This month's foodie book club selection at Cook the Books was Like Water for Chocolate. A simple tale that reads like fable or mythology, the book recounts the highly emotional life of a girl born into the slavery of her mother. As youngest she is obligated to sacrifice her own wants and needs to attend to the woman who bore her. Forever. That meant giving up the love of her life, indeed watching him marry her sister, and all the grief, rage, and heartbreak attendant. Where does the tidal emotion end up? In the food. As Tita chops, slices, kneads and bakes, all her pent up frustrations and feelings permeate the finished dishes and have remarkable effects on the people who eat them.
I liked the idea of the story but I found that the reader is always kept at a distance. It is hard to identify with the characters and ultimately care about them. The book was made into a movie in 1992 and I would like to see it, just to see how on earth they translated it to the screen. The tale is larger than life, fantastical in its telling.
We were invited to make a dish inspired by the novel, which is situated in Mexico. I have some trouble finding Mexican ingredients in suburban Canada and had no idea what to make until my friend Foodycat made a Mexican style breakfast. Perfect. I can do that!
Cheese (I used cheddar as that was what I had on hand. Jack would be great)
Eggs - sunnyside-up
Tinned refried beans
Avocados - chopped
Tomatoes - chopped
Green onions - sliced
Puréed chipotle peppers
In the 350F oven, warm up the tortillas. Spread with refried beans and heat through. Top with grated cheese, chopped tomatoes and avocados. Add a sunnyside-up egg and garnish with sliced green onions (and cilantro if you have some). Dot with sour cream mixed to taste with puréed chipotle peppers in adobo. Voila! Tasty and healthy Mexican-style breakfast.
This month's Cook the Books book was chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.