” Tita remembered that Nacha had always said that when people argue while preparing tamales, the tamales won’t get cooked. They can be heated day after day and still stay raw, because the tamales are angry. In a case like that, you have to sing to them, which makes them happy; then they’ll cook.”
(Laura Esquivel in Like Water for Chocolate, pp 219)
When I started reading Like water for chocolate, I was amazed at how seamlessly food flows through this novel. Food is a living thing in this story and it engages us in a passionate relationship. It is loving, violent, stubborn, and compassionate all at the same time.
Each chapter starts with a recipe, but not all of it is divulged at once.
The recipe comes in bits and pieces, interspersed with the story.
At first it seems a little strange- for instance, in the middle of a family fight, we suddenly read about what ingredient to stir into something, or how many pieces of another to cut.
But as the novel progresses, the recipes and story melt into each other with such ease and simplicity that it seems perfectly normal and beautiful.
And isn’t it like that in life? How important food is in our lives – we use it infinitely, and everyday.
This story celebrates not only the love we have for food and the integral space it occupies in our lives, but also the strength that it carries.
The strength it has to alter our experiences, our lives, and us.
The first recipe in the book- Christmas Rolls, was the one I found most intriguing.
Maybe it was the unlikely combination of sardines and chorizo. Or maybe it was the excitement I always experience at the start of a new book
I decided to make Sausage rolls. I’ve never made these before, and to be honest I should have made the puff pastry from scratch (particularly because this book celebrates the process of making everything at home!). However, I had some ready-made puff pastry sitting in my freezer, so I used it.
The rolls didn’t get as golden as I wanted, but they tasted really good. The sausage mixture was herby and rich, and the puff pastry casing was crisp and yummy.
Sausage and bacon rolls
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
puff pastry, ready rolled, cut into 10 (6 inch) squares, and frozen
5 small pork sausages (chicken should work too, but pork is just yummier!)
1 onion, chopped
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, plus 1 more for glazing
2-3 rashers bacon, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
flour, for dusting
2 tsp oil, for sealing
1. Preheat the oven to 225º C.
2. Remove the sausages from their skins and place the meat in a bowl. Add the onion, parsley, egg, bacon, and salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands to incorporate. (Really get in there!)
3. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment, and place in the freezer to chill.
4. De-frost the puff pastry sheets a little, and place on a lightly floured surface. Work with one square at a time and place about one heaped tablespoon of the sausage mixture in the centre. Brush the sides with a dab of oil, roll each side over towards the middle, seal, and turn over (seam side down).
5. As you make each roll, place it on the baking sheet in the freezer. This will ensure the puff pastry holds its shape better.
6. When all ten are made, take out the baking sheet. Working quickly, use a sharp knife to make 2–3 slits on the top of every roll. Brush over with beaten egg, and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes. Eat warm
This is my first post written as part of an online foodie-book club called This Book makes me cook.
The members choose a book every month, read it, and come up a dish the book inspires them to create. How neat is that?!
When I first read about it I couldn’t believe how beautifully my two loves (books and food) were brought together here.
It’s a fun site, filled with some wonderful food bloggers, so drop by and join in the fun if you want
Have a good weekend!