y sea Usted bienvenido!
love sharing my heritage of classical Mexican home cooking with
my students. From my earliest years, I watched my mother, my aunts
and grandparents in the kitchen.
My grandfather on my father’s side, Don Agustín Ricaud,
was born in the state of Oaxaca in 1901. He inherited his family’s
tradition of breadmaking, which he did for family occasions such
as the First Communion celebrations of his grandchildren. Don Agustín
married Doña Laura Santos, who was born in Ozumba, in the
state of Mexico, in 1903. Her family owned a wheat and corn mill,
and she worked as a kitchen director for companies such as Kodak
and the National Rural Confederation in Mexico City.
My grandfather on my mother’s side, Don Jesús Solórzano,
was born in Mexico City in 1881. His family owned the Hacienda Maderera
San Andrés. He always loved to cook and did so on special
occasions. He married Doña Esperanza Dávalos who was
born in Morelia, Michoacán, in 1891. She inherited the great
tradition of Morelian cooking, renown above all for sweets. Even
when gas stoves became available, my grandmother Esperanza refused
to use them and continued to prepare her famous sweets “on
carbon embers” (“al rescoldo del carbón”)
or in a wood-burning stove. That is how I learned and continue to
make sweets. From this branch of the family, I have inherited a
variety of handwritten recipes, the oldest from approximately to
the late 1700's.
mother’s sister, Doña María Luisa Solórzano,
married Don Francisco Madrazo, owner of Hacienda Ganadera de Toros
de Lidia, where bullfighting bulls were raised. This Hacienda was
particularly famous for its kitchen, from which were served banquets
for bullfighting stars and national and international politicians
as well as reknowned artists such as Tyrone Power, Orson Welles,
Rita Hayworth, and Dolores del Río.
Another sister of my mother’s, Doña Guadalupe Solórzano,
worked for 42 years as the General Manager of the Jockey Club in
Mexico City. She was responsible for grand banquets for weddings
and parties for politicians and diplomatic personnel, including
Prince Philip Mountbatten, consort of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
For many years, my mother made Mexican desserts, such as coconut
macaroons, flan, and almond caramel.
both sides of my family, I have inherited traditional cazuelas (clay
pots) and ollas (copper pots) and other cooking equipment. I also
have a collection of hand-written recipe books from both my father's
and mother's families. For the past fifteen years I have used these
cooking implements and our family's heirloom recipes in my classes
in San Miguel.
(Picture Right: My mom, Doña María, enjoying a muy
buen taco at my fifteenth birthday party)