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Almanaque Dulce 1945: Of Mayflies and Baobobs

May 18, 2015
tags:
Almanaque Dulce 1945. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Almanaque Dulce 1945. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). Almanaque Dulce. México, D.F. : Azúcar, S.A. [TX819.S94 .A4435]


On the third Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature a different volume of the  issue of the serial publication Almanaque Dulce, sharing sweet treats from the 1930s to the 1970s.  


One of the most delightful aspects of almanacs is the wealth of potentially useful, but frequently random-seeming information that they include. In the 1945 Almanaque Dulce, my eye was particularly caught by a couple of illustrated pages listing the typical lifespans of various creatures, beginning with mayflies and moving up through longer-lived insects such as butterflies (2 months) to reptiles and mammals (I can’t vouch for accuracy, but according to t his source, frogs can live up to 15 years and bears for 50!), and ending with some of the longest-lived tree species, such as yew trees and baobabs (the latter potentially living as long as 5,000 years).

I’m afraid no recipes for mayflies or baobabs are on offer, but you can at least distract yourself from thoughts of the mortality of all things with these tasty empanada recipes:

 

 

Los 365 Menus del Año: Mayo

May 4, 2015
tags:
Mayo (31 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Mayo (31 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Velázquez de León, Josefina. Los 365 Menus del Año: Recetas Prácticas, Económicas, para Resolver el Diario Problema de la Alimentación. México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, [196-?]. [TX716 .M4 V393 1960]


On the first Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s month-by-month cookbook series: Los 365 Menus del Año. 


The May cookbook in this series includes recipes for a variety of in-season produce, such as green beans, melons, and pitaya, but perhaps its most striking feature is the elaborate menu for Mother’s Day. Considering the work involved in preparing all nine of the suggested dishes, one can only wistfully hope that mothers are not the ones doing the cooking that day!


 

Menu No. 10

  • Cocktail de Melon / melon cocktail
  • Entremes Surtido / sundry appetizers (canned asparagus, canned pimientos, hard boiled eggs, onions in vinegar) with a vinegar-based sauce
  • Sopa de Jamon Endiablado / deviled ham
  • Sopa Seca de Crepas con Pollo / chicken-filled crepes with white sauce
  • Pescado a la Francesa / French-style fish
  • Lomo con Pure de Papa / pork loin with pureed potatoes
  • Jaletina de Piña / pineapple gelatin
  • Helado de Chabacano / apricot ice cream
  • Pastel Para El Día de La Madre / Mother’s Day cake

Almanaque Dulce 1943: Sweet Charlottes

April 20, 2015
tags:
Almanaque Dulce 1943. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Almanaque Dulce 1943. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). Almanaque Dulce. México, D.F. : Azúcar, S.A. [TX819.S94 .A4435]


On the third Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature a different volume of the  issue of the serial publication Almanaque Dulce, sharing sweet treats from the 1930s to the 1970s.  


Carlotas or Charlottes encompass two slightly different desserts – the traditional British charlotte is “a hot pudding consisting of fruit, typically apple, baked within a case of bread, sponge cake, etc., in a characteristically deep round mold,” and the more elegant charlotte russe or Russian charlotte, “a cold pudding in which custard replaces the fruit.”[1]

Hot charlottes began appearing in English recipe books in the early 19th century and its name may (possibly, or possibly not) be in reference to Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), a patron of apple growers. The Russian charlotte is usually credited to early 19th century French chef Antonin Careme, who named it in honor of Czar Alexander of Russia.[2]

The 1941 Almanaque Dulce includes recipes for both types of charlottes, including versions using apples, strawberries, anise, chocolate, almonds, peaches, pecans, and lemons.

 

 


[1] “Charlotte.” An A-Z of Food and Drink. Ed. John Ayto.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

[2] ibid.

Los 365 Menus del Año: Abril

April 6, 2015
tags:
Abril (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Abril (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Velázquez de León, Josefina. Los 365 Menus del Año: Recetas Prácticas, Económicas, para Resolver el Diario Problema de la Alimentación. México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, [196-?]. [TX716 .M4 V393 1960]


On the first Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s month-by-month cookbook series: Los 365 Menus del Año. 


