut from the leg
1 onion
3-1/2 ounces/100g ancho chiles, seeded, deveined, and soaked in hot water
3-1/2 ounces/100g guajillo chiles, seeded, deveined, and soaked in hot water


1 head lettuce, shredded
Dried oregano
12 radishes, thinly sliced
Chopped onions
Lime wedges
20 tostadas
Piquin chile

Rinse the hominy well and place in a saucepan with water to cover. Add the garlic and simmer over low heat until tender.

Cook the meats separately in water to cover with the onion and salt, until tender. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Cut the meat into large chunks. Puree the chiles with their soaking water. Strain and add to the hominy. Stir the meat and some of the cooking liquid into the hominy. Add salt, bring to a boil, then simmer about 20 minutes, until the stew is quite thick. Remove and discard the garlic.

Serve the stew mounded on a platter. Surround it with the various Accompaniments.


(6-8 servings)

3/4 c. sugar (for caramel)
1 quart milk
1 c. sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 egg yolks
6 eggs, lightly beaten

Cook the sugar to caramelize it, then pour it into an earthenware mold, turning it around so that the bottom and sides of the mold are covered with caramel.

Heat the milk with the cup of sugar and the vanilla for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then add the egg yolks and teh beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Pour the egg mixture into the caramel-lined mold.

Place the mold in a larger pan of hot water and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 1-1/2 hours or until set. Cool completely before unmolding.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:29 am


A tricolor rebozo tied in a bow, for the Independence Day celebrations.

For Frida as for all Mexicans, September was "the patriotic month." She threw herself into the festivities with her customary energy and excitement. At the beginning of the month she started buying little flags of green, white, and red cloth and distributing them around the house. She stuck them in the fruit centerpieces at meals, in her still lifes, and in the planters that lined the U-shaped hallway leading to the garden.

She liked to buy little papier-mache caps modeled on late-nineteenth-century Mexican Army hats. She also bought wooden swords and cardboard bugles in green, white, and red and made gifts of them to the children who lived in huts hidden among the cornfields by the house.

For me, the 1942 holidays were unforgettable. On September 15, we went to the Mexican Night that the authorities of Coyoacan organized every year at the Centenary Park. The next morning we watched the military parade in the center of town, and we ended the day with a grand dinner to which my father had invited his old friends, comrades all in the Nationalist struggles.

This was a dinner for politicians. Among those in attendance were ex-President Emilio Portes Gil, Narciso Bassols, several times member of the presidential cabinet, the former Secretary of Agriculture Marte R. Gomez, the economist Gilberta Loyo, the engineer Juan de Dios Bojorques, and, of course, Juan O'Gorman, the young architect and revolutionary painter.

Frida began her preparations for "going to the chapel" with don Diego on the afternoon of September 15. She dressed as the richest matron from the Isthmus of Oaxaca, choosing an authentic Tehuana dress with a traditional red embroidered yellow huipil, a black silk brocade skirt with a white flounce, and a golden yellow rebozo, also of silk. She put flowers in her hair and wore eight of her favorite rings and the golden chain that my father had bought for her in Tehuantepec.

When night fell we took a stroll through the cobblestone streets of old Coyoacan in the company of friends. We headed for Centenary Park, where the annual fair was held. There were rides, fireworks, little cardboard bulls bristling with firecrackers, and the star attraction, the sideshow, where comedians poked fun at the politicians and local gentry while the audience sang raunchy songs in accompaniment.

This sideshow held special charm for Frida. From the moment she set foot in it, she did her best to add to the ongoing exchange of wisecracks and jokes. My father was delighted to be there; he, too, joined the action and laughed hard at his young wife's witty remarks. The actors soon figured out who they were and began improvising on the themes of Frida's beauty and her fat husband's ugliness. The audience roared. I felt mortified and embarrassed for my father, but be took it all in stride, putting up gallantly with the teasing.

When the show was over we melted into the dense crowd pressing toward the concessions that had been set up around the garden. We intended to try each and every one of the Mexican delights that the women from the market were peddling.

