Monday, August 1, 2016

The August/September Pick: The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo

I have long been fascinated with the life and works of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist and personality who has perhaps over-shadowed her once more famous husband, Diego Rivera.   Picking up The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F. G. Haghenbeck was a natural for me.   (For more about my Frida obsession, you can read another announcement post at Eliot's Eats.)

Haghenbeck discovered a small notebook belonging to Kahlo in one of her former Mexico City homes.  It is unclear to me how he got his hands on this tiny recipe book (or even if it ever existed) but nonetheless it was his impetus to write a fictionalized work of Kahlo's weird and wonderful existence.  He focuses throughout on her obsession with Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and her obsession with Diego. Just as Kahlo sprinkled fantastical folkloric elements into her style of painting (sometimes classified as surrealism), Haghenbeck uses magical realism with fantastical and mythical elements to describe Kahlo's pained existence and creative soul.  Because his catalyst for writing The Secret Book was based on a slim volume of recipes, sprinkled throughout the narrative are instructions for everything from Pico de Gallo to Mango Tepozteco Ice Cream.

Submissions for this round of Cook The Books are due by the end of the day, Friday, September 30, 2016.  Anyone can join in by reading the current selection, preparing a dish inspired by its contents, and writing about it.  Contact me when your entry post is up by commenting on this post and/or sending me an email to  

New to Cook the Books? Check out our About and Guidelines pages or leave a question in the comments on this post. 

I am extremely thrilled to announce a partnership with Food 'n Flix with this CTB round's selection.   I am also hosting the September feature for FnF:  Frida, a film directed by Julie Taymor and starring Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, and Geoffrey Rush (besides the rest of the all-star cast).   Please consider joining in both events.     Feel free to post one dish for each or combine your dish to cover both events to post in September.  

More information about Frida  and Food 'n Fix will be available September 1 on Eliot's Eats. Hope you enjoy and participate in both.  

It's all about Frida!



A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

I started this book a couple of days ago and I am enjoying it. I know I will be doing two posts for this combined event. There are so many wonderful choices.

Claudia said...

I'm a Frida fan as well, and have had Frida's Fiestas for a number of years, so really looking forward to reading this selection. Great choice!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I got my copy of the book and I found a copy of Frida's Fiestas at the thrift store a couple weeks ago, so I am looking forward to this round!

Simona Carini said...

I ordered my copy of the book and am curious to read it. Thank you for hosting, Debra!

Amy said...

Thanks for hosting Debra! I was totally unfamiliar with Frida before and now I'm OBSESSED! My post just went live:

Debra Eliotseats said...

Amy---welcome to the Frida-phile club! (I think you're the first to post up!)

Claudia and Deb, I ordered a copy of Frida's Fiestas a month or two ago (although I wish I had gotten Deb's deal).

Wendy and Simona, Hope you like the book!!!!!!

(I just finished my second reading.)

Camilla M. Mann said...

Emailed you, Debra! Off to watch the movie next.

Claudia said...

Well, that was interesting :) My post is now up:

Ali said...

I enjoyed reading this book - it was definitely a different approach to telling the story of Frida Kahlo's life. My post is now up:

Simona Carini said...

Here's my contribution:
Thank you Debra for the interesting selection.

Deb in Hawaii said...

My post is up (FINALLY)! ;-)

Debra Eliotseats said...

OK all---post should be up tomorrow. Don't forget to check out the Food 'n Flix round-up as well. Thanks to everyone who played along with the Fridafest!