Of Love and Cooking: Jorge Amado’s Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1966)

Nico and Amy's Literary Kitchen

Dear readers,

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands is not for the abstinent: detailed recipes of luxurious Brazilian food, interspersed with carnivalesque descriptions of love scenes and frequent complaints about an excessive absence of sex with the beloved one, spice up the life of Dona Flor dos Guimarães (or Florípedes Paiva Madureira, after her second husband). I already know what is swirling around in your heads: is this week’s blog post going to talk about infidelity and carnal pleasures, and are Amy and Nico recommending a rather dubious-sounding book?

Yes, and no.

The novel opens with Dona Flor responding to the writer’s request of getting her recipe for corn cake by discussing her private life, torn between two husbands — one dead, one living. This cake is of course symbolical of Dona Flor herself, as the only thing the two husbands have in common, apart from Dona Flor herself clearly…

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A Toddler and the Grand National

Fiona Sherlock

The bookies was dark and noisy as my grandmother led me in, the gold on her wrist as yellow as Spanish Armada treasure. The cigarette smoke whirled around my little blonde curls. It was lunchtime on my second birthday, and the 145th Grand National was just about to be run.

Fiona Sherlock Not quite dressed for racing

My grandmother hoisted me onto her shoulder and I swirled my chubby fingers in circles around her scalp. With my fist wrapped around her pearls for comfort, she jostled mud-encrusted farmers, florists and the priest to mark her betting slip. Up to the dim booth and the slack-jawed shop girl; the money passed hands.
From the vantage of my booster seat on the way home, Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, twinkled at me from her plastic cover that hung from the mirror.

Reaching through time like feels thicker than the soupy visions from a dream…

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A Toddler and the Grand National

News Bulletin (Chicken Salad)

ufo cookbook

The Outer Limits Embassy in Beijing has been quietly and fragrantly, occupied for four weeks by protesting university students who say things might get ugly if their demands are not met.  “If they throw us out, if they provoke us, then the outcome will be burnt bean soup,”  says one of the Outer Limits students who has been camped out for 3 weeks in the modest building in Beijing’s embassy district.

The demands?  The 25 outer Limits students in China want their own Outer Limits government to pay their living expenses, several years in arrears, and enable them to send food and textbooks — now stored in shipping containers on the embassy grounds —back home to Outer Limits.

“Outer Limits is just a mere 200 miles above Earth.  It would cost less to send our stuff back than to keep it in storage,” claims another Outer Limits student named Fraick.  Fraick is a…

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News Bulletin (Chicken Salad)

Chapter 27: Sandy Business

Jeyna Grace

clubhouse27

Zach was a head taller than Matthias. He thought it was why Mrs Dune approached him first, but he later realised he thought wrong.

“I had a horrible lunch. How are you going to make up for it?” Mrs Dune asked as she stalked over to the two of them.

They had just entered the restaurant and Zach least expected to be picked on immediately. Then again, it was Mrs Dune.

“A free meal, perhaps?” Matthias suggested, as he nodded at Zach.

“I don’t need a free meal. Aren’t you already paying for this one?” Mrs Dune snapped. “Matthias, right?”

She guessed right. Zach did not recall introducing himself to her, but she seemed to know who is who.

“Maybe-”

“Never mind,” Mrs Dune interrupted him. Turning back to Zach, she added, “You’re off the hook. You can go now.”

Zach narrowed his eyes in confusion. Did he hear her right?…

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Chapter 27: Sandy Business

Factual fiction.

This is where I sink & float

Existence

To fill up a sentient existence, we must first be useful beings. This can be done by living out a purpose that rouses as much as it gives, personally and professionally. Alas, this is more difficult than one would anticipate. Of course, if this were a perfect universe, there would be no such thing as double-parking, homeless people, racism, obesity, or the capacity to overanalyse emotions, in which case there would only be basic music based on basic emotions. Yet this world we live in is far from perfect and can often be discouraging in the way of which it is governed, in the way we govern. And so we are not given much of a choice in choosing to yield or to be unyielding in the face of the unknowing. Have you ever wondered if this has all been just a simulation game? But it’s not, of course…

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Factual fiction.