Carmencita or the good cook

Desserts

Today I wanted to talk to you about a classic Spanish cuisine recipe book, which you will have more than one on your shelves: Carmencita or the good cook. I knew it as a reference book, like Simón Ortega's 1080 cooking recipes, but it wasn't until this summer that it became part of my gastronomic library.

I have said Spanish cuisine, but it also includes recipes from French or American cuisine. It is divided into soups, stews, meats, poultry and game, croquettes, tongues, livers, kidneys, legs and beef tripe, fish, cod, rice, relenos, vegetables, potatoes, omelettes, eggs, various stews, sauces, salads; fried foods, sausages, preserves, pastries, sweets, ice cream and liqueurs. At first glance it is deceiving due to its size, but it has countless recipes and small print.

The book, small and with an illustration that reveals how old it is, collects the recipes that Doña Eladia was collecting and writing for her daughter. In her prologue, the author explains that at first this selection of recipes was made for her daughter, but “but several friends of mine sustaining, I don't know if with reason, that the clarity of the explanations, the well-combined combination of certain stews and the exact calculation of the quantities made these formulas of general application, they have encouraged me to publish them ... "

There are really recipes that attract attention: tomato ice cream, frozen cheese, cauliflower croquettes or even the Mallorcan sobrasada recipe, which let's see if I dare to make it since at home we are very fond of this Balearic delicacy.

The liquor section is worth it, and for lovers of these homemade drinks, this book will delight. Although this section is a bit brief, we can find simple and very rich recipes such as orange blossom water, ratafía or commander's liquor.

Finally, the book includes some curious sections such as a standard menu for the whole week, with dinners and meals; a vocabulary for use in Latin America (eg peas and peas). And a series of advice, which exude a simplicity mixed with wisdom, typical of mothers such as:

  • Sweet oranges are only sweet in the months of the year that do not have r, which are May, June, July and August.
  • Whenever parsley is used for cooking, it must be crushed, because whole, if it burns, it is disgusting.

Carmencita or the good cook

Writer Eladia M, widow of Carpinell Ediciones Librería Universitaria Trigesima nona edition ISBN 84-89978-16-6 Price € 5.50

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