Thursday, February 2, 2012

CrowdSourcingLove: Day 8 - The Literary Meal

Note: As a lead in to Valentine's Day I will be posting some ways that convey I love you that do not rely on purchasing gifts and am inviting you to do the same where you blog.  If you make a post could you link it to this post?  At the end of two weeks I am curious as to what interconnected posts about love we might make collectively.

speak the words by Lenoirrr
 *Thanks to Lenoirrr for use of her fabulous image, speak the words. Very appreciative. You can also find her work on her personal website.

By Ron Padgett
Let me cook you some dinner.   
Sit down and take off your shoes   
and socks and in fact the rest   
of your clothes, have a daquiri,   
turn on some music and dance   
around the house, inside and out,   
it’s night and the neighbors   
are sleeping, those dolts, and   
the stars are shining bright,   
and I’ve got the burners lit   
for you, you hungry thing.

from Brooke's blog.

One only has to think of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding (1749) and the connections among literature, food, and sensuality become rather apparent.
Food and literature. Literature and romance. Food and romance. All are connected, aren't they?

So this installment of CrowdSourcingLove is about cooking.
Cook together.
Or cook for one another.
Spend some time in the kitchen.

To inspire you here are a few recipes from Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate.

from Esquivel, Laura.(2002).  Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and home Remedies. New York: Anchor. Kindle Edition.

Link to recipes


12 roses, prefarably red
12 chestnuts
2 tsp. butter
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 drops attar of roses
2 Tbsp. anise
2 Tbsp. honey
2 cloves garlic
6 quail
1 pitaya

Brown the quail in butter and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the petals carefully from the roses. Ground the petals aith anise in a mortar. Separately, brown the chestnuts in a pan, remove the peels and cook them in water. Then puree them. Mince the garlic and brown slightly in butter; when it is transparent, add it to the chestnut puree along with the honey, the ground pitaya and the rose petals, and salt to taste.

To thicken the sauce slightly, you may add two Tablespoons of cornstarch.

Last, strain through a fine sieve and add no more than 2 drops of attar of rosses. As soon as the seasonings have been added, remove sauce from heat. The quail should be immersed in this sauce for 10 minutes to infuse them with the flavor, and then removed.

The quail are placed on a platter, the sauce is poured over them and they are garnished with a single perfect rose in the center and rose petals scattered all around.

“…as Tita was answering this question, saying that her secret was to prepare the
mole with a lot of love, Pedro happened to be nearby, and that they looked at each
other for a fraction of a second like conspirators, remembering when Tita had
been bent over the grinding store; for the eagle eye of Mama Elena saw the spark
that flew between them from twenty feet away, and it troubled her deeply” (p.


1/4 chile mulato
3 chiles pasillas
3 chiles ancho
a handful of almonds
a handful of sesame seeds
turkey stock
a hard roll (1/3 concha roll)
1/2 onion
2 squares chocolate
seeds from the chiles
5 cloves garlic

Cook a turkey.

The almonds and sesame seeds are toasted in a griddle. The chiles anchos with their membranes removed, are also toasted - lightly, so they don't get bitter. Do this in separate frying pans. Afterwards the toasted chiles are ground on a stone along with the almonds and sesame seeds.

When the almonds and sesame seeds have been thoroughly ground, mix them with the stock in which the turkey was cooked and add salt to taste. Grind the cinnamon, cloves, anise and pepper in a mortar, adding the roll last, after frying in lard with chopped onion and garlic.

Next, combine the mixture with the wine and blend well.

Combine all the ingredients in a large pan, add the cut up turkey, the chocolate, and the sugar to taste. As soon as the mixture thickens, remove it from the heat.


1 cup heavy cream
6 eggs

Take the eggs, crack them and separate the white. Stir the 6 egg yolks with the cup of cream. Beat until the mixture becomes light. Pour it into a pot that has been greased with lard. The mixture should be no more than an inch thick in the baking pan. Place it on the heat over a low flame and allow to thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the custard to cool. Cut into small squares.

Next, beat the egg whites so that the custard squares can be rolled in them and fried in oil. Finally, the fitters are served in syrup and sprinkled with ground cinnamon.


2 lbs. Soconusco chocolate beans
2 lbs. Maracaibo chocolate beans
2 lbs. Caracas chocolate beans
4-6 lbs. sugar, to taste

The first step is to toast the chocolate beans. Toast them until the moment they give off oil. When they are done being toasted, they are cleaned using a hair sieve to separate the hull from the seed. Beneath the metate in which the chocolate is to be ground, place a flat pan containing a hot fire, once the stone is warm, begin grinding the chocolate.

Mix the chocolate with the sugar, pounding it with a mallet and grinding the two together. Then divide the mixture into chunks. The chunks are shaped by hand into tablets, square or round. Set out to air.


30 grams fresh yeast
1 1/4 kilos flour
8 eggs
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. orange blossom water
1 1/2 cups milk
300 grams sugar
300 grams butter
250 grams candied fruit
1 porcelain doll

Break up the yeast in 1/4 kilo of flour using your hands or a fork and adding 1/2 cup of warm milk a little at a time. When the ingredients are well blended, knead briefly, form into a ball and let rest. Let it grow to double its size.

Use a kilo of flour to form a well on the table. Place all of the ingredients in the center of this well and begin kneading starting in the center and gradually adding a little of the flour from the well until all the flour has been incorporated.

When the leavened dough has risen to twice its size, combine it with this other dough, blending them perfectly until the dough comes off your hands easily.

Use a scraper to remove any dough that has stuck to the table. Place the dough in a deep container that has been greased. Cover with a napkin and wait for it to rise to double its size. It takes approximately 2 hours for this. It has to rise three times before it goes in the oven.

When the dough has doubled in size for the 2nd time, remove it from the container, place it on the table, and form it into a strip. If you wish, you may place some candied fruit down the middle. If not, place the porcelain doll at random anywhere. Roll up the strip, joining one edge to the other. Place the bread seam down on a greased and floured baking sheet. Form a ring with the dough, leaving enough space between the edge of the sheet and the dough since it has to rise in size one more time.

After the bread has doubled in size the third time, decorate it with candied fruit, glaze it with a beaten egg and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake in oven for 20 minutes and let it cool.

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