Excuse please my brief hiatus. This is the longest I’ve gone without speaking with you all since I launched The Girl Who Ate Books, but thankfully my absence has been spent on happy, mostly edible things, steak au poivre on my birthday, pisto manchego and albarino at Taberna de Haro before seeing my beloved Buika perform, a wonderful Passover Seder with M’s family. April, so far, has been as kind to me as I’d hoped.|
Still, there’s been that spot of sadness, as we’ve lost one of the greatest writers in… well… ever last week, Gabriel García Márquez. This sad event has reinforced what we always knew to be true about me, that I handle all news, good or bad, with food.
And so I wanted to make a feast. Because, you see, other authors do it differently. An author like Lydia Davis, who gives to us work that is so precise and mastered and crystalline, would be better celebrated with a similar treat. Like a soufflé, perhaps, something compact and difficult to create, with all of its perfect flavors captured in one vessel. But for Márquez? No. Márquez gets a feast, because that is what Márquez gave us: feasts, literary feasts complete with fragrance and music and color, with feelings and locales huge and vast and filling, spilling over the page and the chairs where we sit, rushing onto the floor and out beyond the horizons of our experience.
And so that is what I did. I set a table with roses because Márquez loved them. I lit some candles in his honor, and I began to cook. A corn salad based on this one, with a little red chili, cilantro and red onion. Some patatas bravas with this sauce, hot and smokey. This pan-friend ancho skirt steak was served rare alongside some links of chorizo. Finally, in honor of Marquez’s native Colombia, I made Erica Dinho’s Cazuela de Huevos con Chorizo (baked eggs with chorizo), complete with her hogao (Colombian tomato and onion sauce).
As I sat down with my two favorite people in Boston, and we broke into those yokes with our crusty bread, scooping spicy chorizo and sweet tomatoes into our hungry mouths, the room smelling of roses, I couldn’t help but believe Márquez would be pleased.