April’s cookbook continues to offer menu options for Lent, but concludes in the final pages with a cake for Easter itself and a story about the Easter Bunny.

Menu No. 8 “Vigila”: Sopa de Cabeza de Pescado (fish-head soup), Tortilla de Huevos con Papa y Chicharos (potato and pea tortilla, Chiles Fingidos Para Vigilia (a mixture of beans, chiles, and cheese formed into chile shapes, filled with sardines, and fried), and Frituras de Arroz (rice fritters)

Menu No. 17: Sopa de Rombitos de Crepa (a kind of dry soup or savory crepe dish involving tomatoes and onions with crepes), Adoquines (similar to meatballs), Ejotes con Huevo (string beans with eggs), Postre de Coco y Piña (coconut and pineapple dessert).

At the very end of the book, recipe #122 is Pastel de Pascua (Easter cake) – a rich concoction containing half a pound of butter and ten eggs, iced with marzipan, and decorated with sugar sculptures of bunny rabbits and squirrels. Following is a short story about a rabbit bearing news of spring’s arrival by leaving nests of grass filled with eggs and flowers for the children in an unnamed city on Easter morning.

Almanaque Dulce 1941: Sweet Subliminal Messages

March 16, 2015
tags:
Almanaque Dulce 1941. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Almanaque Dulce 1941. Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar (Mexico). Almanaque Dulce. México, D.F. : Azúcar, S.A. [TX819.S94 .A4435]


On the third Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature a different volume of the  issue of the serial publication Almanaque Dulce, sharing sweet treats from the 1930s to the 1970s.  


One of the goals of the Unión Nacional de Productores de Azúcar was to encourage sugar consumption and it was not always very subtle about it. Just in case providing 80+ pages of dessert recipes wasn’t enough to increase a family’s sugar intake, the 1941 almanac also includes page and chapter ornaments that read “Consuma más Azúcar” (Eat more sugar). Also included below is a priceless page spread that compares the number of calories in a kilogram of sugar in comparison to other foods with a positive slant – a very different perspective from today’s emphasis on the dangers of obesity and diabetes in relation to sugar consumption.

 

Los 365 menus del año : Marzo (1960) – Arroz Con Pescado / Fish with Rice

March 9, 2015

marzo_page_1Josefina Velázquez de León,  Los 365 menus del año : recetas prácticas, económicas, para resolver el diario problema de la alimentación (México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, 1960), 14. [TX716.M4 V393 1960]

Kitchen tested by Alexandra Zuzula, Manager of Volunteer Services, UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures           


ingredients

Arroz con Pescado

250 grs de arroz
150 grs de jitomate
1 cebolla
2 dientes de ajo
1/8 de litro de aceite
5 filetes de 100 grs de pescado robalo o huachinango
1 chile verde
1 ramita de yerbabuena
1 cucharada de perejil picado

Las rebanadas de pescado se lavan muy bien, se frien en el aceite y se retiran; en el aceite se frien los dientes de ajo, se apartan y se agrega el arroz remojado durante 15 minutos en agua caliente, lavado y escurrido, cuando ha tomado un color dorado, se la quita la graza y se la agrega el jitomate asado, molido con la cebolla y colado; cuando  reseca se agrega ¼ de litro de agua fria, sal y la yerbabuena, cuando vuelve a resecar se añadem ½ litro de agua caliente, el chile y las rebanadas de pescado frito, se déjà hervir a fuego suave hasta que el arroz esté cocido y seco; entonces se retira, se le quita la yerbabuena, se vacía al platón, se espolvorea con el perejil picado y se sirve inmediatamente.


