Los 365 Menus del Año: Febrero
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.
Although published in the 1960s, the exact date of this series is not listed in the books themselves. However, since the February cookbook includes 29 menus, one can assume that it was published during a leap year, meaning 1960, 1964, or 1968. Furthermore, since Menu numbers 7, 4, 21, and 29 are titled “Menu de Vigilia,” (fasting menu) it seems likely that it was a year when Lent began during early February.
None of the three leap years align precisely, but 1964 is the best fit. Although February 7th, 1964 actually precedes Ash Wednesday (which fell on Feb. 12th that year), the 7th, 14th, and 21st are all Fridays. Certainly the 14th and 21st would have been observed as meat-free Lenten Fridays. Prior to Vatican II, observant Catholics commonly avoided meat all Fridays, so the Feb. 7th menu would still have been relevant. Menu 28 (another Lenten Friday) excludes meat, but is not labeled as being for “Vigilia,” so it remains a bit of a mystery why Menu 29 (Saturday) would be labeled thus.
Questions of dates and fasts aside, February’s issue includes a great many tasty recipes, many of which make use of fava beans and oranges. Menu No. 7: Menu de Vigilia sugggests Caldo de Habas (fava bean soup), Arroz con Camarones (rice with shrimp), Mojarras en Salsa Verde (fish from the family Gerreidae in green sauce – tilapia would be a suitable choice), and Postre Practico de Chico Zapote y Nuez (sapodillo and pecan dessert).
Menu 12 includes Sopa de Jitomate (tomato soup), Pollo en Frio (a chicken dish accompanied by tomato and avocado salad), Taquitos de Col Rellenos de Pure de Papa (cabbage rolls stuffed with pureed potatoes), and Naranjas Rellenas con Crema Pastelera (oranges filled with pastry cream).
And Menu 17 calls for Sopa de Habas Frescas y Salchichas (fresh fava bean and sausage soup), Tortas de Patitas de Puerco (pigs’ feet sandwiches), Taquitos de Atun y Chile Poblano (taquitos with a tuna fish and chile poblano filling), and Flan de Naranja (orange flan).