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Diccionario del Hogar (1901-1904)

April 20, 2012
Diccionario del Hogar Spines

Spines of Diccionario del Hogar by Ireneo Paz (1901-1904)

Paz, Ireneo. Diccionario del hogar : recopilación de recetas, consejos, reglas y lecciones sobre cocina, reposteria, medicina, economia, cria y cuidado de toda clase de animales domésticos, horticultura, jardineria, modas, manufacturas diversas y cuanto se relaciona con el bienestar y la comodidad el seno de las familias … México : Imprenta, litografía y encuandernación de I. Paz, 1901-1904. [TX716.M4 D53 1901]

UTSA Special Collections’ Mexican Cookbook Collection includes food and household-related texts as well as cookbooks in the strict definition of the word.  Ireneo Paz’s Diccionario de Hogar… (Dictionary of the home…), issued between 1901 and 1904,  is one such work that illuminates household operations both within and outside the kitchen.

Although titled as a dictionary, Paz’s two-volume work is really more like a encyclopedia, and as the long-form of its title indicates, it includes not only recipes and tips on cooking, but also information about medicine, economics, the care of domestic animals, horticulture and gardening, fashion, and more.

Topical coverage is not not only broad, but surprisingly deep.   For example, the Aceite (oil) entry provides step-by-step instructions on how to extract oil from olives and explains how to determine whether essential oils (such as clove or lemon) have been diluted or mixed with alcohol (pp. 22-24) and the entry about Conserva (canning) runs to twelve pages and includes instructions for preserves of cherries, figs, lemons, tejocotes, guavas, and more than 60 other fruits and vegetables (377-389)!

A few entries seem a bit surprising on first glance.  However, when one considers that many readers probably had access to relatively few other books (let alone calculators or google), the usefulness of entries like those on the geography and economies of each Mexican state or the 10 page crash course on arithmetic (99-108) becomes clear.

Preparing recipes is more enjoyable than practicing multiplication, though, so enjoy trying out some of Ireneo Paz’s recipes below:

Camotes Rellenos (p. 259)

Se escojen pequeños blandos y sin hebras: ya cocidos, se dividen á lo largo y entre las dos mitades se pone picadilla de carne de Puerco. Se rebozan con huevo batido, y frien en Manteca: se sirven secos ó en caldillo de gitomate, como el de los chiles rellenos ó de nogada.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Choose small, soft sweet potatoes that are not stringy.  Once cooked, divide them in half and place minced pork meat between the halves.  Coat the sweet potatoes with beaten eggs and fry them in lard.  Serve dry or in a tomato broth, such as that used for chiles rellenos, or in walnut sauce.

Horchata (p. 687)

Bebida hecha con pepitas de limón, lavadas, molidas, coladas y desleídas en agua, que se endulza con azúcar. 

Horchata de las cuatro simientes frías. Se muelen juntamente las pepitas de melon, de sandía, de calabaza y de pepino; se cuelan, se deslíen con agua y se endulzan con azúcar.


Drink made with lemon seeds, washed, crushed, strained anddisolved in water, sweetened with sugar.

Horchata of the four cold seeds. Grind together the seeds of melon, watermelon, pumpkin and cucumbers. Strain, dilute with water, and sweeten with sugar.

Librarian’s Note: This entry surprised me because I had been under the impression that horchata always referred to a rice-based beverage, but in this instance, it is described as something quite different. 

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