Postcard Rex: Mi Cocina
Mi cocina es su cocina
I’ve been writing more about drinks lately as a lens into history/culture (see below), but food is always on my mind too. This month’s recs are recipe-focused cookbooks, with past and present woven through each.
Mi Cocina, Rick Martinez
Maybe I’m recommending this because I recently visited Mexico for the first time and immediately started planning a return trip. Maybe it’s because I went to one of the local book launch events and got to meet the kind and thoughtful author in person after being happily lulled by his YouTube videos during some the early phases of pandemic isolation. Or maybe it’s because this cookbook is a glorious riot of color, flavor, and feeling that I’ve already started cooking from, and you should, too! The best meals are heartfelt ones, and this is a heartfelt book that honors the complexity of cuisine and influences that make a kitchen (or a recipe) “mine,” yours, or anyone’s.
If you like it
Priya Krishna’s Indian-ish is another cookbook that feels like a genuine reflection of its author—in this case, a friendly ally in the kitchen, letting you know it’s okay to take shortcuts and improvise.
And if you’re in LA, check out LA Plaza Cocina, a recently-opened museum of Mexican food history with exhibits and cooking classes.
If you don’t
If, like me, you usually feel more at home baking than cooking, Helen Goh and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet has some of my favorite go-to bakes like chocolate, banana, and pecan cookies and saffron and orange madeleines. Most look more complicated than they are!
Things I’ve written lately:
Storm in a Teacup: A Visual History of Tea, ArtUK - the far-ranging colonial and industrial impact of an innocuous drink
The Fruit Frontier - Mountain West Cider profile, Pellicle Magazine - featuring the history of Utah’s unique liquor laws, its changing demographics, and nascent cider industry