Tag Archives: Frida Kahlo

Shop Mexico The Artisan Sisters: Frida Kahlo Silver Earrings

Mexico is filled with Frida — the icon of South-of-the-Border Style harkens us back to a big, bold fashion statement that signals femininity, pride, and a look that says I’m worth noticing.  From floral designs embroidered on blouses to fantastic, dangling earrings that move with you, Frida knew how to wear the clothing and jewelry that symbolizes Mexican design.  Here, we have earrings that translate that antique look into contemporary fashion.

Frida Style Filagree Silver Earrings

Friday Kahlo loved her Oaxaca earrings.  Here is a selection for you to wear and enjoy or for holiday gifting!  Order today and I will ship tomorrow morning, December 18, by USPS Priority Mail.

Doves adorn these are handmade silver and filagree earrings from Oaxaca embellished with either pearls (left), coral (center), or turquoise (right).  The posts fit snugly on your ear and dangle dramatically!  From top to bottom the earrings measure 2-1/2″ and are 1-1/2″ wide at the widest part.  $125 each includes shipping and handling.  Please specify the color you want.  I can get these to you by Christmas if you order today!

SilverGarnetEarrings These are also artist-made silver earrings by Cesar Ramirez Torres from Nayarit, Mexico, adorned with garnets.   They are 2″ long from the bottom of the hook and 1″ wide.  $75, includes shipping and handling.  And, yes, I can get these to you by Christmas if you order today!

An Hour with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at Casa Azul

The line snaked around the corner of Casa Azul, home of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, in Colonia del Carmen Coyoacan in Mexico City.  Now a museum, the home is a mecca and tribute to the talent, strength and perseverance of a woman who endured pain and suffering in privacy while consorting with the intellectual elite of the world.  Her likeness and style is replicated throughout Mexico.  As a social, cultural and political icon, she could be considered akin to a contemporary Virgin of Guadalupe in many circles, revered, honored, even worshipped.  She stands as a role model for women’s fortitude in the face of insurmountable odds against survival.

    

It was late Sunday morning when I arrived at Casa Azul and thank goodness, because the traffic was light and it only took the taxi twenty-five minutes to get there from my little hotel in Colonia Roma.  (Sunday is a good day to travel the streets of Mexico City quickly.)  Thankfully, I could squeeze in an hour before leaving at 3:15 p.m. on the ETN bus to Irapuato, Guanajuato.  Not enough time, but enough for a taste of Frida Kahlo‘s life as a painter and her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera.

It’s common knowledge among Frida fans that she was in a terrible accident at the age of 18, when a streetcar ran into the bus she was riding in, and a metal rod penetrated her body.  She began to paint as an antedote during her recuperation and then later taught art, met Diego Rivera and married him in 1929.

  

Kahlo’s self-portraits convey the despair, anguish and uncertainty of her existence.  Her wheelchair sits in front of the easel.  On it rests a luscious painting of fruit (note the Mexican flag), a juxtaposition to other paintings that depict her naked, exposed, splayed on a bed, bleeding from life’s emotional and physical wounds. There is a universality in the message that each of us can identify with, which is what makes her paintings so powerful.

 

Naturally, it is easy to romanticize these two figures of Mexican art and politics.  And, Casa Azul allows us a glimpse into their romantic relationship — note the kitchen with the little ollas spelling out Frida and Diego’s name along with the two palomas (doves) connected to each other.

   

And, the museum tells the truth about the Rivera-Kahlo relationship by exhibiting the two clocks that Frida painted that tell the story of how time stopped when she discovered his affair with her sister, their subsequent divorce and then their remarriage a year later when time began again for her.

Above is an unfinished self-portrait done while she was visiting Detroit, Michigan.  Below are some drawings by Rivera that were recently discovered.

   

Frida Kahlo called Diego Rivera “Frog.”  A reflecting pool in the garden has a mosaic tile floor with a frog swimming, there are frog motifs throughout the house and garden, and in Frida’s happy bedroom (she also had a sad bedroom with a suspended mirror where she painted during confinement in her body cast) on a side table is the frog urn that contains her ashes after cremation.

Of course, an hour is not enough to savor the experience of being in this astounding home, and I will return again for much longer during my next visit to Mexico City — which, by the way, I found to be safe and friendly!

 

 

Frida Kahlo Food Fest This Weekend at Tortilla Flats, Soquel, California

Mexican food at its finest!

Tomorrow I’m flying to Santa Cruz, California to visit family.  My sister just sent me notice of a grand fiesta in her neighborhood and I intend to check it out and see if I can conjure up the recipes to post.  Maybe between swallows, I’ll be able to take a few photos of the intact dish before starting to gobble, gobble.

California is about as close to Mexico as one can get without crossing the border so I feel justified in including this here!  I can’t wait to get there to sample these incredible dishes.

Notice from Tortilla Flats proprietress Cheryl Marquez:

Frida’s Favorites are back at Tortilla Flats. Starting Thursday and continuing through Sunday the recipes of Frida Kahlo will be featured. Frida’s role as wife to the great muralist Diego Rivera included that of hostess to their many friends and admirers. She loved to prepare meals, the presentation as well as taste were important to her. In accordance with her and Diego’s Marxist beliefs, their meals relied on traditional recipes. Much of her knowledge came from her favorite cookbook Nuevo Cocinero Mejicano the equivalent of this country’s Fanny Farmer or Good Housekeeping. Below is our Menu.