Early the next morning we piled into my father's Ford station wagon. My father wanted to watch the parade in the center of town and make sketches.

We got home in time for Frida to set the table and prepare for the arrival of don Diego's friends. Since all of them were Nationalists and authentic patriots, Frida had asked Eulalia, her wonderful cook, to make some of the dishes that were customary at the time of the National Holidays, especially a number of Frida's personal favorites: a kind of fish soup made with snapper, "national flag rice," and chiles in walnut sauce. The ingredients that go into all of these dishes are the colors of the Mexican flag.

There is an interesting story about the origin of chiles in walnut sauce, the most famous dish of Puebla cuisine. It is said that one of the first presidents of Mexico visited the capital of the state (also called Puebla) one September early in the nineteenth century, shortly after the struggle for political independence had been won. In their determination to please him, the women of Puehla invented something unique to add to the feast of regional dishes: famous chiles in walnut sauce. These are basically poblano chiles stuffed with picadillo, covered in a sauce of fresh-ground nuts, and garnished with pomegranate seeds. In honor of the President of Mexico, the dish combined the green of the chiles, the white of the ground nuts, and pomegranate red.

Frida set the table with her best white Puebla ware, which featured a cobalt blue rim and the initials F and D in the same color. She brought out blue blown-glass tumblers and pitchers in the same style filled with patriotically colored drinks -- the green lime water, white rice water, and red Jamaica flower water.

In September the markets abound in green, white, and red prickly pears from the country's semiarid regions, and the limes are said to be sweeter and juicier there. Frida chose a Tehuantepec bowl decorated with flowers for the centerpiece. She made it into a still life composed of the above-mentioned fruits stuck with little Mexican flags and two or three quartered pomegranates. As if by magic, the centerpiece became one of Frida's paintings. The guests were clearly delighted by these specialties of the house. In the end, it was impossible to know whether they were more entertained by the endless conversation, during which everyone restated their revolutionary ideals and seconded the great painter Rivera's views on the current crisis in Mexican politics, or by the painter Kahlo's splendid cooking.

The entrance to Centenary Park in Coyoacan, where Frida would go for morning strolls.

The dining room of Antonio and Francesca Saldivar's Colonial house, where Frida's Independence Day fiesta was re-created.


Snapper Soup
Corn Pudding
Chiles in Cream
Stuffed Chayotes
"Flag" Rice
Chiles in Walnut Sauce
Limes Filled with Coconut
Prickly Pears with Anise
Jamaica Flower Water
Rice Water
Lime Water
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:35 am

(8 servings)

3 pounds red snapper, cut in chunks
1 fish head
Dried oregano
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons lard
3 large tomatoes, roasted, seeded, and chopped
6 serrano chiles

Place the snapper and fish head in a large kettle with water to cover and season to taste with salt and oregano. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the fish and set aside, reserving the cooking broth but discarding the head.

In another pan, saute the onion in hot lard until translucent. Add the tomatoes and chiles and cook until thickened. Add the fish broth and simmer until the flavors are blended. To serve, place the snapper chunks in a tureen and cover with the hot broth.


(6-8 servings)

Corn Pudding under a blanket of Chiles in Cream, served on a plate from Puebla

12 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
7 to 8 cups corn kernels, preferably a few days old
1/2 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, separated

Cream the butter and sugar. Puree the corn kernels with the milk. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Beat the egg yolks with the flour until well mixed. Thoroughly combine the butter, corn, and egg mixtures. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the corn mixture. Butter a baking dish or ring mold. Fill with the batter and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve with Chiles in Cream.

Note: You can make a sweet pudding by adding about 1 pound of chopped candied fruit and nuts (pineapple, angelica, lemon, dates, and pine nuts) to the mixture before folding in the egg whites.


(6-8 servings)

4 T butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, and cut in strips
2 cups cream
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the onion until translucent. Add the chile strips and saute for a minute. Stir in the cream and salt and pepper to taste and heat through.


