I’m going to bed every night now with Barbara Kingsolver’s latest book, The Lacuna: A Novel, about Mexico, politics, art, El Norte, and — best of all — cooks.
After her last book (Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: A Year of Food Life), Kingsolver still finds food a fascinating part of life.
In The Lacuna, here’s how she describes the cook who works for the chief protagonist’s family:
When Leandro came he would push the fire to the sides, keeping the heat away from the center of the heavy iron griddle. He mopped the griddle with a rag dipped in the lard jar so the tortillas wouldn’t stick. Next to the lard jar he kept a big bowl of sticky corn dough, pinching up balls of it and pressing them flat by hand. The heat made a necklace of black pearls on each white tortilla as it cooked. In the thick ones, the gorditas, he cut ridges as they cooked, for holding the bean paste. But for empanadas he made them thin, folding the tortilla over the filling and sliding it into a pan of hot grease.
Just love it that cooks get some respect!
And there’s more to come, too, as the book progresses.