Author to sign book on Spanish cooking, culture
Francie Martinez Vicondoa will sign copies of her book “Spanish Doors, Dishes and Dreams” from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Neighbors Bookstore in the Village Center.
The author was led to the writing of this combination cookbook, collection of photos and doors of the past, old Spanish proverbs and expressions and memories, while visiting her mother’s village, La Mela, in the South of Spain. Vicondoa was able to locate the man who purchased her mother’s belonging when she left her homeland for America in 1947. The possibility of finding even one item that belonged to her was remote, but to Vicondoa’s surprise and delight Alfredo has stored everything untouched for 25 years.
Upon opening a small cupboard among her belongings, Vicondoa found a teapot, a mortar, and a tiny green glazed pot. In this pot her mother had cooked meals for herself and Vicondoa’s brother during and after the Spanish Civil War, when food was scarce and preparing any meal took creativity, endurance and faith.
Vicondoa was overwhelmingly impressed by the fact that this cabinet had been closed for a quarter of a century. While Spain’s economy and its way of eating greatly improved and developed, her own mother remained much like this small cabinet – unchanged. In America she still cooked modest foods, and so did most of those who emigrated during that time. This book was compiled in order to preserve these dishes and the biographies of those who prepared them.
The author shares her mother’s recipes and those of others who left their beloved Spain in search of a better life in her book, “Spanish Doors, Dishes and Dreams.” Included in this labor of love, like seasonings, are photos of Spanish doors and windows and Spanish expressions which have all been used for centuries, and which she heard repeatedly while growing up as a Spanish immigrant’s daughter.
The beautiful hardcover book features many recipes from the past and present, emigrants’ stories, color and black-and- white photos and doors ranging from her grandfather’s door to the doors of dukes and other royalty of Spain.
This is a book to enjoy and share and from which to learn. Whether you love to cook, to learn, to teach or perhaps to remember, this unique collection has something for you.