(8 servings)

12 chayotes (mirlitons)
Fresh bread crumbs


1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 medium tomatoes, simmered for 5 minutes, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
12 olives. pitted and chopped
Salt and pepper

Cook the chayotes in boiling salted water until just tender. Remove from the water, let cool, and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the pulp and add it to the prepared sauce. Stuff the empty shells with the sauce, top with bread crumbs, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chayotes are hot and the bread crumbs are golden.

To make the sauce, saute the onion and garlic in the butter until translucent. Stir in the parsley, tomatoes, raisins, olives, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until very thick, 15 to 20 minutes.


(6-8 servings)

"Flag" Rice (one recipe each of Green, White, and Red Rice) arranged on a green pottery platter from Michoacan


1 cup rice
2 tablespoons lard or 3 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
3 poblano chiles, deveined, pureed with 1/4 cup water, and strained
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Juice of 1/2 lime

Soak the rice in very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain it; rinse it in cold water; then drain very well. Saute the rice in hot lard or oil for a minute or so. Add the onion. When the rice sounds like sand as it is stirred, add the pureed chiles and continue to cook until thickened. Add the broth, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste. When the liquid comes to a boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

(4 servings)

1 cup rice
2 T lard or 3 T corn oil
1/2 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove
1 celery stalk
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 c. chicken broth

Soak the rice in very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain it; rinse it in cold water; then drain very well. Saute the rice in hot lard or oil for a minute or so. Add the onion and garlic. When the rice sounds like sand as it is stirred in the pan, add the celery, lime juice, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the celery and serve.


1 cup rice
2 tablespoons lard or 3 tablespoons corn oil
1 tomato pureed with 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove, and salt and pepper
1 celery stalk
1 parsley sprig
1-1/3 cups chicken broth
Juice of 1/2 lime

Soak the rice in very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain it; rinse it in cold water; then drain very wel1. Saute the rice in hot lard or oil until it sounds like sand when stirred in the pan. Add the tomato puree and saute until thickened. Add the celery, parsley, broth, and lime juice. When the mixture comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook until tender -- about 20 minutes. Discard celery and parsley before serving.


(6 servings)

Chiles en Nogada, Chiles in Walnut Sauce, served on a talavera dish from Puebla

12 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, and deveined
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon salt
Corn oil
3 pomegranates, seeded


2 pounds ground pork
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves
8 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cups tomato puree
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
2 peaches, peeled and finely chopped
2 plantains, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup candied citron, finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper


2 cups walnut halves
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1 cup queso fresco (or feta)
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Rinse the chiles and pat them dry. Spoon some of the filling inside each one, being careful not to overstuff. Spread the flour on a plate and turn each chile in the flour to coat lightly. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the egg yolks with the salt. Gently fold the yolks and whites together to make a batter. Dip the chiles into the batter to cover completely.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet. Fry the chiles, one or two at a time, until lightly browned. Drain on brown paper.

The chiles can be served cold or at room temperature. Dip the chiles in the Walnut Sauce until completely covered. Arrange the chiles on a platter. Cover with a little more sauce, if needed. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and sprigs of parsley.

To make the filling, place the pork, quartered onion, and garlic in a saucepan. Cover with water and boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside, discarding the onion and garlic.

Heat the butter in a large skillet and saute the chopped onion for about 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the tomato puree and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the meat, fruit, citron, raisins, almonds, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

To make the Walnut Sauce, puree all the ingredients. If the sauce is too thick, add more half-and-half.


(8 servings)

The Limes Filled with Coconut are arranged on a pressed glass plate from Puebla

16 limes
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 cups sugar
3 cups water


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 coconut, peeled and finely grated

In a nonreactive saucepan, simmer the limes in water to cover until slightly softened. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a clay pot. Sprinkle with the baking soda, cover, and let stand overnight. The next day, drain the limes. Cut a small slice from the tops and carefully hollow them out. Discard the pulp and return the limes to the clay pot with enough hot water to cover. Cover with a dish towel and a tight-fitting lid.

