Comfort Food Heroes: Doña Petrona
Just to let you know, this post was written before I went fully paleo to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding.
It's often thought that this sparked her passion and enthusiasm for teaching, and her familiar, down to earth approach was a hit with readers. She published her recipe book El Libro de Doña Petrona in 1933 - not only a book which contained recipes but also tips on how to manage the home, entertain guests and cook economically. She was a hit - not only within Argentina, but its neighbouring countries too.
In the 1950s she appeared on television, which was followed in the 1960s with the show Buenas Tardes, Mucho Gusto - continuing to present cooking as unstuffy, simple and fun - with the help of her assistant Juanita.
She also recognised the role of the working mother in her books - more and more women were going out of the home to work, and she gave them tips on how to manage both their working day and then how to keep the home running smoothly too.
Her cooking can't be described as 'healthy' - at least in the modern sense of the word. Flick through her book, and you'll see lots of flour, lard, butter and eggs being used - but then this was cooking that put meat on your bones. She lived to the ripe old age of 96, seeing a career that spanned more than six decades.
I often flick through my copy of El Gran Libro de Doña Petrona - mine is the 102nd edition - for inspiration and to get a feeling for what she was presenting to the Argentine people. She might not be a household name, at least in Europe - but for me, she really is an inspiration.
Had you ever heard of Doña Petrona? Have you tried any of her recipes?