May 31st, 2012 by Lisa
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
In this love story, Tita, the youngest daughter of a family living on a ranch in Mexico, must care for her mother and is not allowed to marry. When she falls in love with Pedro, her mother forbids the relationship and he instead marries Tita’s sister in order to be closer to Tita. In despair, and sometimes elation when Pedro pronounces his love to her, Tita pours her emotions into her cooking and it flows through to each person who eats her dishes.
Book Club Ideas for Like Water for Chocolate
|Tita pours her sorrows over not being allowed to marry the man she loves into crocheting a quilt which soon covers the whole ranch.
In this picture by Knit ‘n Pearl is the world’s largest crochet quilt. A quilt such as one of these can be used as a tablecloth for your book club party for Like Water for Chocolate.
|Another decoration idea is red roses. Pedro brought Tita a bouquet of roses to celebrate her first year as ranch cook. Tita clasped the roses so close to her chest that when she got to the kitchen, the roses, which had been mostly pink had turned quite red from the blood that was flowing from Tita’s hands and breasts. She used the rose petals to make quail in rose petal sauce, which caused “voluptuous delight” in those who ate it and in some, it acted as an aphrodisiac.|
Below are some pictures from other book club party posts we have done with a Spanish/Mexican theme. The first one is from The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and the second is from Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros.
Tita’s sister Gertrudis, who fled the ranch naked on a horse after eating Tita’s cooking and who is now the leader of revolutionary soldiers, interrupted the story she was telling about the first firing squad she had ordered and began dancing to the polka “Jesusita in Chihuahua”. Tita and Pedro’s song is “The Eyes of Youth” (or “Ojos De Juventud”). There is also a soundtrack for the movie Like Water for Chocolate.
Book Club Menu for Like Water for Chocolate
When an amorous moment between Tita and Pedro in the kitchen is interrupted, Pedro pretends he came in for a glass of lime water with sage. This sounded like such an interesting flavor combination, I just had to give it a try. This Sage Limeade Recipe is made by first making a sage and lime infused syrup.
As she continued to think about their encounter, Tita made turkey mole. The Turkey Mole Recipe in the book is made with a variety of chiles, almonds, sesame seeds and, of course, chocolate. Tita used earthenware dishes and prepared the dish with a lot of love. Hopefully this dish will put your guests in a euphoric mood as well. Just remember, to keep from crying when you cut an onion, place a little bit on your head.
I saw many adaptations of the Chabela Wedding Cake from Like Water for Chocolate on the internet, but I did not find one that had made it exactly like in the book. There were also lots of people asking whether the recipe will actually work. So I gave it a try. I was never able to figure out the fondant recipe and the cake was a little dry, but the apricot and lime were a delicious flavor combination.
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.85 stars (146,432 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4.1 stars (487 ratings)|
|LibraryThing: 3.9 stars (138 ratings)|
|My Rating: 4 stars. This novel is pure entertainment, from the recipes to the fantastical elements in the book.|
Discussion Questions for Like Water for Chocolate
- It is hard to imagine that the youngest daughter would be required to forgo marriage in order to care for her mother. Were there other traditions in the book that were surprising? Do you think there are any traditions in your culture today that are outdated? What about in other cultures?
- Mama Elena, Tita and Chencha were unable to be with first loves. How did this affect each of their lives?
- Did you enjoy the use of magical realism in this novel? Do you think it would have been as successful without it?
- How do the three sisters differ from each other? Tita was not allowed to marry because she was the youngest. Did birth order affect the lives of the other two sisters?
- What did you think of Pedro? Was he an honest character?
- Did you enjoy the inclusion of how to make the recipes or did you find it distracted from the story?
- Consider the setting of the book? Do you think it played a significant role in the story?
- Do you think the author portrays the Mexican culture in a negative light? Or was it just how things were back then? What are some of the positive and negative aspects of the culture of turn of the century Mexico?
- Are there any passages in the book that particularly spoke to you?
- Did you like the ending of the book? If not, how would you rewrite the ending?
Purchase Like Water for Chocolate at your favorite bookseller
|Laura Esquivel was born in Mexico City in 1950. Her first novel, Like Water for Chocolate, has sold more than four and a half million copies around the world and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year. She currently lives in Mexico.|
Do you have any other ideas or recipes for a book club party for Like Water for Chocolate? We would love to have you share them with us! You can leave a comment below and upload pictures as well.
Copyright © 2013 ButteryBooks.com All Rights Reserved.