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NYT Article: "Road Tripping with Diana Kennedy"


Smithy
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Diana Kennedy, currently aged 96(!) has donated her collection of notes, slides, recipes, scrapbooks, books, and so on to the University of Texas at San Antonio. Rather than entrust the documents to mail or messenger service, she made the 800-mile drive with two or three others, including Tejal Rao. Rao wrote a delightful article about the woman and the trip for The New York Times, here: Road Tripping with Diana Kennedy. I hope it isn't behind a paywall. 

 

She sounds like quite a character. Rather than focus on some of her funnier quips, though, I'll quote this bit that shows what she's accomplished, and why she's so driven:

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To Ms. Kennedy, who moved back to Mexico full-time in the 1970s, recipes weren’t just step-by-steps, or methods to be followed. They were crucial regional histories, socioeconomic documents and records of ecological diversity. “I’m out to report what is disappearing,” she said as the car bumped along. “I drive over mountains, I sit with families, and I record.”

That dogged, journalistic approach is what makes the library’s collection of Ms. Kennedy’s work so valuable, with its envelopes stuffed full of menus and notes, carefully organized by Mexican state and year.

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Cantankerous and a disdain for mediocrity and weak scotch...what's not to love? :cool:

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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A true treasure! Steve Sando (Rancho Gordo) almost had her here at eG for a Q&A/interview around her magnificent Oaxaca al Gusto but she'd had a traumatizing public interview that put her off at the time. I love the book. Not necessarily to cook from but to absorb the traditions and learn about cooking methods and how simple ingredients are transformed.  

Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere) 

 

https://www.ranchogordoblog.com/2011/01/some-bad-press-for-diana-kennedy.html

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  • 1 year later...

TASTE had a related story about Diana Kennedy's donations to the UT's Library:

 

"Diana Kennedy Says Goodbye to Her Cookbooks"

 

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She’s brilliant, terrifying, and a master of Mexican cooking. The 96-year-old writer ends an 840-mile trip from Michoacán to San Antonio with a very special delivery, and some thoughts on a cook’s pickled nopales.

 

 

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Thank you. Still kicking myself in the butt (I can still physically do it) that we missed out on a Q & A witt her  when Oaxaca  al Gusto came out via Rancho Gordo. She us an opinionated lady.  UT has some amazing archives in various fields.

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