Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding and Sopa de frijoles/Bean Soup

Here’s a two-fer; two charming “cooking poems” …. poema para cocinar…. by Jorge Argueta,  published by Groundwood Books.

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Each book takes the reader through the process of making the title dish. Each poem is presented first in Spanish, followed by English translation. And each poem conveys a sense of earth-bound grace.

Our narrator, a young poet-cook, comprehends the wonders of transforming fruits from the earth into soup and pudding; nourishing for heart and soul.  His poetic images are enchanting; rich with the power  and delight of childhood, sensual food memories. Each book has a different illustrator; Fernando Vilela and Rafael Yockteng.

If you follow the recipe for cooking Sopa de frijoles, be prepared for:

Your house, smells wonderful, like the earth, after the first, winter rains.

ACTIVITY: Consider a dish you regularly prepare; something you know well. Try to write the recipe as un poema para cocinar; as a cooking poem. What images come to mind? What feelings are invoked? Can you translate your food poem, your un poema para cocinar, into another language? Illustrate your poem and mail it to a distant relative.


Arlington, VA

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