The next day, drain the water and replace it with fresh hot water. Let stand, covered, as above. Repeat this process for 3 or 4 days, until the limes are no longer bitter.

Combine the sugar and water in a copper pot. Bring to a boil and add the limes. Simmer until the syrup is quite thick. Let cool overnight.

To serve, remove the limes from the syrup and fill with Cocada.

To make the Cocada, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boi1. Stir in the coconut and cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Let it cool completely.


(8 servings)

Prickly Pears with Anise

16 white prickly pears, peeled and sliced in rounds
1/2 cup sweet anise liqueur
10 tablespoons superfine sugar
Ground cinnamon

Arrange the prickly pear rounds on a serving platter. Drizzle with anise liqueur, sprinkle with sugar, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. At serving time, dust with ground cinnamon.


(8-10 servings)

3 cups dried Jamaica flowers
16 cups water
1-1/4 cups sugar

Rinse the Jamaica flowers thoroughly and drain well. Simmer with 8 cups of water for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the infusion and discarding the flowers. Combine with the remaining 8 cups of water and the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Serve cold or with ice.


(8-10 servings)

3 cups rice
3 cups milk
3 cinnamon sticks, broken in pieces and lightly toasted in a skillet
1-1/4 cups sugar
6 cups water

Soak the rice in water to cover by at least an inch for 3 hours. Drain the rice and puree it with the milk and cinnamon. Strain the mixture, discarding the rice and reserving the liquid. Dissolve the sugar in the water. Combine the rice liquid with the sugared water. Serve cold or with ice.


(8-10 servings)

1-1/4 cups sugar
4 to 6 cups water
4 pounds limes, juiced
Green food coloring

Combine the sugar and water and stir to dissolve. Add the lime juice and a few drops of green coloring. Serve very cold or with ice.
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:36 am


Diego and Frida embrace on the scaffolding in front of Diego's Detroit murals

As the days passed, my already warm relationship with Frida grew deeper. I went home from the Law School for lunch every morning at about the time that Frida, who by then had finished painting for the day, was busy preparing the midday meal. On some days, my father would come back to the Blue House for lunch, but on other days Frida would send a basket of food over to his studio at San Angel.

The preparation of this box lunch was a ritual in itself. The blue pewter dinner pail was divided into compartments, each of which contained one of "Dieguito's" ("Little Diego's") favorite dishes. Frida would add freshly made tortillas and bread that was still warm and fragrant from the oven. She saved the fruits for last, using them with fresh-cut flowers to provide an ornamental touch. When Eulalia had brought tasty pulque from Ixtapalapa, "la nina Fridita" would include it in an earthenware jar. For a covering, Frida chose colorfully embroidered white napkins that featured floral themes and whimsical birds. Occasionally there was lettering, too, that spoke of love, with expressions like '"Felicidades mi amor."

When Frida felt bored and lonely she would carry the pail herself. Arriving at my father's studio, she would busy herself setting up a little table in some out-of-the-way corner. She would then share the contents of the basket with the Master. I always thought this was proof of the affection that Diego and Frida felt.

Toward the middle of the month, as my birthday drew near, I decided that the best way to celebrate was by inviting some of my university friends to dinner -- in particular my boyfriend Luis Echeverria, who was at that time a leader of the student political movement and who later became president of Mexico. Given the intensity of our romantic involvement, I thought he should get to know my father. With typical adolescent bashfulness I told Frida of my idea, and she not only seconded it but also brought Diego around to our point of view.

There were eight of us college students, boys and girls, seated around the table dominated by the imposing figures of Diego and Frida. As usual, Master Rivera sat at the head of the table while Frida, at his right, kept an eye on the kitchen door. She orchestrated the entire affair by simply keeping an eye on that door.