Fish with Rice

9 oz rice (I used long grain brown rice)
5 oz tomato (I used pre-roasted in can)
1 onion (I used a yellow onion, minced)
2 cloves of garlic (I used pre-minced from a jar, equaling 2 tsps)
1/8 liter oil (I used olive oil)
5 100-g fillets of fish (bass or huachinango) (I used three fillets of cod totaling just under 1 lb)
1 green chili (I used a jalapeno and sliced it thin)
1 sprig of mint
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

1. Make sure fish is washed and sliced. Heat oil, then fry. Remove fish from pan. I fried the fish over medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side.
2. Add more oil if necessary then add garlic.
3. Add rice and heat until golden brown. I toasted the rice for around 4 minutes.
4. Take off heat and add roasted tomatoes. I didn’t take the pan off heat at all, which seemed to work fine.
5. Add minced onion and sauté. until onions are soft.
6. Add ½ liter of water and the sliced chili and mint. Boil over low heat until rice is cooked. Once the rice was boiling, I covered and cooked for 40 minutes. It maybe could have used an extra 5–10 minutes.
7. When rice is cooked, take out mint.
8. Sprinkle rice with parsley and service with the fish immediately. I also seasoned the dish with salt and pepper.


Commentary

I chose this recipe because I like fish and it seemed simple. After translating the recipe, I was worried the fish would turn out bland. The rest of the ingredients looked great, so I was excited to get started. 

Overall I had an easy time finding ingredients, except I substituted cod for bass. My comments in parenthesis are exactly how long I cooked things and my modifications. My smallest fillet fell apart a bit during the frying, and be sure to watch for bones when eating the fish – just in case! Overall, the fish was a bit bland (I would add some sort of additional seasoning), but the rice was delicious. I would also add additional peppers or spices to add more heat to the dish.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 6

Step 6

Finished cooking

Finished cooking

Plated

Plated and ready to serve!

Los 365 Menus del Año: Marzo

March 2, 2015
tags:
Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Velázquez de León, Josefina. Los 365 Menus del Año: Recetas Prácticas, Económicas, para Resolver el Diario Problema de la Alimentación. México, D.F. : Ediciones J. Velázquez de León, [196-?]. [TX716 .M4 V393 1960]


On the first Monday of each month in 2015,  La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from Josefina Velázquez de León’s month-by-month cookbook series: Los 365 Menus del Año. 


Following the list of in-season fruits and vegetables, the opening page of the March cookbook notes that it contains several menus and dishes specifically suited for the observance of Lenten fasts:

Adémas, tiene 6 Menús de Vigilia propios para la temporada de Cuaresma, siendo dos de ellos de platillos de lujo; contiente también recetas de Cocktails de mariscos y varios platillos de pescado.

Most of the 30 menus in the book do include meat entrées, but many of the side dishes are either vegetarian or could be easily made so, such as the egg taquitos from menu 4 and the cactus pad ones from menu 29.

Menu No. 4: Sopa de Bolitas de Carne (soup with meat balls), Taquitos de Huevo con Guacamole (egg taquitos with guacamole) , Lentejas (lentils), Canasta de Melon Rellena de Frutas (melon stuffed with fruit).

Menu No. 5: Menu de Vigilia sugggests Arroz con Pescado (rice with fish), Pulpo en su Tinta (octopus in its ink), Platillo de Vigilia (Lenten dish – a salad of onions, tomatoes, potatoes, nopalitos, and shrimp), and Dulce de Fresas y Merengue (strawberry and meringue desert).

Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Marzo (30 Menus Practicos y Economicos) by Josefina Velázquez de León. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Menu 29 suggests Sopa de Pure de Papa (pureed potato soup), Espinazo de Cerdo con Verduras (pork backbone with vegetables), Taquitos Aztecas de Nopales y Crema (Aztec taquitos with cactus pads and cream), and Exquisito Flan al Minuto (exquisite minute flan).

Food History

Food Through the Ages

The Culinary Curator

Being a Journal of Narratives and Discoveries

Feast of the Centuries

Cooking throughout the Ages

Gherkins & Tomatoes

Meditations on the World of Food

What's Cookin' @ Special Collections?!

Special Collections @ Virginia Tech Culinary History Blog!

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