Tortilla Flats is Located at 4616 Soquel Drive in the village of Soquel. Open from 11:30 until closing seven days a week.   Reservations are accepted for parties of six or more only. Directions are available at our website.   Contact us at 831-476-1754

SQUASH BLOSSOM CREPAS

Fresh picked squash blossoms, mushrooms and Oaxaca cheese in handmade crepes with aji limo sauce. (Organic from Yerena Farms)

SCALLOPS AND PESCADO IN SCALLOP SHELLS

Beautiful presentation of baked basa and eastern scallops served in scallop shells with lobster saffron cream sauce.

FRIDA’S PEANUT MOLE

Deep, rich peanut and chipotle mole served with chicken

AZTECA TAMALE

Tender pork carnitas steamed in a banana leaf, served with achiote pepper sauce

ALBONDIGAS EN CHIPOTLE

Mexican style meatballs in a spicy chipotle sauce, served with fried plantains and beans.

MOLE MANCHEMANTALES

Literally “tablecloth strainer”. Fragrant with roasted ancho, pasilla and chipotle chiles. It draws it’s sweetness from plantains, raisins, figs, mangoes and pineapple. Served with pork carnitas.

CREPAS SALMONE

Wild caught salmon served in handmade Spanish smoked paprika crepes with chipotle cream sauce.

FRIDA’S GREEN CORN TAMALES

Made with fresh corn, New Mexico hatch chile and cheese. Served with Santa Fe green sauce.

PRICKLEY PRAWNS

Grilled jumbo Prawns with prickley pear lime sauce.

NOPALES RELLENOS

Nopales paddles in fluffy egg batter, pan fried and covered with Oaxaca cheese and poblano sauce.

CACTUS CHILE VERDE

Carnitas in rich tomatillo sauce with cactus strips.

RED SNAPPER VERA CRUZ

Fresh, wild caught red snapper pan fried, served with traditional vera cruz tomato, caper sauce.

PUMPKIN TAMALE

Pumpkin pie tamale. All the flavors of fresh pumpkin pie served with house made caramel sauce and ice cream.

 

Tortilla Flats is now on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube!

Become our Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Soquel-CA/Tortilla-Flats-Restaurant-Santa-Cruz/294521924343

Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tortillaflatssc

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/user/tortillaflatssc

 

 

The McAllister Family Whirlwind Winter Holiday in Mexico

Walter and Annette McAllister took their family to Mexico during the Christmas holidays.  Walter had subscribed to Oaxaca Cultural Navigator and did his homework.   I’ve never met them, but Walt, a chef, would write me periodically with questions or comments.  … Continue reading

Book Review: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Cover of "The Lacuna: A Novel"

Cover of The Lacuna: A Novel

If you want to understand Mexico and the U.S. more fully, read this book.

Subtle themes of identity, conflicts between people and countries, emptiness, loneliness and belonging punctuate Barbara Kingsolver’s most recent novel, The LacunaLacuna is a complex word and Kingsolver uses it with agility and depth. It means a gap, a hole, a missing piece, an extended silence, the lack of law or legal source.  In the novel it is a cenote, a hole in the earth and place to disappear or be swallowed up, to die and become reinvented.  The image that comes to my mind when I think about this concept is Edvard Munch’s painting, “The Scream” – a silent, gaping mouth that expresses all the pain in the world without emitting a single sound.

The Aztecs and Mayans used human sacrifice to appease deities by sending maidens, political opponents, and captured innocents to their deaths, pushing them into deep limestone, water-filled cenotes.  In the lacunae of modernity our political and social systems, and laws that codify authority sacrifice innocents as well as vocal opponents to the God of power, control, conformity, and profit.

The novel begins and ends in Mexico.  Mexico is at its heart.  Mexico is the thread that binds this story.  Kingsolver’s protagonist is Harrison William Shepherd, brought into the world as a result of a precarious union between an American man and Mexican woman.  They represent the conflicting gaps between two nations bound together by virtue of sharing the same continent, border, and struggle for nationhood that took different directions.

Shepherd, is a mestizo, though not by traditional definition.  The Mexican mestizo is considered by political and social commentators to be the embodiment of conflicted identity that emerged from the comingling of the conquering Spanish and indigenous Mesoamerican.  La Malinche, Cortes’ indigenous consort, is the symbol of the ultimate betrayal.

Kingsolver creates a mestizo who also does not belong fully to either parentage.  His American father is a Washington, DC bureaucrat, rule-bound, conservative, and emotionally unavailable.  His Mexican mother is bold, fiery, impetuous, and rebellious.  They see in the other what they want to become and are incapable of making the relationship work.   The mother flees the marriage, taking her young son to Mexico and the magnificent story unfolds.  It is filled with mystery and sublime description as Shepherd explores his own identity, where he belongs, his own voice as a writer of fiction, and role as an active or passive player in life.

The Lacuna takes us through a thirty-year span of political and social upheaval from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.  Through the eyes of fictional Shepherd and his personal secretary Violet Brown, along with Kingsolver’s humanizing portrayals of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, we understand the impact of the Russian Revolution, Stalinism, the Great Depression, World War II, the atom bomb, The Cold War, McCarthyism, sexual identity and the lacuna that fear creates in the hearts and minds of would-be decent human beings.

Washington Post Review by Ron Charles:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/03/AR2009110303709.html