Chucho, the handyman, acted as waiter. Dressed like a simple farmhand, his old felt hat pushed back on his head, he brought the food and cleared the table. It was clear to family and guests alike that he had had no training for this job, and when he nearly spilled the soup or dropped a plate on the floor there was nothing to be done about it.

That was the day my father tried to convince us that it was useless to study law. He employed his usual tactic of baiting his adversaries, claiming that in the future there would be no need for lawyers, because all differences of opinion would be resolved in a spirit of peace and harmony, as in the most ideal utopia.

Frida laughed at our shocked expressions, especially young Echeverria's, because she was especially fond of him. But Frida somehow managed to shield us from Diego's rantings; she may well have been remembering her own student days. My boyfriend was very serious and had little patience for jokes. In this he was like all of my friends, who were just beginning to take themselves seriously as students, with all the intellectual pretentiousness that this included. They found the dinner conversation very disconcerting.

Not surprisingly, each and every one of my father's remarks went off like a bombshell, and with each one I shrank a little farther into my seat. Fortunately, Frida intervened before things got too heated and before I lost my boyfriend to political squabbles about which I cared very little. She started telling funny stories about her adventures in student politics, her opposition to the mural painters at the National Preparatory School, and the jokes she had once made about the recently repatriated painter Diego Rivera and his fiancee Lupe Marin. Little did she imagine that years later the three of them would have a life in common, and that the daughters of Diego and Lupe would eventually also be part of her life.

The jokes and gossip that Frida wove into her stories had the effect of calming everyone down. The dinner, which could have had truly tragic consequences for my love life, came to a peaceful end, and our hostess invited us all to have coffee and pastries in her studio. This transition removed us from the political arena of the university to the world of Frida's imagination, where life and violent death were one and sexual symbolism took the form of strange, disturbing flowers and fruits.

The unease we felt in the presence of her work became more pronounced when she showed us the most powerful of her paintings. In these pieces it was not the sexual symbolism that disturbed us so much as the expression of Frida's profound solitude and pain, which made it impossible for her to experience a fulfilling love. But in the end, thanks to the wonderful food prepared by the lady of the house -- especially the old family recipes -- my birthday was a success.

Frida made a superb stew of pork, liver, and kidneys in a sauce of pulque and serrano chiles. My grandmother Isabel had invented this dish and made it for the peasants who worked in her father's fields in Zapotlan el Grande, in the state of Jalisco, the ancestral seat of the Preciado and Marin families. The rest of the recipes for that dinner came from the same area: jocoque soup, macaroni with spinach sauce, chicken with nut sauce. For dessert there were guavas and doughnuts and a special quince paste with almond cookies.

On the patio of the Blue House, a lunch basket such as one Frida would prepare for Diego while he was painting murals.

Macaroni with Spinach Sauce


Jocoque Soup
Macaroni with Spinach Sauce
Fried Chicken with Peanut Sauce
Pork Stewed in Pulque
Guavas Poached in Syrup
Quince Paste
Almond Cookies
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Re: Frida's Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life With

Postby admin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:41 am

(8 servings)


2 egg whites
4 egg yolks
2 cups jocoque (or sour cream)
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar


1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced in thin rounds
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound zucchini, sliced in thin rounds
2 large tomatoes, roasted, peeled, pureed, and strained
2 parsley sprigs
2 oregano sprigs
2 quarts chicken broth

To make the Jocoque Torte, lightly beat the egg whites and yolks together. Combine with the jocoque, flour, sugar, and salt to taste. Pour in a greased rectangular or square pan. Set the pan in a shallow pan of hot water. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. The torte is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

At serving time, unmold the torte and cut into 8 squares. Place the squares in a soup tureen and cover with the broth. Or place each square in an individual soup bowl and top with the broth.

To make the broth, saute the onion and carrots in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the zucchini and saute a minute more. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until thickened. Add the parsley, oregano, and chicken broth and boil for 5 minutes.


(8 servings)


3 pounds fresh spinach
Salt and pepper
3 to 4 serrano chiles, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups hot milk
1 cup cream
2 pounds macaroni
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Wash the spinach thoroughly and discard the stems. Cook the spinach (with the water that clings to leaves) with salt to taste and the chiles. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, and puree.

Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook briefly. Add the milk, cream, and salt and pepper to taste, stirring with a whisk so the mixture will not lump. Let the sauce thicken for a few minutes, then stir in the spinach puree. Cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain thoroughly. Pour some of the spinach sauce on the bottom of a buttered ovenproof dish. Add the macaroni and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.


(8 servings)

Some of the ingredients for Fried Chicken with Peanut Sauce

2 chickens, cut in parts
Salt and pepper
Lard or corn oil
6 eggs, separated
2 cups cracker crumbs
Ground cinnamon


1 cup peanuts, roasted and peeled
1 cup blanched almonds
1 quart milk
1 or 2 tablespoons sugar

Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Fry in an inch of hot lard or oil turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through. Drain on brown paper.

Beat the egg yolks until thick. Beat the egg whites until stiff and combine with the yolks to make a batter. Coat the chicken parts with cracker crumbs, then dip into the batter. Fry briefly in the lard and drain on brown paper.

To make the sauce, puree all the ingredients and strain. Simmer in a skillet until hot.

Place the chicken in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Turn onto a serving platter, dust with cinnamon, and serve.


(8 servings)

2 pounds boneless loin of pork
1-1/2 pounds pork liver
8 small veal kidneys
2 tablespoons lard or corn oil
2 onions, chopped
3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
8 serrano chiles, chopped
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
10 allspice berries
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 cups pulque (or beer)
1 tablespoon sugar

Cut the pork, liver, and kidneys into medium chunks. Cook the pork chunks in water to cover until tender, about 45 minutes. In a separate pan, cover the liver and kidneys with water and bring to a boil. Drain the liver and kidneys and add them to the pork. Add salt to taste and simmer until all the meats are tender, about 20 minutes.

Heat the lard and saute the onions until translucent. Add the tomatoes, chiles, marjoram, allspice, parsley, pulque, and salt to taste. Cook about 15 minutes. Add the stewed meats and sugar ,and cook for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the flavors are blended.


(8 servings)


Guavas Poached in Syrup in a white hand-painted pottery dish from Tzintzuntzan

1 pound piloncillos, chopped (or 2-1/2 cups dark brown sugar)
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cups water
4 pounds not-too-ripe guavas, peeled, halved, and pitted

In a large saucepan, heat the piloncillos and cinnamon in the water, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil. Add the guavas. Let the mixture simmer until the guavas are tender and the syrup has thickened, about 20 minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.


(8 servings)

Slices of Quince Paste alternate with slices of panela cheese on a wooden board

2 pounds quinces
4-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Wash the quinces thoroughly and cut in quarters. Place in a saucepan with water to cover and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, peel, and remove the cores, then puree in a blender while still warm.

Combine the sugar and water in a deep saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 235° F or until a small amount of syrup, when dropped into cold water, forms a soft ball. Add the quince puree and stir constantly until mixture pulls away from the pan, about 1 hour longer.

Pour mixture into molds. Let stand about 4 days. Unmold the paste, and, if possible, let stand in the sunshine so it will dry and set.

Note: This is a very popular dessert that is generally served with slices of panela cheese. You could use Monterey Jack or cream cheese.


(8 servings)

2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
2-l/4 cups sugar
1-1/3 cups blanched almonds, toasted and ground
14 ounces butter, softened
6 egg yolks
50 blanched almonds or raisins


4 egg whites
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

Sift the flour and cornmeal onto the counter or into a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the sugar, ground almonds, butter, and egg yolks. Knead all the ingredients together to form a dough. Shape bits of dough into little balls and place on buttered baking sheets. Press an almond or a raisin in the center of each ball and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then top each cookie with a dollop of French meringue and an almond or raisin.

To make the French meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually fold in the confectioners' sugar.
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